The reality of football, whether you’re coaching kids or professionals, is that some players are going to take longer to grasp certain things than others. It’s not necessarily a question of work ethic either.
This’ll likely be most notable with fitness, particularly at lower levels and grass roots, while there will also probably be those who need a little extra help in terms of technique and getting to grips with the team’s identity.
It’s in these situations – when players struggle with certain areas –individual training is going to be most effective.
Common problems teams face
Building a team-wide understanding is vital in pre-season, but as fitness expert Raymond Verheijen states, there’s also a necessity for individual training to suit differing needs.
He said: “The most important pre-season objective is players develop an understanding amongst themselves. As coach you should develop a programme for the team to follow but within that there should be programmes for individual players.”
Injuries and the unfit:
You need to manage players’ workloads from day one to avoid injuries, but there will be some who’re already injured or unfit. With them it’s important that you ease them back gradually so that it’s safe to join the group.
The lower levels are dominated by a ‘win at all costs’ mentality that can stunt progress. Teach players who’re struggling with their role that, once they have fully learnt their position, the results will then come.
Self-esteem and expression:
Being sure of yourself and confident in your abilities is crucial to carrying out a role to maximum effect. To some this self-esteem doesn’t come naturally, so pre-season is the perfect time to give it a boost. Practice makes perfect.
For more football tactics, drills and training advice, download the full pre-season guide below.