Concepts created by Wayne Harrison, Founder of Soccer Awareness
We are teaching your children to see the game unfold before it happens. We are training their “minds” to sub-consciously be Proactive rather than be Reactive. The net result is the game cognitively slows down for them, even if all around is chaos.
Our goal is to develop behavior that is automatic and subconscious and develop great habits at a very young age. Our main tool here will be “Word Association”.
The Focus is to teach a ONE Touch “MENTALITY” which does not always mean playing ONE-touch soccer. This creates time / space and optional choices for mental recognition.
With that said a major emphasis is on developing THE most important touch, the First Touch of each player using this method of teaching.
Relating Word Association to Thoughts and Actions:
This model is designed to identify a player’s strengths and weaknesses so that we can modify an individual’s training for continued improvement.
We teach players to look and focus or scan AWAY from the ball not always at it & with a RELAXED Mentality.
Every concept here plays an important part in developing the Mental and Physical; the Technical, the Tactical and the Cognitive Skill Factor of each player. We show it here in an understandable / logical order of teaching.
The Continuum for a ONE-Touch Mentality
(1) Look / Observe / Think: Before receiving the ball / and in ANTICIPATION of it. “Scanning” the field constantly.
(2) The Skill Factor: Cognitive / Decision Making: The When; the where; the what; and the why of the technique; & its success or not? Before receiving the ball.
*A long-term process, as a rule, most players will struggle on concepts (1) and (2) initially.
(3) Feet Preparation: balanced and alert; on toes ready; or flat-footed / off balance? Before receiving the ball.
(4) Body Position: Open or closed stance? Is there an Angle of support? This creates time and space. Before receiving the ball.
(5) Communication: Verbal and Visual: Before receiving the ball.
*Up to concept (6) they still haven’t received the ball yet so cognitive speed of thought and bodily speed of action; “in anticipation” are prerequisites for success.
(6) Control: If not a one touch pass on, then the First touch control to set things up for the next Phase of Play.
(7) Technique: The How: The pass, the run, the dribble, the turn, the shot; the cross etc with specific attention to the FIRST TOUCH no matter what comes after it.
8) Game Tempo: Do we speed play up / slow it down / does it stay the same / what does it depend on?
(9) Tactical Mobility: Movement OFF the ball in possession, finding / creating Space, creating Time to help the player on the ball directly or indirectly. 90% of the game is this concept; as we have possession of the ball individually only perhaps 4 or 5 minutes in 90 minutes.
*Concept (9) / Tactical Mobility is often THE most underdeveloped teaching focus; we recognize and will address this in training.
(10) Mental / Physical Transition: Possession changes, the player “tunes in” / focuses? Attacks / Defends immediately on transition; or not?
The hardest part for parents is that children develop at different rates. The best at 8 years are often not the best at 12 years or older. Focus on your own child’s improvement and do not worry how other players are doing.
We place your child in an environment that is best suited for their skills (mental and technical) and desire to improve. Please trust our proven process.
In summary: This is teaching one touch “thinking” not necessarily just; but certainly including the importance of the first touch and / or one touch playing.