To what extent should players be encouraged to take risks?There is a danger that, without careful encouragement and support, players will always look for the easy option. Of course, this is sometimes the right thing to do – but it’s better to help players understand and manage risk.
How often do you allow time for problems or challenges to be considered, so that the reasons why things may not work are discovered and successful solutions can be created?
It’s important to recognise that, in some instances, the longer route can prove to be the most productive, and time spent there can reap many benefits later on. The Foundation Phase is perfect for this approach.
When profiling your young players, it’s worth knowing that Seltzer (1999) identified the following key qualities of the creative learner:
- The ability to identify new problems rather than depending on others to define them.
- The ability to transfer knowledge gained in one context to another, in order to solve a problem.
- A belief in learning as an incremental process – repeated attempts will eventually lead to success.
- The capacity to focus attention in pursuit of a target.
Got any of these in your group?
The skills needed by coaches in the Foundation Phase must be related to the identification and development of these creative characteristics (both in the players and in themselves). This may be very difficult because much of our football ‘culture’ is built around the role and position of the coach as one that holds all of the knowledge and all of the power.
Changing this to an environment that embraces choice, freedom and more player ownership is difficult, but if things are to change then it has to be considered.
To learn more about Foundation Phase DNA, click here.