Building Muscle Memory
Building muscle memory is critical to an athlete's success. The key to building muscle memory is repetition in variable environments. In soccer it is important to build muscle memory for several techniques to control, receive, and pass the ball. Also learning how to make all contributions are important. In today's soccer training, there is not enough repetition in soccer practices. This creates a lack of precision on first touch and a fast speed of play. That is why the smaller group practices can create the fundamental and critical skills in soccer. Touching the ball frequently is the key to building the muscle memory. During the practices, the athlete will constantly touch the ball to build muscle memory. With small sided practices, the Coach will also be able to watch the athletes to ensure the athlete's technique is correct and builds a positive muscle memory.
There is no better way to build confidence with an athlete but to help the athlete understand the fundamentals and build they faith that they know what they are doing. With small sided training, an athlete knows exactly what is expected and the coach is able to provide real time feedback. Receiving assurances from the coach is positive reinforcement and builds innate self confidence in one’s skills. By breaking down each soccer activity, an athlete is also able to overcome any fear related to certain tactical or technical aspects of the game. The athlete is encouraged to do their best and not compete for a specific spot for a game. Building self confidence is a critical aspect to the psychology of the game.
Enhancing Speed of Play
Repetition and small sided practices will enhance an athlete’s speed of play. Speed of play is defined by the quickness and intensity of the athletes response to the soccer ball. Speed of play is one of the most important skills to learn in soccer.