There are times when coaches need to support individual players with one-on-one learning.
This is particularly beneficial for improving technical competency or athletic development such as agility, balance and coordination work.
Competency for any young player comes with practice until the skill becomes second nature although it goes without saying that the player must be practicing the skill or technique correctly.
A player could benefit from one-on-one coaching to learn a new method of dribbling to beat an opponent, learning to strike the ball correctly, or shooting where repetition is used to greatly improve the technique.
The benefit of this type of training is that the coach can build up the practice step by step with a number of skill acquisition stages.
The 5 Stages of Learning a Technique
In this example the 5 stages are used to learn a new move based on dribbling to beat an opponent. The technique is broken down step by step so the player can initially get the correct foot patterns before gradually building up the skill to a more realistic and functional execution.
A typical practice session to learn dribbling to beat an opponent using a step over move:
10 minutes warm up
Lots of touches of the ball, dribbling, turning and short passing with the coach and dynamic stretching.
5 minutes Stage 1
Familiarising the step over move with a stationary ball.
5 minutes Stage 2
Slowly dribbling the ball and practicing the move in a 10x10 area.
5 minutes Stage 3
Dribble towards a marker at speed and perform the move. Challenge the player to go both sides using both left and right foot.
5 minutes Stage 4
Add in some decision making by placing two different coloured cones beyond the central marker. When the player approaches the central marker, the coach shouts a colour and the player must quickly react to utilise the move and finish at the respective coloured cone (left or right).
Different multi-skilled practices can then be incorporated to include the step over move. An example being where a shooting practice might involve a turn, followed by the step over move and a shot at goal.
The player may return to the coaching session or keep practicing, dependent on time and progress.
Note: Sometimes coaches are unable to support individuals as much as might be necessary within the typical squad training session. It may be beneficial to engage some help via an external provider, parent or private coach to teach the player the skills on a separate occasion. Alternatively, an assistant coach could work with the individual away from the group however be mindful of remaining inclusive to individuals and squads.