Another topic that came up at the A license audit this winter was transference. The Dutch coach at the coarse made it very simple. He explained that the training sessions we use must allow the players to recognize the same scenarios during a real game. The only way this can be accomplished is through the simplification of your practices. This means that what you do should look like soccer as soon as possible. He stated that 75% of a session should involve playing soccer.
The Dutch believe that every session should be functional in nature. This means that it should include attacking, defending and transition. These components are all present regardless of the theme. We did a session on building the ball out of the back. We were training the centerbacks, so they were the primary focus.
From the the beginning of the activity, however, there were midfielders, strikers and goalkeepers involved. The picture painted by the coach was as realistic as possible, from as early as possible. Everything was present in the activity. Every aspect of functionality was utilized.
He then progressed by adding numbers, so that the game presented different situations to be solved by the players. The situations were relevant because they were playing the real game. The game was the teacher. The players were guided through problems, but they had to come up with their own solutions. This was accomplished through questioning by the coach.
The session ended with an 11v11 game. By this time, the centerbacks had improved significantly in every aspect of their functionality. The coach then spoke to us about what was done and why. In a nutshell, he said that what we do in practice must transfer to the real game. This was accomplished by playing the game in practice.
Sounds too simple to be true…..try it. You do not need a thousand cones to have a meaningful practice.