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The Magazine

Encouraging Weakness

TOVO Academy Founder, Todd Beane looks at the way we view weaknesses on the football pitch. How can we create an environment that encourages players to develop their weaknesses rather than play to hide them?

It might sound a bit crazy to encourage weakness. However, as coaches we must encourage weakness by applauding players when they fail for the right reasons. Keep in mind that coaches are trained to correct errors that they see. These are called “coaching moments” and it works like this: a training session is being executed, a player makes a mistake, the coach steps in to correct the action, and the session is resumed. Sound familiar?

The problem here is that players will hide weaknesses. That is, a player called upon to use his non-dominant foot will rearrange his options to use his stronger foot. A footballer will play an entire match with an orientation and movement pattern designed to play to his dominant side. Why expose your own weakness when you can avoid it? This is very logical, very normal – especially when you have a coach waiting to...

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