constraints

Understanding the Practice This practice is a futsal-inspired session which encourages forward passing, forward runs, combination play and provides an opportunity to work on 1v1 finishing. The framework of the practice can be adapted for a variety of themes and various player numbers. If you’re trying this practice for the first time, locking players in to zones as outlined in the instructions below can be helpful in bedding in the structure of the practice. As you gradually alter the constraints and allow more freedom, repetition…

This Masterclass Webinar replay is a fantastic opportunity for you to explore the research behind scanning and awareness in football with Dave Eldridge, UEFA A licensed coach & lecturer at Chichester University in England. “I spend the entire 90 minutes looking for space on the pitch. I’m always between the opposition’s two holding midfielders and thinking, ‘The defence is here, so I get the ball and I go there to where the space is.” – Xavi The best players seem to always have time on the…

Self-organisation was a key process discussed at the Complex Systems in Sports Congress at Camp Nou in Barcelona. PDP co-founder James Vaughan discusses the importance of understanding and observing self-organisation with video and reflections from Barcelona and Sweden. It was the end of the day and that meant free play. However, this freedom felt very restricted, very one-directional, very narrow. It was almost as if the players had blinkers on; constrained to only see forwards. Dribble forward, tackle, loose ball, transition! Dribble forward, tackle, loose ball, transition! Dribble…

This blog contains two videos of a modified 3v3. In this session, PDP Lead Researcher & AIK Academy Coach, James Vaughan changes task constraints and encourages player reflection to create opportunities for learning with space for creative expression. A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with just 6 players for a whole session. This is something I really enjoy after years of coaching futsal. However, working with small numbers of players for a whole session can be daunting. In this blog, I want to…

In this Live Webinar replay, UEFA A licensed coaches Dan Wright and Dave Wright share some of their favourite small sided games for youth football. Dan and Dave present a number of practices, including lead in games, adaptations and reasons behind some of their top small sided games for discussion with coaches in the room. The practices presented are adaptable and the guys share ideas as to how they could be adjusted for various player numbers or ages, as well as tackling questions from guests…

Natalia Balague, Rafel Pol, Carlota Torrents, Angel Ric, and Robert Hristovski The Big Idea This is an opinion paper.  The opinions herein revolve around how the components of complex systems self-organize.  In particular, the authors propose a more streamlined approach to what is called the constraints-led approach to understanding restrictions to the degrees of freedom in complex systems.  The uptick in the popularity of the study of constraints as a unifying framework is proving to be useful in understanding the learning/training process in the complex…

In our latest live session UEFA A licensed coach, Dave Wright shares a  practice which focusses on switching play. Dave demonstrates how to progress the practice from a lead in to a small sided game using key task constraints to encourage players to use width and focus on dispersal. Dave talks you through some of his own observations and discusses how you can set the session up to suit the age and ability of your players.

Paul S. Glazier The Big Idea It’s GUT check time!  We are all familiar with this cliché in sports performance:  tests of gameness, courage, fortitude, stick-to-itiveness.   But less familiar is another meaning of GUT.  Beginning roughly in the late 1970s particle physicists began looking at the possibilities for the otherwise distinct three of the four forces in nature at high energy to merge into an indistinct single force.  They called this model a Grand Unified Theory, or GUT for short. Over the years, this general…

Coach and researcher, Ben Galloway shares a video about the importance of opposition in session design and of interactions between players in skill acquisition. In his video below, ‘Attuning to Others’, Ben outlines how football interactions emerge as a result of a wide range of environmental influences; most importantly, the presence of other players.   The video above is designed to provoke thought and reflection. Some viewers may disagree with the practice design approach I have discussed, while others may share this view of coaching….

In this video and article, PDP Lead Researcher, James Vaughan shares a 3 v 3 + 1 practice from a session with AIK players in Sweden. The video and session plan outlines how manipulating simple task constraints can allow players to solve problems, collaborate, make decisions and work on a variety of moments in the game.   Have a look at the video above, it aims to demonstrate how session design, rules and constraints can educate attention and intention, towards skilled intentionality. ‘Skilled intentionality is…

In our very first Player Development Project Members webinar, the PDP team made up of UEFA A licensed coaches, Dan Wright & Dave Wright and Lead Researcher, James Vaughan go through the topic of Redefining Success in Player Development. Dave, Dan and James share some slides from a recent conference presentation and answer questions from the PDP community. Don’t miss a fantastic conversation which covers everything from individual learning plans and a constraints led approach. Image Source: depositphotos.com

UEFA A licensed coach & PDP Editor, Dave Wright discusses why an individual approach to player development is crucial after recently presenting at a conference in Australia. The presentation was based on his philosophy, PDP research and experience from his time at Fulham FC.   Recently, I was fortunate enough to be invited by Football Federation Victoria (the state governing body for football in Victoria) to present at their State Coaching Conference in Melbourne. I was given freedom to choose a topic, but encouraged to…

Keith Davids, Duarte Araújo, Luis Vilar, Ian Renshaw & Ross Pinder The Big Idea When asked to comment on what he found to be so special in playing the classical guitar, Andres Segovia spoke of his sitting position in playing it.  He said he leans his body forward slightly to support the guitar against his chest, “for the poetry of the music should resound in our heart.”  So why shouldn’t the poetry of the sports player resound in his or her heart?  Which is what…

Constraints based learning and ecological dynamics are concepts that Player Development Project has promoted for a long time. Football coach and University tutor, Ben Galloway shares his excellent video on the topic around how the concepts can be applied in your coaching environment. The next couple of blog posts that I share via PDP will revolve around some videos that I have produced, stemming from Constraints Based Learning and Ecological Dynamics. Hopefully what these videos will provide is support to previously posted material and a…

In this webinar discussion, PDP Technical Advisor Dan Wright joins PDP Editor, Dave Wright to discuss what constraints are and provide practical examples of session plans you can implement with your players. These two UEFA A licensed coaches go in depth to discuss the environment, the task and the person and cover a range of practical football topics and solutions for coaches to use in training. Don’t miss an excellent and informative discussion on how to approach your coaching to encourage better decision makers on…

Game-based learning has enormous benefits in terms of decision-making and skill acquisition. PE Teacher, blogger and regular PDP contributor, Sporticus shares his fantastic article on the advantages of manipulating games and the environment and how coaches can adjust conditions in order to help young players improve their skills.     At the heart of a games based approach to teaching is the challenge to the centrality of learning isolated and decontextualised techniques that will ‘allow’ the child to play. Instead of starting with the practice…

Do you understand the context of your coaching environment? PDP contributor and associate lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, Ben Franks discusses the issues around the ongoing unopposed vs. opposed training debate and explains why context is key in a learning environment.   Going Beyond the Opposed vs. Unopposed Dualism Unopposed vs. opposed, technique vs. skill – these arguments are forever plaguing Twitter, Facebook and coaching platforms. Some arguments come from theory, others from years of coaching experience, but all seem to be missing a really obvious point: everything pertains to context….

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