“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 ball, even in a packed midfield they can find the right pass. How are they able to do this and what is the key skill in making better decisions when in possession of the football?
One part of the answer is scanning. Scanning (or visual exploratory activity), is when players perceive the picture around them and become more aware of the opponent, teammates, space, and the ball. This allows them to almost play one step ahead of the opposition and impact the game.
In this conversation, we are joined by Senior Lecturer at The University of Chichester and UEFA A Licensed Coach, David Eldridge. Dave is an expert in the analysis of sporting performance and has an MSc in Sports Performance Analysis. His main interests lie within the sport of football and specifically the area of player’s visual exploratory activity (VEA) or scanning.
This conversation will cover:
- What is scanning and why is it important?
- What does the research say and how has it developed?
- How do we design sessions that promote this key skill?
- Video examples of the best players doing this in action
Book your place by clicking the button below and don’t miss the opportunity to learn about this vital topic for coaches.