Technique is what creates the content of the game and facilitates all the tactical moves required for a team to work well together.
To learn good technique, a player requires good coordination, which is a psychomotor function. Children’s psychomotor functions reach maturity between the ages of 12 and 15, at the same time as they enter puberty, while the qualities affecting functional performance (speed, reflexes and stamina) do not reach maturity until around the age of 16 to 18.
Psychomotor activity precedes execution of movement: it is the origination of movement in conscious mental activity, the invisible component. A coach who neglects this aspect will achieve limited success. It is therefore necessary from an early age to encourage and activate the mental mechanisms that precede execution of movements, especially in the basic training stage. To improve individual technical skills in modern football, it is essential to optimise coordination abilities.
Good technique is based primarily on developing a good relationship between the body and the ball, with the ball being at the service of the player and not the reverse.
Work on basic techniques is therefore essential during the stages of learning discussed elsewhere in this manual:
– Basic techniques
– Improving technique in the basic training stage
– Training and reinforcing technique in the intermediate training stage
– Having specific sessions devoted to technique as part of training
The difficulty involved in performing different technical movements increases according to the game conditions, and it is essential to adapt the level of training in order to improve technical skills.
“Tactics determine where the ball should go, but technique determines whether it gets there.” (Johan Cruyff)