Football is played all over the world and it is conducted in the same way all over the world. It doesn’t matter if we talk about amateur football, women’s football, men’s football, professional football or children’s football. In every game there will be attacking, transitioning and defending, by definition. These team functions are executed by the team. On individual level each player executes his football actions to contribute in one of the aforementioned team functions.
A player makes, on an individual level, a decision in a certain football situation and executes this decision. As a rehab coach it is not your job to improve the decision making of football actions. This is the main responsibility of the head coach. What the rehab coach can impact on is the execution. The head coach assesses the player’s ability and figures out if the player needs to improve a specific part of a football action.
Lets now analyse football actions.
Football actions are always the starting point and this is also the case in rehab. We can break down a football action into a basic action and into a basic movement. A basic action is a football action without the interaction. The football action pressing can be simplified into the basic action, starting and stopping. A basic action can be simplified into basic movements, which often becomes gym work like lunges, lateral lunges, step ups, etc. Lets now discuss basic movements and how the rehab coach can help the head coach improve the players pressing action.
An exercise often seen in the gym is a squat. The question is, is this exercise always the right one for a specific problem? Every football action contains of a horizontal or vertical component and an acceleration or deceleration component. Combined they are horizontal/acceleration (starting), horizontal deceleration (stopping), vertical/acceleration (jumping) and vertical/deceleration (landing). Pressing for example has a horizontal/acceleration (sprinting) and a horizontal/deceleration component (stopping). Each football action also has a space/time characteristic in a set sequence, which are position, moment, direction and speed. Each of these four characteristics can be trained to improve a football action. By analysing a football action this way you can find the right exercise much easier.
After the head coach has analysed that pressing is the problem he can then ask for your help and not the other way around.
Is the problem in the horizontal/acceleration (starting) or in the horizontal/deceleration (stopping) part of the action? Has the player got the ability to get into the starting position they need to be in? Has he got the ability to maintain this position they need to be in? Once the decision has been made to execute the football action pressing, can he now respond quickly to actually execute the football action? Executing a football action (when talking about the moment) it is all about the reaction time. Reaction time is the time between the decision made and the movement initiated. Does he have the correct and most efficient technique when moving in a required direction? Has he got the appropriate strength to control the forces in any direction? How quickly can they execute the football actions? In other words the speed of the action. Like mentioned in previous posts so are there many questions to be answered before planning any exercise, also in a specific profession such as the rehab coach. You can’t just pick one, like the squat, just because everyone does it.
There is a lot of information available to find one exercise that suits, however it makes analysing of a football action a lot easier. The rehab coach should take the same starting point as the head coach. In other words the team executes the team functions attacking, transitioning and defending. The individual player contributes within these team functions with football actions. The rehab coach is an assistant with a very specific task description, yet he must also take the game as his starting point, by definition. In the long run it will make work so much easier. One step at a time the backroom staff become the football staff.
Thanks for sharing.