Immediate Skills

By John Cartwright

When watching TRULY great players in any sport have you wondered how they seem to be able to recognize, assess and quickly respond successfully with the correct decision in difficult situations ? This immediacy of judgement is neither luck nor a divine gift, it has been acquired from learning their sport in a practical, realistic way.

The development of TECHNIQUE is important in sport but it should be introduced and developed in such a way from childhood onwards to include realistic practical situations to develop SKILLS. In football, subtle use of space(area sizes) and player numbers (suitable overloading for age and ability) in practice provides a time/space factor. A transformation from unrealistic, non-interference Technical (drill) practises into controlled realistic, interference (skill) playing situations is, in my opinion, how the ingredients of playing greatness are acquired.

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UNATTAINABALE EXCELLENCE

By John Cartwright

Our Coaching and Development Programs, past and present, have set learning targets far too low throughout the development years. Consequently, by the age of 16+ our young players are only capable of producing mediocre standards –excellence and ‘greatness’ are unattainable.

The ‘Golden Years of Game Learning’, have not been a time in which our young players have received a sound football education and on reaching senior levels of the game they are forced to rely largely on physical qualities to ‘camouflage’ their serious lack of skill and game understanding.

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OUR FOOTBALL’S ‘WOBBLY’ FOUNDATIONS

By John Cartwright

Without carefully constructed foundations anything developed — be it with bricks and mortar, a business project or a football vision etc. will buckle, crack and eventually fall. It could be said that the final phase of the process of disintegration – ‘the fall’ is fast approaching the game of football in this country.

The glittering, greedy façade of English football; The Premier League, stands astride the minnows of our game; in so doing the historic foundations on which the game in this country was created is gradually eroding — the street player has gone and money from senior clubs to those in lower leagues for players has virtually disappeared as foreign ‘stars’ have infiltrated our game at all senior levels.

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FINISH POSITIVELY AND ACCURATELY FROM ALL HEIGHTS AND DISTANCES

By John Cartwright

No better use of the lottery analogy can be found than in the context of finishing in football; if one doesn’t buy a Lottery ticket one will not win ; accordingly, if one doesn’t take the chance(s) that present themselves in football – you wont score goals! However, there is a clear distinction between the ‘gamble’ of buying a winning Lottery ticket and the more predictable and recognizable opportunities from which goals can be scored.

Arsenal v Wigan

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DEFENDING – THE FOUNDATION OF COMPETITIVE SUCCESS

By John Cartwright

Quote:  “Winning does not really matter as long as you win.”  Vinnie Jones

Coach  (A)  “ We played some really great football today.”

Coach  (B)  “Oh, how did you get on?”

Coach  (A)  “We lost 3-4.”

Coach  (B)  “Oh you lost!”

Let’s not beat about the bush and be honest; competitive football at all levels is about winning! It may not mean so much at junior levels to lose but it still should hurt.

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Sideways

By John Cartwright

I am often asked, “Did you go to University; and which one was it?” My reply, not facetiously given, is, “ yes — the University of the Street.” Like thousands of players I grew up with the street and congested school playgrounds as my football ‘classroom’. In both of these playing areas lack of space was the overriding aspect with high numbers of players in  numerous games in all directions being played at the same time. But the lack of space was something that had to be overcome and a simple but important playing phenomenon displayed itself —- movement sideways provided more space and playing options than a direct approach through more congested areas.  The space gained and the increased playing options was like unlocking a route through a difficult maze and finding the exit. I have always attempted to re-create the limited space situations of the past into my coaching methods for I believe that ‘street learning’ was special and only PREMIER SKILLS COACHING METHODS have been able to replicate its qualities despite 60 plus years of futile attempts by our National Association.

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WORLD CUP 2014

By John Cartwright

Firstly my overall impression of the 2014 World Cup was ; teams’ needed large numbers of players back to defend and there was little attacking quality to break down these defensive high numbers — so lots of negative passing and ineffective effort in the vast majority of games. Sorry, I can’t accept the ‘pundits’ reasoning that this was the best World Cup ever. Did they have their eyes shut before, or were they in their nappies when greatness was truly displayed in previous World Cup competitions? ‘Hype’ not honesty ‘ruled the roost’ in commentaries as money and greed deflected Media opinions from actual to hypothetical.

England and Italy in action at Euro 2012

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