This wholistic approach that has all the elements of the game, technical, physical, tactical, and psychological, combined simultaneously in order to reflect the demands of the game.
We want to, through the methodology, develop the whole player by combining the thought/action coupling that occurs in the game of soccer. We see the game as a continuous, unpredictable invasion game that can be made less so by the ability to see shapes and patterns. In order to do be able to execute this, FC players are taught a simple method that teaches what to look for and how to look for them.
First, is Scan (vision/anticipation) for data that provides next decision. Second is Choose (decision/Tactics) an option and thirdly is to do (execute).
We believe that building of insight under pressure in order to make an early decision before the play has even happened Is the core of developing as a soccer player.
The “Technical-Centric” Paradigm is focused on execution. But as you see here, it is merely one fraction of what constitutes talent. To play the game is to execute in an environment full of variables and potential solutions to any given challenge presented. Technique is not enough. Not even close.
“Mastery requires both the possession of ready knowledge and the conceptual understanding of how to use it.”
Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel
Geometric: We like to teach football in geometric forms: lines, triangles, diamonds, heptagons and so on. I might even throw a rhombus in there from time to time. Not that I know what a rhombus is. I just think rhombus is a really cool name for just about anything. If you have children yourself you will know that even young children are excellent at recognizing shapes, which only embeds the learning achieved.
Geographic: We like to look at football as a process of managing space. In fact, I like to look at life that way as well. As children, we naturally begin with our egocentric selves and if we are lucky (and not too inclined to obsess about taking “selfies” all day) we mature into beings capable of extending our circle to include a ball, our teammates, the opponents, and perhaps even the entire Earth on which we play. The process is one of geographic exploration – something we are inclined to do as natural adventurers of our ever-expanding environment. We must teach players to be capable of managing space on the pitch.
Cognitive: At FC we actually teach a 6-step cognitive process to our players. And we do not wait for them to be teenagers to do it. If we want to create intelligent players we must train intelligence. Sounds simple and yet it is so often ignored in traditional training. Even this process is not linear as this list suggests. It is a remarkably powerful, simultaneous, interactive, and proactive process.
1.Perceive (scanning our environment for relevant cues)
2. Conceive (divergent thinking in order to create options)
3. Decide (convergent thinking in order to select the best option)
4. Deceive (disguising our intentions)
5. Execute (the technical execution of the option selected)
6. Assess (an evaluation of the choice and the execution