There are a lot of players who don’t develop the skills needed to perform at high levels but seem to have a sense of style, or flair. This style can be entertaining and deceiving to a coach because it’s easy to misinterpret it for high skill level. In high level games, style doesn’t usually produce good results.
Players with style can sometimes have a way of remaining in games longer than players of less flair but who are more consistent. The consistent players get the job done but may only have a few solid skills. Players with style are prone to making serious mistakes but somehow are allowed to remain in the game whereas a steady-worker type of player is removed after a minor error.
Separating The Flashy From The Skilled
If you’re a coach trying to put together a cohesive team, try to remove the fancy packaging to see what remains. It could possibly change your results dramatically. How is it possible to separate fancy players from non-fancy ones that are more reliable? Here are a few things that players with style tend to do:
- Carry the ball for long periods of time, sometimes from one defensive area all the way to the other, eventually losing the ball rather than passing it off to a teammate that offers support.
- Juggling. Be wary of players that can juggle all day and entertain spectators but aren’t bringing much to the field.
- Fancy bicycle kicks. This is another showmanship skill and sometimes can prove useful when the situation presents itself in a match, but for the most part being a good bicycle-kicker doesn’t win games.
- Enjoys participating in an attack on goal but often gets caught up-field when support is needed on defense.
- Makes a lot of unnecessary long kicks which can result in a counterattack against their own team.
- Looks good in practice but disappears in high pressure competitive games.
Reward Coach-Ability And Not Show-Ability
You get the idea. This list can be longer, but the point for a good coach is to reward players who follow systems more than those that are simply flashy. Giving playing time to solid players will improve your results. Consistency and dependability wins the most games. Players that show glitz but are hot one day and cold the next can wreak havoc on an overall record and team spirit. So be careful to avoid rewarding playing time to players that don’t deserve it. Don’t be deceived. On the other hand, players that are coachable and solid have the potential to become the great athletes of the sport.