Drills & Skills – Finding a Balance

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I posted this yesterday on twitter “Simple choice with complex implications: You can do drills or you can train skills. If you want to get better at your sport train skills. Don’t forget drills do not equal skills.” This needs a bit of elaboration; it is not an either or proposition, there is a place for drills if they are used properly. To often I see practices and training sessions that are essentially a drill-a-rama, an endless collection of drills with no progression and no connection to the actual sport skill. It is incumbent on each coach to develop a system that works in his or her sport. Meaningful drills that transfer to the sport are part of a good system of training. Care must be taken that the drill does not become an end unto itself. The drills must have a clear context and connection the desired sport skill. The same is true for technical and tactical drills; they must connect to a bigger whole.

Criteria for effective drills:

The drill should have a clear purpose and goal.

The drill should be precise and exact.

Drills should be individually prescribed to address a specific technical problem for that individual or a tactical issue for a team.

In selecting a drill the focus on the absolute need to do not on the nice to do.

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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Vern Gambetta

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