Keywords: the secret to speed up time!
Using keywords during soccer training can significantly help accelerate time and reduce cognitive workload
- Players focus decline, as I underlined in another article, and this process is faster if players are younger;
- Distribution of focus during the training, but mostly during the match, on various tasks and different internal and external inputs;
- Match stress: during the match the requests and the stakes are higher;
- Interfering of emotional factors (anxiety, irritability, excitement, etc.) on cognitive capability;
- A noisy environment creates discomfort.
The keyword is a key which opens the door of shared meanings. It is not important that a keyword makes sense, it’s important that it has a specific meaning for the team that uses it: pear, diamond, tree, square... whatever! All that matters is that players know exactly what it means. Sometimes, the stranger the word, the more effective it will be, because the kids have fun with it and are encouraged to use it.
Keywords must not have a shared meaning in the whole soccer world; if I use for example the word “pressing”, what I mean will be clear to my players, but also to the teammates whose will be favoured in this way because they will know what we’re going to do.
Explain a game plan during practice or a movement on the field, share its meaning and purpose and then summarize it all up into a single word; creating keywords results in speeding up the game, understanding what needs to be done quickly, accelerating choices, optimizing energies and cognitive load.
What about you? Did you create your keywords with your team? How long does it take to provide guidance during a game? How many words do you use? It's never too late to start...