Everybody wants that creative midfielder – someone with the ability to change a game with a moment of brilliance, a footballing magician.
We think of Pirlo spraying passes and creating chances; rewatch scholes with a vision that most can dream of. So how can we help to create those characteristics?
Well we know that the ability to see those special passes comes from a combination of trained movements and skills (pattern play and repetition as a collective group) and random game play (SSG’s and unpredictable game realistic practices.
Below are 4 things to consider in your practices to help to create a clever CM:
1 – allow for opportunities to play in game realistic sessions. This may be in the form of conditioned games and SSG’s. It can also come in the form of phases of play and prolonged functions.
2 – condition and constrain specific outcomes. Want your wide players to ,are diagonal runs with the CM playing a straight pass to break lines? Then cut the corners off the pitch and enforce/encourage the type of run you want (take it away as a progression and check their learning).
3 – sometimes, set a boundary and then observe. This does not mean facilitate and not coach… it means set set a challenge within your session aim, set timers and have game periods. Coach in between game periods (but step in during games if needed).
4 – create an encouraging environment and culture that is open, yet challenging at all levels of the game.
There are many ways to create clever players, and there are even more opinions on the topic but if you are to take one thing from it, don’t coach the creativity out of a player, embrace it.