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Perception - Decision - Execution

🎥 What does the decision-making process in football look like? How do we need to interpret it, and what can we do to improve it?

📝 The natural process of decision-making in sports mainly consists of:

🧩 Perceiving your environment (position on the field, ball, opponents, teammates)

🧩 Deciding on the action that you will perform when the ball comes to you (game-insight or tactical awareness)

🧩 Execution of such action motorically (technical ability)

🧑‍🏫 In reality, football is played at such a high speed that our brains are wired to go directly from perception to execution or have a limited amount of time to decide. We must bind and compress the decision-making process together and not separate it into three different parts. This is crucial when it comes to designing training exercises.

Our training exercises have to simulate game scenarios in order for the players to create automatic playing patterns that they can recognize during match play. They must also be carried out at the same (or near) intensity as they would in competition. Playing is one thing, but playing in "stressful" situations is another. The players decision-making process greatly improves when you create such an environment in the training sessions that forces the players to think, and think more frequently.

The higher the level, the less time you have to decide and the more frequently you will be demanded to perceive and execute. Top players constantly perceive their surroundings, better evaluate the different options and choose the best decision. Finally, they execute with accuracy the required technical action.

"Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right time, to the correct foot of your teammate." - Johan Cruyff

Guillermo Hamdan Zaragoza


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