I think that the main target of every coach in every sport is to bring players to express theyr full potential in game, make theyr perfomace stable along the season, always near to the maximum potential. But why this is the hardest part and which are the factors that influence the perfomance of a player?

During my years as coach i have thought a lot about that and exchange ideas with other coaches or player, on how to solve the problems. I believe that this formula resumes in details what influence the perfomance


PE= Performance.   PO=Potential DM=Decision Making

Let's analize the 2 components of the formula.

Potential: is the skill level of a player. is something that can be improved during the career, with training, experience. There is another formula to explain how players develop their potential/talent, and why players with less habilities become better than players with more talent. If you are interested in that, mail me and I will send you all informations

Decision Making: are the choices that every player do in every single moment of the game.

Now before the beginning of a match, the potential of player doesn't change, what can change are the decision making. The decision making can be influenced by many elements: stress, tiredness, un-experience, not correct body orientation, lack of concentration, lack of motivation, over motivation, external factors (referees, spactators, opponents, field.....) and game understanding.  So the variable part of the formula is the decision making; in my personal scale of evaluation the decision making can variate between 0.5 - 1.2 (1.2 instead of 1, because when our player is very motivated, very activated, is able to perform even better than of own full potential)

Now let's make a numerical example to make everything even clearer. Our hypotetical player has potential 6 (in a scale between 1 & 10) so our target as coaches is to make the player perform to 6 or nearer to 6. now if we replace numbers to our formula the perfomance can variate between:

PE= 6x0.5 = 3 or PE 6x1.2=7,2.   Our player is still the same but the perfomance can variate a lot.

All the consideration exposed before influence a lot my way of training and when i can the choose of player.

1. Training certain situation in condition of Stress and Tiredness

2. During the regular season, leave players in the field, after a big mistake or in 'hard' situation to make them comfortable with stress and to see how can manage themselves

3. Consider the error as a friend, as long as not repeat same error and learn from error.

4. Prefer or choose player tactically developed, with good understanding of game or especially with good 'learning habilities'

5. Develop the player authonomy in decision making, and train as much more game situation as possibile, in order to give players the tools to solve game situations. And because decision making in game happen in a micro second, and brain of player after recognized the situation goes for looking solutions that are already in the brain.... is important give many options to players and make them aware of why and what for are doing that.

6. The control: remind players that their perfomance is fully under their control and that is the ONLY thing they can control. Focusing on opponets, spectators, referees, quality of the pitch.... is just  a waist of energy. To external factors players can only adjust themselves, but cannot influence them.

Contact me if you need more info or for any comment




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