Translating the model into training

The game model suggests how we want to solve the game problems.

But, when it comes to the games, the players aren’t always able to take the opportunities, despite “knowing” what to do.

For example, sometimes the team succeeds in creating an overlap. They recognise this as an opportunity to score.

They will know the running lines that will hold opposition defenders and keep the space on the outside as they pass the ball through the hands. Yet, sometimes, players hold the ball too long, or pass too early and the opportunity is missed.

To perfect the interactions between the players, they need a great deal of repetition in this situation.

But, how does this translate into a training session?

The players often ask:

But are the players right? And what should coach Vince do?

Vince calls up his mentor Mason again and asks him what to do next.

You need to make training more efficient.
Does that mean we need to train harder?
Well, it might mean that, but it really means training smarter.
Align training to our game model. I got that, but it seems such a massive task.
It is and it isn’t. You have an hour and half on Wednesday. Let’s concentrate on making that smarter. Let’s do this piece by piece.

Where Vince was going wrong:

  1. He tried to cover too much in each session.
  2. He was unrealistic with what he and the team could achieve.
  3. He probably didn’t get the right buy in from his players.

Mason reminds him:

  1. Finding a shared understanding takes time.
  2. Practice time provides repetition for situations that make a difference.
Start with an end in mind, which is a vision
Like being able to attack wide from quick ruck ball, but holding defenders as we are passing.
Yes, that’s the part of the “end”. But what is the performance problem? Then we can find a solution

Performance problems arise in game moments. How we implement the principles of play in those moments creates performance problems:

Here they are in attack and in defence:


Drs. Elizabeth and Robert Bjork gives these definitions:
Performance – what we can observe and measure during instruction or training.
Learning – more or less permanent change in knowledge or understanding that is the target of instruction.

The current Motley Crew performance suggests that players can recognise and communicate opportunities to penetrate, but not exploit them. Therefore, this is then logically highlighted as a priority in training over the next block of time.

But a good perceived training performance doesn’t lead to learning and therefore good match performance.

The problem is that Vince and the players expect errorless training environments. Being successful is comparable with being error free.

However, this implies two things:

  1. If they are not making errors in training but are frequently making errors in competition, there is a misalignment between the representative nature of the task being presented in training.
  2. Learning may not be taking place, as error free implies comfort and rehearsal of the already known and developed. Learning often looks messy.
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