John Morrison says in his column this week that the best players make the basic skills their own.
He says that the really great players master all the necessary skills of game to the point where they adopt their own style. For example, there’s the Gooch’s reverse solo, Sean Cavanagh’s Solo dummy and Peter Canavan’s rotation kick.
Morrison says that coaches must make sure that players not only master the skills, but also understand what their strengths and weaknesses are and utilise them accordingly.
He says that their motivation must overcome their constraints.
“The more motivated a player is to be the best that they can be as they develop into a top player, the more they’ll be able to overcome the constraints that they face along the way (changes in height and weight, your strength to overcome physical fatigue or negative feelings).
“Coaches must help their players cope with their constraints as well as nuturing their motivation. Be a guide on the side. Do not tell them what to do, rather encourage to deal with their own management and learning issues.
“Coaches should engage players as they mature to avoid pracitsing in isolation. If you coach technique as a skill then the skill won’t collapse when the player is under pressure during a game, or if they are tired.
“As players develop, performance practice is best.”
Morrison goes on to give six more pieces of advice to help develop player skills.
Read the full column in the current issue of Gaelic Life.