Dirk van den Berg - Oct. 24th 2018

Maybe she's born with it? No, she fought for it....

"While genetics influence performance, they do not determine performance. Do not confuse destiny with opportunity. Genes provide opportunity. They do not determine our destiny." [James Clear]

Deliberate Practice is a concept that focuses on truly improving performance, whilst other forms of practice only tap into mindless repetition. During deliberate practice, players will be forced to pay very close attention to their exact movements and technique. "Too often, we assume we are getting better, simply because we are gaining experience. In reality, we are merely reinforcing our current habits—not improving them." [James Clear]

In this blog, you will learn about how you can implement deliberate practice to your training sessions, and how you can get the most of using data to improve your players. Stay tuned for our upcoming blogs, that will give you tangible exercises and strategies that can take your team to the top!

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Deliberate Practice: The Breakdown

Deliberate practice is a way to teach your players to be more aware of their technique. After years and years of performing the same tasks, these movements become mindless actions solely based on muscle memory. That’s the dangerous part of practice; that it is not deliberate. The players will begin to overlook small errors and miss opportunities for improvement.

Implement these four things in your coaching sessions:

  1. Break the overall process down into parts - For example with shooting you have: aiming/ power of kick/ angle of foot..etc
  2. Identify the weaknesses- Understand where in the process the weakness lies and focus on improving upon it. For this, our App works wonders in helping you understand what weaknesses your players have. The Dash records based on these stats (Pace, Power, Intensity, Endurance and Overall), which can be effortlessly accessed after every session. Once the Dash is turned on, it records all the movements made by the player and relays that information into easy to understand stats. As a coach, you receive the performance overview of your entire team. This gives you an understanding of each individual player, as well as the team as a whole.
  3. Test new strategies for each section- After creating an overview of your teams/individual player’s needs, you can create a specific training schedule for them. Find a FREE PDF full of Small Sided Games created by ‘LA Galaxy’, this can give you inspiration for deciding on what type of drills to implement.
  4. Integrate learnings to your coaching strategy, last but not least focus on the things that work for you and your players.

Deliberate practice requires an extremely detail-oriented person to evaluate the issues at hand and act upon them. Without technology, this would of course be almost impossible to recreate for a team as a whole. This is why, our innovation -‘The Dash’- can be your eyes and ears on the field. It’s the perfect way to capture the details of each player, in order to create unique practice sessions that can target their specific needs.

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The app with: the DashStats, the powerline & highlights. After each session, players will have access to this data. As a coach, you will be given an overview of your entire team.

The perfect marriage: Deliberate Practice & Data

Designing training sessions without data is like driving without knowing the directions.

Therefore, having access to objective data and cold-hard facts about your players is necessary. In my previous article, you can read more about the importance of data, and how it can change your team.

By using data, implementing a deliberate practice strategy can be as simple as analyzing your players stats and focusing on one weakness within (Pace, Power, Intensity, Endurance). For an entire practice session, choose drills that focus on improving whichever stat you want to hone in on. After completing the session, you will have an overview in real-time. The overview will display the effectiveness of your deliberate practice strategy and do so, right at your fingertips. It’s made easy for you with the ‘Dash’.

When you tie in ‘deliberate practice’ with ‘data’, the marriage of the two will improve your players performance and increase motivation levels within your team. Data can bring in an entirely new perspective of soccer that you didn’t have the opportunity to see before.

Que “I Can See Clearly Now”....

Become data driven, never miss a beat

Data enables you to have ‘all eyes’ on every player, it increases efficiency and allows you to make the right decisions at all time.


Key takeaways from this blog, in 3 bullet points.

  1. With Deliberate Practice, players will be forced to pay very close attention to their exact movements & technique. Creating a more mindful way to look at how they play.
  2. The Process of Deliberate Practice is:
    1. Break down the process into simple, easy to understand parts
    2. Identify the weaknesses
    3. Create drills tailored to those weaknesses
    4. Implement to your coaching strategy
  3. With the use of data, deliberate practice can be made simple

If you’re interested in seeing what the DashTag can do for your team’s performance, please sign up here for our 30 day trial period!

Up next on our blog, learn about the newest innovative training programs that are easy to implement in your training sessions!