A guidance through best practice

Our number 1 priority at Franklin United is to provide the best pathways and opportunities for our Franklin community.  However, when considering the hot topic of improvement or striving to be the best you can be, it’s important to not to preference quantity over quality:  I need to have my child signed up to this; they should be playing at this level; or they need to achieve the 10,000 Hour Rule (a very good read by the way, by Malcolm Gladwell).

It’s not what it all seems to be!  Deliberate practice – it’s good in the right quantity but only when it goes hand in hand with the best quality.  James Clear (https://jamesclear.com/deliberate-practice-theory) gives us an understanding of the difference between deliberate practice and regular practice:

” Deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic.  While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.”

In terms of how this is relevant to Franklin United, Pukekohe AFC, Drury UFC and Tuakau FC, we as clubs provide a purposeful practice where we, require focus for individuals and teams.  Regular practice is an individual having a kick around at home, brothers and sisters scoring goals in the backyard or my personal favourite: Jumpers for Goalposts!  So practice, practice, practice is key for development, but an overload in deliberate practice can create burnout.

Burnout isn’t just physical, its mental as well.  I have personally been through burnout, which happened from when I was 15-19 years old.  7 days a week training was a regular occurrence through this 4 year period, and all of it deliberate practice.  I fell out of love with game as a player and only rekindled this once I started coaching.  And if you ever get to close me (and I do shower), you will hear my knees constantly clicking.  Retiring from playing full time at the age of 21 was not my ambition.

Here are the recommendations from New Zealand football for deliberate practice:

9-12 year olds – 3 trainings and 1 game a week

13-17 year olds – 4 trainings and 1 game a week

OUR intentions are for the best of the players.  More practice is good, but think first: is it deliberate (organised) practice or regular (unorganised) practice?  The recommendations from New Zealand Football are what WE objectively believe in.