Drills & Skills – Finding a Balance

I posted this yesterday on twitter:

“Simple choice with complex implications: You can do drills or you can train skills. If you want to get better at your sport train skills. Don’t forget drills do not equal skills.”

This needs a bit of elaboration; it is not an either or proposition, there is a place for drills if they are used properly. To often I see practices and training sessions that are essentially a drill-a-rama, an endless collection of drills with no progression and no connection to the actual sport skill. It is incumbent on each coach to develop a system that works in his or her sport. Meaningful drills that transfer to the sport are part of a good system of training. Care must be taken that the drill does not become an end unto itself. The drills must have a clear context and connection the desired sport skill. The same is true for technical and tactical drills; they must connect to a bigger whole.

Related Content: Nick and Martin discuss the role of drills in training on the HMMR Podcast.

Criteria for effective drills:

  • The drill should have a clear purpose and goal.
  • The drill should be precise and exact.
  • Drills should be individually prescribed to address a specific technical problem for that individual or a tactical issue for a team.
  • In selecting a drill the focus on the absolute need to do not on the nice to do.
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