This Monday, GPS staff traveled to Union Point Sports Complex in Weymouth to participate in the opening Professional Development session of 2018.
Technical Director Mark Spalding and Tristan Thomas led the sessions for the day, all with a focus on progressive possession.
Staff split into two groups, with Mark Spalding taking one to work on the Early Development League curriculum while Tristan led drills working on the possessional structure of our older groups.
The group with Mark began with a 2v2 scenario before transitioning into drills specific to technical dribbling and passing before ending the session with a larger 4v4 game.
This session was underlined by the application of the whole-part-whole method, where a technique or skill is practiced in full then broken down into individual parts to be practiced before being reassembled and practiced whole again.
Tristan’s session opened with a 2v2 plus 2 active transition possession activity in order to get players working in a diamond shape. This is similar to a traditional rondo but is a bit more intense due to the movement inside the area partnered with the transitional element.
He then transitioned into a larger 12 player possession activity with a single goal in the center. This presented players with an unfamiliar environment that he allowed them to work out and solve how to score on their own, only providing little tips in the end.
Following the drill he brought the coaches together to explain how the activity replicates the shape of the 4-1-4-1 formation that is used. Tristan then ran a 6v6 unrestricted game where Tristan encouraged the players to apply what they had learned in the previous drill.
During the 6v6 Tristan would add players incrementally, to show how the unrestricted game can be used at the end of practice sessions regardless of whether you have 12, 13, 14 or even 15 players.
“It was really great to be back out on the field,” said Tristan post session. “I hope all the coaches took something from the event. Here at GPS we strive to prepare our coaches to deliver challenging and age appropriate sessions for all of our players.”
GPS staff engages in Professional Development on a weekly basis with all the 2 hour sessions being led by fellow GPS staff. The goal of these sessions is to further develop as a group, ensuring that all are in line with and are adhering to the club’s vision, in order to provide an elite setting from which to develop players in.
Our next professional development session will be next Monday, March 26th, where the session will be led by Peter Bradley and Rohit Gautam.