Train and improve anticipation

Good anticipation enables footballers to recognize movements and events before they happen. Especially in unexpected game situations with little time, players with good anticipation skills have an advantage!

Experienced players have a clear advantage over inexperienced players and can recognize more quickly how an opponent is behaving and are better able to anticipate deceptions and feints. Here they use more effective gaze behavior by concentrating on a few points in their environment for longer (e.g. the standing leg) in order to recognize their intentions to act.

How can I train anticipation?

Anticipation performance can be improved through training. Especially in children's football, the aim here is to improve this cognitive ability purely through the tasks of the training form and not through instructions. An instruction, for example to pay attention to the shooter's standing leg when taking a penalty, has the disadvantage that it slows down the behavior of players because they first think about “correct anticipation”. This will initiate the keeper's reactions later. However, if the ability to anticipate is addressed “naturally” in special forms of training, it promotes the development of the players!

A sample exercise for your training:

The exercise “Piggy Game” shows an example to train anticipation. The two players in the yellow zones try to pass the ball to each other and the player on the blue line tries to intercept these passes. However, the player in the middle is only allowed to look at the player who has the ball and must therefore carefully observe the passer's gaze and try to anticipate which side the pass will take. The goal of the middle player is to play as many passes as possible within 60 seconds. The exercise is of course also possible with more players. Small game forms (e.g. FUNINO) are also suitable in the same designs and variations to train anticipation.

In RESWITCH training, anticipation is also trained and improved through constantly changing teams and new situations. Players with good anticipation skills, for example, recognize more quickly where the player in possession of the ball could play/dribble after the switch and where his teammates and opponents are standing and what his next action is based on this.

Author: Jonas Kumpan

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