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#71035 - 07/11/10 11:11 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1690
Let’s examine what it takes to be the perfect artist. You need a paint brush. If it takes two weeks to design and construct the ideal paint brush but only one to design and build two 80% perfect brushes, should you create one perfect one, or two good ones?

To play at the highest level you need to paint to the highest level. Painting is a metaphor for technical skill. Honing shooting skills to the highest level is akin to the process of designing and constructing the ideal paint brush. The degree of time you spend developing two average paint brushes, instead of one perfect one, is the degree to which your altitude and achievement in creative painting will be limited. If you spend significant time developing a wonderful paint brush and learn how to wield your paint brush expertly you will be capable of phenomenal technical precision. You will maximize the chance of fulfilling your potential and optimize your chances of widening the skill gap between you and those who diluted their potential with a split focus, i.e. those who created two average paint brushes.

But you say “soccer is a team game”! It is! So is life! In all of life’s challenging and rewarding pursuits the experts are those who first developed the margin of greatness through intense application and perseverance via the discomfort zone (the comfort zone is the danger zone). Developing greatness in soccer as in life involves a high degree of mental and physical dedication. It involves immersion in and perseverance through a number of essential stages.

1. Igniting the passion.
2. Designing and making the best paintbrush (technical brilliance).
3. Testing the quality of the art and comparing one’s painting to another’s work.
4. Exposing your individual work for public examination.
5. Combining with others to produce a team exhibition.
6. Exposing your team work for public examination.
6. Continually refining your work based upon feedback from opposition, team mates and spectators.
7. A lifelong quest for perfection that combines the best elements of technical precision, creative intuition and leadership.

Optimal learning, teaching and coaching methods generally follow this intense, challenging and incredibly rewarding, path!

smile Andy

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#71043 - 07/11/10 05:53 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
Kaka Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/21/07
Posts: 2316
This is good stuff Andy. But I still think too long. Get the book "Sh&% my Dad Says". It's on the bestseller list. Read that book on your smartphone with the kindle app. That is how people are going to communicate in the future. The book is about some guy that started twittering stuff his Dad said.

If you want to grow the Andy Barney empire, you are going to have to branch out. I mean some of us will read these long vignettes you write, but you want to get to the masses. Don't let that million page views go to your head.

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#71050 - 07/11/10 11:33 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: Kaka]
UKsource Offline
stranger

Registered: 06/25/10
Posts: 2
Originally Posted By: Kaka
This is good stuff Andy. But I still think too long. Get the book "Sh&% my Dad Says". It's on the bestseller list. Read that book on your smartphone with the kindle app. That is how people are going to communicate in the future. The book is about some guy that started twittering stuff his Dad said.

If you want to grow the Andy Barney empire, you are going to have to branch out. I mean some of us will read these long vignettes you write, but you want to get to the masses. Don't let that million page views go to your head.


That poor guys wife, how the heck has she put up with his insufferable blithering all these years?

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#71074 - 07/12/10 10:48 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: UKsource]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1690
Over the past few years I have spent some time wrestling with the topic of two footedness topic. Because of my previous bias towards two footed training I kept analyzing this controversial topic from a desire to prove that my whole shooting and passing life in soccer to that point hadn't been 50% wasted. I was trying to find reasons why two footedness was necessary and examples (situations) where had a player been proficient with the weak foot they would have done better (As with Robben's failure in the 1 v 1 against Spain in World Cup 2010).

It wasn't until I evaluated the premise from which my analysis was based that I could look at situations objectively.

Here's what I did that I feel was the epiphany in my ability to see things differently. It's so simple that anyone can do it if they stop and think about what they are doing. What I did was take a time out to analyze how I was looking at the situation (not the situation itself) and asked myself if I was questioning and theorizing from an emotional or a rational perspective. When I did this I was able to see and understand if my perspective was a result of my lifetime paradigm (from the heart) or whether it was actually logical (from the head).

The key question from the Holland vs Spain final is; what would Robben have given up had he spent half his soccer life working on his weaker foot? My guess is that had he not specialized on his left foot throughout his career he wouldn't have been playing yesterday. By spending half his time on his weakness he would’ve sacrificed the "Margin of Greatness" (as Anson Dorrance loves to put it) on his strong foot.

The ability to separate the emotional from the rational and see both the benefits and the costs in every situation is what will most determine your ability in the crucial areas of life and soccer. The list of great players who were mostly one footed is far more extensive than the list of great players who were significantly two footed. Pele and Zidane were perhaps the most two footed players ever (about 60/40 as a total percentage) but you still wouldn't catch them taking a PK, free kick, bicycling, “hatting” an opponent, or any of the other really difficult techniques, with their weak foot.

While I was changing my perspective on this issue, (which only occurred in the two years before publishing my book), I watched hundreds of hours of highlights and asked myself the key question on every weak and strong footed miss or finish. That question was, "what would the likely percentage of success have been if the weak footed misses and successes had been replaced with shot by the strong foot or a fake with the weak foot and and switch to the strong foot?" I then watched hundreds of blooper misses (easy to find on youtube) and asked myself the same question. My conclusion was that the relative chance of success will always, as a percentage, be far greater if, given the current level of the weak and strong footed ability of the player in each clip, that player had switched the ball to his stronger foot before shooting. From this conclusion it is only a small logical step to realize that had many of these players focused on developing both feet during their youth career they would have failed to maximize their "margin of greatness" and as an adult would’ve been less likely to enjoy success in clutch dribbling and finishing situations.

Some have observed that players who are one footed are predictable. I analyzed this premise in depth. The evidence led me to believe that while defenders may have known which foot Diego Maradona was going to use, they had no idea of how he was going to use it and which way he was going to go. For such a one footed player Diego Maradona was virtually unstoppable, (witness the goal he scored against England in 1986). The margin of greatness he demonstrated on his left foot made him the world’s best ever intuitive dribbler. Would Robben have reached the level he has if he were less capable on his left and more capable on his right? I think not. This shows the vital importance of evaluating the costs of one's actions as well as the benefits. Had Robben spent half his career developing his right foot he wouldn't have the great left that got him where he is.

The ‘Margin of Goodness” versus the “Margin of Greatness”.

It is relatively easy to be good but extremely difficult to be great. Those who are great are specialists who have dedicated inordinate time and attention to developing a critical degree of expertise in their chosen passion, career or choice.

This is the crux of the disagreement between advocates of two footedness and my position that training one exceptional foot is far more beneficial and defining than training one good foot and one average one. For those who believe that it is possible to train two great feet I have bad news…it isn’t! The “Jack of All Trades Master of None” principle applies to everything one does in life. The benefits that are gained from time spent in one area are always offset by the cost to the areas that are sacrificed while the other benefit is being acquired.

However, the body is a weird and wonderful organism. In one of the wonderful cross training benefits of human nature you will learn abilities with both limbs even while specializing completely in training only one. Research and testing has shown that the body develops a degree of mirroring ability in the non exercised limb as the other limb becomes proficient. This “mirroring” is only partially as good as the skill developed by the intensely trained limb but bestows a lesser degree of technical skill to the leg and foot, (or arm and hand), that isn’t being specifically trained. This cross over benefit means that soccer players who never use their weak foot to dribble or shoot will have a reasonable degree of proficiency with that foot should they ever choose to do so. Anyone who doubts the veracity of this premise need only attempt to write with the weak hand to realize that, with no practice at all, one can immediately create a legible signature. Isn’t the human body a wonderful thing!!

smile Andy

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#71094 - 07/12/10 01:45 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
Jo King Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Kansas City
yo andy,

I agree with you on this one!


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#71191 - 07/14/10 02:50 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
TheWorldsGame Offline
member

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 134
Loc: Midwest
I was doubtful at first about your giving up the position of equal training to the weaker foot. It got me thinking about switch hitters in baseball. A quick Google of 'best switch hitters' revealed some impressive names: Mickey Mantle, Pete Rose, Bernie Williams, Eddie Murray and a few others lesser known presented themselves. An impressive Hall of Fame list, but not the extensive list of best hitters ever I would have guessed. Missing were Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Cal Ripkin Jr, Willie Mays, Tony Gwynn, Albert Pujols, etc... All of these heavyweights focused on one stronger side of the plate.

The point is this: there are truly some greats who can play right and left sides of the ball or the plate; but a far bigger list would include those who have specialized from one side of the ball or plate.

With this in mind, I feel too proud to change my long standing mantra to my 10 year old son of "train both feet". To switch it up and now say "focus on your stronger right foot" would have me look like a hypocrite or fool! A father has to remain on the son's pedestal. smile
_________________________
Be Excellent.

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#71192 - 07/14/10 03:02 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: Kaka]
TheWorldsGame Offline
member

Registered: 07/14/10
Posts: 134
Loc: Midwest
Andy - My son attended a Legends tryout this season for the first time ever and it went well. He now is a part of the Legends family.

At one of the tryouts, you were kind enough to speak to the parents en mass about the tenets of your club and coaching philosophy. I've played and/or coached for 30 years now and you provided me many things to reconsider. I now agree with much of what you said.

What I didn't agree with was the length of your impromptu talk. You went on for over an hour about your ideas and accomplishments. I'm in sales and we learned early on that when you see that glazed look in your audience's eyes you've gone on too long. Talking isn't selling. Listening is selling.

You've got great ideas in your head. In casual situations like I describe above, work on paring them down to about 10 minutes. Trust me when I say you'll interest more people with a focused burst. Further, it leaves people with time to feel comfortable with asking questions afterwards.

Much Continued Success.
_________________________
Be Excellent.

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#71203 - 07/14/10 10:23 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
brazilfan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1400
Loc: Citizen of the World
Originally Posted By: AndyBarney
(As with Robben's failure in the 1 v 1 against Spain in World Cup 2010).

The key question from the Holland vs Spain final is; what would Robben have given up had he spent half his soccer life working on his weaker foot? My guess is that had he not specialized on his left foot throughout his career he wouldn't have been playing yesterday.

smile Andy



Robben is a loser. If he would spend more time practicing shooting than flopping around faking, maybe he would have done better.

He had two clear-cut breakaways. You can't miss those in a World Cup Final! You have only one or two chances in a game of that magnitude. You can't miss.

A world-class striker like Romario, Ronaldo, or Klose would not have missed those.

Here's the way to score on a breakaway: Ronaldo vs Ghana WC 2006

All he had to do was chip it over the goalkeeper and it's in. Simple.

Here's the way to do it and here's the master to teach you how to do it:
The Master

That's how a world-class scorer does it.
It's not a left or right issue. A world-class scorer knows how to score, no matter what the foot, no matter what the situation.

whistle

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#71209 - 07/15/10 06:57 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: brazilfan]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1690
“When analytic thought, the knife, is applied to experience, something is always killed in the process”
Robert M Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

What dies is creativity. When analysis and thought define the methods of team attack a rigidity of tactics takes over from creative improvisation. Predetermined methods override intuition and the element of surprise diminishes. At a high level of play the loss of creativity, improvisation and intuition is fatal because defenders rarely make mistakes. Great players have to be taught an intuitive sense of what will work in a wide variety of offensive circumstances, plus the deceptive dribbling and ball striking expertise necessary to capitalize on the best option. This option is more often than not the least predictable to defenders and involves the highest degree of technical difficulty.

The arena of tactics is perhaps best understood if broken down into two fundamental parts. These are 1) the predetermined and 2) the instantaneous intuitive. The coaching mistake to avoid is training attacking players from a predetermined perspective when it is the instantaneous intuitive that will reap the greatest harvest. The predetermined tactical view point is where analytic thought is applied to experience to solve a variety of problems that are always original. As you progress to higher levels of play the predetermined offensive tactical approach becomes ever less viable. Successful solutions to unique problems are usually more creative and original than the problem. In soccer no two offensive problems can ever be identical twins. Each and every attack is different from anything that has gone before. The differences may be very subtle and minimal however, they will be real and new. While each attack will have similarities to previous ones, the menu of choices is always changing. At the higher level of play the menu changes quickly and decisions have to be made faster. At the very top of the most dangerous mountain under adverse weather conditions there is no time to reflect and analyze because each action can be a “life or death” decision and every moment is crucial. In the penalty area in the final of the World Cup there is no time to consider options carefully. Time and space are so restricted that the correct response must be a rocket fast, “knee jerk” reaction. This type of reaction has to be trained but such training cannot be of a traditional tactical nature. It has to involve exposure to and immersion in, a wide variety of creative, intuitive, deceptive and unpredictable solutions under anarchistic or chaotic circumstances. The crowded penalty area in a World Cup final has similarities to some of life’s other high other pressure environments. The Stock Exchange, a Gordon Ramsey kitchen at prime time on a Friday evening, Grand Central Station in rush hour when one is late for work…all share similarities with the crowded penalty area. Without a combination of great technical skill, experience under great pressure, adaptability and creativity the stockbroker, Friday night chef or Grand Central Station traveler on a very tight deadline, is doomed to experience some degree of failure.

The Legends method of preparing players involves constant exposure to the ragged edge of creative chaos. Our players are taught to intuitively conquer sequential escalations in clutch deceptive dribbling and finishing situations. This process transitions through four essential stages. 1) Learning the most creative deceptive dribbling and finishing techniques to strict tolerances. 2) Conquering 1 v 1 tactics under pressure in a crowd 3) Combining with a variety of team mates in highly pressured and chaotic 2 v 2 match ups. 4) Integrating great technical skill, 1 v 1 and 2 v 2 clutch play into a clutch tactical framework that integrates all three previous stages and components in the most demanding instantaneous and intuitive practice scenario imaginable.

By training children in this way we maximize their genetic potential for soccer but, more importantly, optimize their brave, creative leadership potential in life.

smile Andy

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#71210 - 07/15/10 07:01 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: TheWorldsGame]
AndyBarney Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1690
TheWorldsGame

Sorry about that. I know that I go on too long on many occasions. I will do my best to heed and apply your advice in future situations.

Thanks,

smile Andy

PS: If it was only an hour you were one of the lucky ones! smile

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