“Keep your eyes on the ball”, a sentence all soccer players have heard a hundred times and a well-known rule in many ball sports, but “keeping your eyes on the ball” also means “to give your attention to what you are doing at that time” ! Players need to continue moving “without the ball”, meaning they have to be proactive in the game.
If you want to understand your players better, try to see their game completely different this time. Try to watch the game and ERASE the ball, all you got left are the players moving. I know it is a little awkward at first, imagine you see the game on television without seeing the ball moving, where are you going to put your attention to ?
Here is your chance to watch them and see them think, move, act and react, you can easily see if their body is tensed, how the expression is on their face, you can see if they are concentrated or distracted, or “in the zone”, you can easily view frustration growing into tension, growing into increased chances of injury, you start predicting and seeing when it will happen !
We always focus on the game and explain the play according to what we see on the field, but we often forget what is going on inside the player !
As within so without, as above so below : it is always translated & transferred to the field. The ball may be on the field, but the game is always IN the player.
Phuro! Be inspired!