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10.000 Touch Technical Training Sessions Are Stupid – Here’s Why

10.000 touch technical training sessions are stupid - here's why

Repetition-Based Technical Training – Quality VS Quantity

Repetition is the mother of learning.

That’s a nice quote you have most probably heard before that helps people understand that mastery requires work ethic.

But will repetition alone really help you reach the elite level of football?

Probably not.

Now, although this may be true to some extent, I’m certain that if you strictly follow the hustle & grind culture you will reach a dead-end at some point in your career.

And the reason behind that is that you are just chasing repetitions and numbers.

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I’m here to tell you that football success goes far beyond the number of touches you perform in a session. Quality repetition is the REAL mother of learning.

That’s the reason why we are into SMART rather than HARD work.

Let’s leave the chit-chat out for a bit though and weigh out all the pros and cons of repetition-based training.

Let’s face it, those drills and sessions are just tools.

I’m not telling you to let go of them completely. I’m just here to open your eyes and help you make better training decisions.

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The first point I’d like to touch upon is that whenever you prioritize quantity, quality “usually” has to suffer.

You see, repetitive technical drills many times sacrifice the quality of your actions because you’re chasing the reps, not the quality behind those reps.

And as you may already know, your brain stores movement information in the form of motor engrams.

Your neuromuscular system doesn’t know what movement is right and wrong. The movements you “feed” it with are the movements that get stored and used.

So more reps CAN equal a faster development process.

And what’s the problem with that, you may wanna ask. 

The real issue here has to do with low-quality repetition.

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If you keep repeating the same technical mistakes, that false technical movement pattern will become the new movement engrained.

And unfortunately, the possibility of repeating even slight technical errors during a repetition-focused drill is pretty big if you consider the large volume of repetitions.

In other words, the quality of your touches is equally if not more important for your development than the number of touches you perform on the ball.

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More is not always better and can even harm your development than do good!



Now the other reason I’m not a big fan of repetitive technical drills taking up the whole duration of the session is that they are limiting your creativity and exposure to a wide range of game stimuli, such as the pressure of time, space, and opponents.

You see, this game that you’re playing is unpredictable and chaotic.

Whenever you’re performing those repetitive drills, you get better at that exact, robotic, and pre-determined motor pattern.

Technique might be present but skill is DEFINITELY not there.

Both you and Toni Kroos might be able to pass the ball from point A to B with basic technique. However, it is skill that enables Kroos to make those line-breaking passes at the highest level while you’re struggling to do that at a lower level.

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And that leads me to the next point I wanted to touch upon which is one of the greatest mistakes I see many coaches making in the technical training field and that is that they’re not preparing players for the most important skill needed in football; problem-solving.

Problem-solving is a complex skill that goes well beyond technique. It also involves other parameters such as space, time, pressure, and tactical intelligence.

Instead of putting yourself entirely through repetitive drills, try creating drills that are specific to your needs and the most common game situations you get into.

Start using cognitive training methods and technologies; use space and time limitations; get yourself into game-like scenarios as often as possible.

Those training stimuli can literally 10X the results you get from the time and energy you invest into your training and I simply cannot understand why you’re ditching them.


And of course, the last reason we don’t stuff our entire technical training sessions with repetitive drills is that we want to minimize the risk of an overuse injury.

Repetitive actions can drastically increase the risk of an overuse injury.

And the last thing we want is to get you injured and demolish your availability and game-time.

Why You Should Do Repetitive-Based Technical Training

Now there are of course some instances where repetitive drills can and probably should be used.

For example, I think this type of training can be really beneficial for grassroots players, players rehabbing from an injury, or in the early stages of a training cycle.

In all cases, fundamental technical elements should be established first in a slow tempo and controlled environment. Then, repetitive drills can be used to engrain those right movement patterns in your technique or build back that resilience and get a feel for the ball.

Now in regards to the latter, repetitive drills can also be utilized at the start of a session or the day before a game to boost the players’ confidence levels and sharpen up their touches.

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So guys, am I saying that you should completely avoid this type of technical training and that you won’t get better using them?

No, not at all.

I’m just suggesting that there are smarter ways to structure your work and get a higher return on the energy and time you invest in your training. This does NOT mean you can’t or shouldn’t use repetitive drills in your training.

Every exercise and method is just a tool.

If you know the principles, aka how to use those tools, then you can use them effectively.

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