Cape Town - Ted
Dumitru insists that the continuing existence of the eleven-a-side game at
youth level is harmful for player development and has begged coaches to use
more small games in training.
who now focuses on youth development after a long career coaching at the
highest level of South African football, insists that talent is wasted by
coaches who use big games and static drills in training.
would never expect that eleven-a-side at under-10 level would exist in South
Africa but it continues to be,” Dumitru tells Sport24.
African footballers are widely recognised to be highly talented but lacking in
‘football intelligence’ (i.e. decision making), and Dumitru suggests that the
use of smaller games in training at all age-group levels is the way to change
top of technical and physical aspects, the small game brings a key factor which
is decision making.
smaller the space, the more touches, the quicker the movement and the faster
the process of decision making.
of that the small game becomes the ideal tool to develop the football brain,
that is why FIFA is so happy to see countries who are still encouraging street
of the small situation, no space and no time, the brain has to find quick
is a lot of damage done by rigid, conservative coaching who continue to use big
games and static exercises to coach youth players.”
suggests that the “static exercises”, such as dribbling through cones or the extensive
repetition of one skill, create a false sense of balance and understanding that
is exposed in a real game.