RLCM Book Extract - With Craig Wilson "......depending on your level, you have to make the specific factors understood and adapt them into your preparation," says Wilson. "Most of your time is spent together at training, so that is the number one place where you should make changes.
"To me the most important thing of all is to make training competitive. Because, no matter what the age group, it's the competitiveness which keeps bringing them back.
"You think of the pub footballer who might only turn up for a light jog at training now and then, but he is there every Saturday for the game. Why is that? Because he wants to compete and be challenged. Why not incorporate that into your weekly sessions, so everyone looks forward to them?"
RLCM has over the years published many competitive game simulation drills which can be utilised for a multitude of results. As well as the competitive edge, the games are also designed for skill enhancement, developing teamwork and, in many cases, for physical conditioning.
"How good is that? You make them play games and they achieve fitness as they go," says Wilson.
"A favourite of mine came about because I was sick of seeing everyone practising goal kicks before training. Let's face it, you have one or two goal-kickers in each side, so it's a waste of time and risk of possible injury for everyone to do it.
"So why not instead have them gripping a ball from above and trying to spin it around and juggle it without losing it? Then if they can do that, make them do it with two balls. The next progression is to allow them to hit it out of each others' hands.......
"That way they learn to play for the ball or protect it and suddenly everyone is competitive. In terms of relation to the game, it's developing a much more vital skill."
In sticking with the theme of adaptability and flexibility, Wilson has another golden piece of advice - "Know what your players do from Monday to Friday".
How can you expect to get the best out of somebody if you don't know what drives them or what adversities they face?
Every team member has a different schedule and differing circumstance which may impact upon their performance and the type of preparation or prodding they require.
"Aside from being personable and showing the sign of a good man manager, knowing what your players are up to is useful in a number of ways," relays Wilson.