Things have to change.

Soccer players must take charge of their training. They must own it. They must walk onto the pitch with a plan in mind – one they’ve made themselves, one that is self-driven, and one that they can keenly reflect upon at the end of the training session.

Too many soccer players train passively. They let their coaches take charge of their development. They train for training sakes. They think just because they’ve turned up they’re going to get better.

Nothing could be further from the truth. To improve in soccer you have to practice on purpose. You have to train with intention.

This neatly introduces my Intentional Training Model. It’s a model for players to learn how to learn and how to develop skill.

Intentional training consists of four main components – interesting, intense, internalised and integrated.

In short, players need to make training interesting for themselves – it must absorb their focus. To do this they have to set stretch goals for themselves. Training must also be intense – not just physically intense must mentally too. Training must be internalised – as in players must self-reflect as they practice their game. And finally, training must integrated with feedback from their coaches.

Intentional training is interesting, intense, internalised and integrated.

The model is underpinned by four theories of learning, thinking and being – self-determination, system one/two thinking, flow and deliberate practice.

Over the coming weeks I’m going to talk more about this model for players – I’m going to bring it alive for you. I’ll also discuss the theories that underpin the model.

Of course to really learn about the model in the coming months I’ll be adding videos to my Soccer Academy that brings it alive.