In my book Soccer Brain I recommend players adopt a technique I call BAM. BAM is an acronym for Body Action Move.
This idea is designed to help players compete with greater consistency – to rid themselves of the plague of inconsistency – the ultimate frustration for every coach at any level of the game.
Football will always be played with fluctuation. That is the way humans work, that is the way the nervous system is designed. Mood can flip in the moment. Motivation can rise and fall daily. The brain and body sometimes feel anti-zone, anti high performance. Sometimes feeling great as you walk out onto the pitch hard!
But the gap between best and worst performances can be lessened. It is possible for players to help themselves by immersing their mind and body in an active state that helps them deal with the ups and downs the game delivers. It is possible for them to be on their toes, moving, running, making tackles and being active when it would be so easy for them to fall into a negative mode that lessens their awareness, slows their anticipation and damages the quality of their decision making.
I like players to keep their body language positive at all times. I like them to constantly look for an action to execute. And I like them to keep on the move as much as possible.
BAM…Body Action Move…
Picture that now – players maintaining incredible body language as they compete. Their eyes are scanning the pitch and their thoughts are focused on the next action, the next play. To add to this they are on their toes – alert, alive and ready. They are always looking to move and always ready to move.
BAM…Body Action Move…
This is such a simple concept for players to relate to. But it’s not always easy for them to execute. When a team goes a goal behind, many players will drop their heads. BAM becomes the last thing to focus on. But it has to become their first thought. If a player makes a couple of mistakes in training her thoughts dwell on the past and her body slumps. She slows up. She becomes all consumed by the mistakes. It’s tough for her to get her mind back on the game. It’s difficult for her to get back into the present. For her to think about body language or BAM in this moment is enormously challenging. But they must. They must insist upon it…they must demand it.
You make a mistake…BAM
You go a goal down…BAM
You go a goal up…BAM
You play against a gigantic centre back…BAM
You give the ball away…BAM
You play the league leaders…BAM
Footballers can use their body language to change how they think and how they feel. They can use body language to change their minds. They can use BAM to guide them when times are tough. They can use BAM to push them when they’re winning.
Body Action Move….be relentless with this, be non stop with this…be brutal with this!