How Your Player Can Be More Creative Today

Barcelona, Spain (June 12, 2018) – Guest article by Todd Beane, Founder of TOVO Academy Barcelona and the TOVO Training Methodology.

Todd Beane was a guest presenter at the 2018 ECNL Coaching Symposium.  He is a guest columnist for the ECNL, and is sharing his insight on a variety of topics related to player development, teaching, and learning.

I am honored to be a guest presenter at the ECNL Coaching Symposium, a wonderful event to promote innovation in coaching and education. In this guest column series, I aim to share some of the concepts I believe to be vital to promoting a healthy and productive learning experience for our children. Thank you for reading.”  – Todd Beane

Intelligence is manifested on the soccer field through efficiency.

To possess knowledge without being able to use it or to have a skill without being able to implement it is not much use to a player.  An athlete must put insight into action. At TOVO, we place great emphasis on the ability to find a solution and to execute that solution with precise technique. Cognition and competence.

For your child to be better today, he or she must conceive of the options available in real time.

To conceive is to find and to entertain the options available.  Like perception, conception it is not dependent upon physical stature, age, or gender.  When a player envisions the options she is thinking divergently. Divergent thinking is the hallmark to what we call creativity – the ability to find solutions and orchestrate them when others did not see them in the first place.

“I am a midfielder constantly on the lookout for an unspoilt corner where I can move freely just for a moment…A space where I can continue to profess my creed: take the ball, give it to a team-mate… It’s called an assist and it’s my way of spreading happiness.” – Andrea Pirlo

Your player is either getting sucked into the now or they are thinking of the future. If he is chasing the ball and moving indiscriminately, he is not conceiving of the best option. If she is intense in her search for space but relaxed in her demeanor she opens herself up to more ideas, and as a result she is more creative and effective. In short players will see more solutions BEFORE they choose the best one to execute when they do get the ball.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will.”  – George Bernard Shaw

Instead of seeking the ball incessantly, your child might be better served to seek space and to conceive of options to exploit it. It is a significant shift of perspective – but those who shift perspective are those artists and athletes we deem the most creative. As a parent and as a coach, I invite you as well to stop watching the ball and to start looking for space. In this process you will liberate your mind and find the game more intriguing yet.

Click here to learn more about TOVO and our talent development programs.

About the author: Todd Beane is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Stanford University and a former professional footballer. In TOVO, Beane has combined proven pedagogical practices with the visionary components of a football legend into a dynamic training methodology.  Beane is the son-in-law of Johan Cruyff, with whom he worked 14 years to deliver talent development programs worldwide.