@ Training use Half ground; Play a game "defenders v forwards"; Don't apply too many rules keep it simple as we are only trying to prove that players do not look at the goals in the 1st instance as part of their glance & scan as they are about to receive the ball especially if they are in range of scoring. Players prefer to play a safe pass or an easy pass first focusing on maintaining posession more than playing a better option instead.
The game rules are;- Forwards can score a goal at main goal where the goalkeeper is and the defenders can score a goal by running the ball and stopping it anywhere on the half way line.
You can start this game either way from the goalkeeper or from the half way mark.
Without the team knowing whisper in the goalkeepers ear and let them know that if you raise your right arm the goalkeeper is to move away to the right and step out of their goals allowing room to be chipped; depending on the sign they can move completely away to the left, right or centre.
Observe the play and watch how players react in the 1st instance upon receiving the ball and analyze their choice of action. The focus here is making a better decision. A player may decide to simply pass the ball and maintain possession and that in its self is not wrong.
My argument here - is what if the goalkeeper was out of their goals and you are in range of scoring - can we say that an attempt to score is better than playing a short pass and maintain possession?
From my observation, players choose to play a possession pass first (option 4) in some ways by default. This may be because of a number of reasons that I outline below rather than consider the full range of Options. The better choice. This is why I call this article effective decision making process.
Sometimes players stray away from the “effective thinking process” due to intimidation, social pressure or the yearning to be accepted by their peers.
This commonly happens to new players coming into the team.
Players hesitating, taking too long to make a decision or trying to play it safe hoping this may be enough to hold a position in the team.
It is important that all players feel part of the team and feel confident when they make a decision and not have the fear that if they make a mistake
they will be yelled at or criticized in a way that shuts them down.
A good example would be If a player shoots for goal, rather than play a penetrating pass or play a simple pass to maintain posession, because
there was a genuine chance to score as the goalkeeper was out of their goals and the player was within their range; team mates need to encourage
such a moment and endorse this action they chose.
All players should learn all the options as presented in the "effective decision making process", learn to play with one another and to support
one another with a common goal. All players need to speak the same language and anticipate the play and circumstances in the same way.
Players should never feel intimidated. They should be encouraged, their imagination must be adventurous.