Jdefoe on Addressing weaknesses

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Jdefoe on Addressing weaknesses

Post by jdefoe »

Focusing on all of your weaknesses at once will drive you crazy, and not get you anywhere very fast. I suggest that you try to figure out the one thing, big or small, that hurts you the most.

For me it was the fact that I believed I could dribble every defender, every time - and thought it was my right to try and do so. It wasn't that I thought I was invincable on the dribble, I just thought that I should be able - if I put my mind to it and did it right - to be able to beat anyone. In a game, when I would fail to beat someone the first time, I would try over and over, driving my teamates and my coach crazy until everyone was yelling at me to stop. If I couldn't eventually beat him before the yelling started, I would always stop, but by then I would have completely lost my confidence, and would then be useless to my team. It was a viscious roller coster I was on, and thank goodness I finally stopped it.

I began starting every game conservatively, making quick short passes with my teamates to move the ball and keep possession, all the while watching the opposition, trying to discover weaknesses in their players and in their tactics. All of a sudden I was seeing myself making runs into space, or into support at just the right moment to help my team the most. I was availble to run onto great passes, and able to see and make some of my own. I was even able to dribble more effectively, waiting until the right moments, when I had support to dump the ball to if I was about to lose it, or plenty of space to run in if I beat the guy I wanted to. See, what I had to recognize was that I did not have to do it all on my own, even if I thought I was capable of doing so. It was much more fun, much more rewarding if I shared the load with my teamates instead of trying to steal the lime light from them.

Oh, I hadn't thought I was stealing it from them all those times before. Heck, I was really really good, and lots of people told me so. The problem was that whether I thougt I was being a ball hog, and whether or not I was good had little or nothing to do with the fact that no one, and I mean NO ONE, is good enough to do it all on their own. I remember watching Thierry Henry in his day. I think he was perhaps the best all around player since Pele. But, for all his highlight reel goals, how many of them are created soley on his own? Not many. He usually finishes off a movement of passes set up by his excellent teamates - due in large part to his own excelence in helping set the passing movement up - but all with the help of his team. Look at how well he sets up others for goals as well. His runs into space are timed perfect, (he is rarely offside), and he is more likey than most to be found back in his own box, winning the ball back before leading the counter-attack in the other direction. He is the best player in the world right now because from one end of the pitch to the other he uses his team, leads them and directs them with his mouth and with his passes, in the best way possible towards winning.

That is the way I had to learn - that was the way I was capable of playing but wasn't yet executing - that is what I eventually recognized was my biggest weakness and changed it - and that is most DEFINATELY what led me to playing at a much higher level. It wasn't that I had to admit I wasn't good enough to do it alone, that's what I thought everyone was trying to tell me and why I refused at first to listen. No, it was that doing it alone wasn't good enough to win championships, and that ultimately is the only true mark of a good player.
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Re: Jdefoe on Addressing weaknesses

Post by expert »

I agree that the important thing is recognizing where your weaknesses are. Some good points here by jdefoe. :)
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