Ever tried to emulate your heroes but failed miserably? Fear not, for we’ve got top tips from the coaches who look after United’s stars day in, day out.
Here, first team coach Mike Phelan looks at improving training methods…
What would be your tip to anyone looking to improve their game?
Always have a ball at your feet. You’d be surprised how much your game can develop through having plenty of contact with the ball. It improves your concentration and even your fitness levels, because working with the ball is as much hard work as without it.
What’s the best way to approach training?
The most important parts are being organised, and making things fun and entertaining. The individual players must want to turn up and be part of the whole thing, and they will if they’re improving their game and enjoying themselves.
How much of a session should be devoted to fitness work?
You shouldn’t necessarily concentrate too much on the fitness side of things because it’s impossible to improve that in one session. So just be organised, set them out and get your point across of what you want them to do, and have fun.
When working with a squad, how should numbers be divided up?
If there is more than one player training, then work in pairs or fours, small numbers to maximise contact with the ball. If you’re working on your own, that’s not a problem because you’ll always have the ball at your feet. The most important thing is to train with the ball and master the skills that you can do, keep improving. A key thing to work on is keeping your head up rather than looking at the ball all the time. The ball never moves from your feet when you look up, just try to make sure that you get your head up and look all around you.
What are the best drills to work on?
The main things you have to master are the basic skills. That means passing, control with all parts of your body, heading and volleying. Sidefoot the ball, bend it with the inside and outside of your foot. The key is to practice them regularly, because that’s how you improve. Read more...