Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe Other Foot - A Brand New Concept In Technical Football Training - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The Other Foot - A Brand New Concept In Technical Football Training - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The Other Foot – A Brand New Concept In Technical Football Training

It seems that just about everyone has had their two-pence worth when it comes to batting down Scottish football in recent years – from tabloids to former players, from pundits to politicians – but whilst the world seems to be dead set in pointing the finger, some people seem more apt in pulling it out, as it were. 

Take ‘The Other Foot’ for example.  This Soccer School franchise based in Inverness focuses on a niche form of technical training for aspiring young footballers, whereby a series of inviting, competitive and fun drills lead to “two-footed effectiveness”.  The idea is simple – to strengthen the weaker (‘Other’) foot so that a player’s technical ability is not limited by whatever foot controls the ball. 

‘The Other Foot’ was set up by Ian McArthur, who was inspired by past two-footed players such as Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo, George Best and Tom Finney.  Note the names – only two of the four are British – and our two-footed starts are viewed as a rarity in this country.  Ian praises Finney’s acknowledgement that in order to be a more flexible and, shall we say, ‘useful’ forward, he needed to be able to use both feet to cover any of the five forward positions.  Finney went on to become a legend for both Preston and England and played in the World Cup – something Scottish kids are becoming less and less familiar with in terms of national association. 

So why has Scottish football lagged behind or, to be kinder, stood still whilst other nations overtake on the world stage?  It’s perhaps not possible to point the finger directly at any one aspect, but if I put to you the words “antiquated”, “dinosaur”, “Henry T. Ford” and “ignorance” then we’re on the right lines.  It’s the same with any issue – football or not – that progression is key for progression.  For too long, Scottish kids have been coached on muddy, over-sized pitches and been put through their paces on sprints, shooting, heading and more running.  Strength and fitness appears to have been fixated on most coaches’ mindsets, with the idea that ‘the skill is there, now get them fit’.  

Wrong!  As Ian again points out on his website, “there’s always room for improvement… it will always be an advantage if you feel more comfortable in using your other foot.”  Technical skills and technical coaching is what has been lacking in Scottish and UK football in the past 20 years.  Some argue that Scotland are a small country and can only produce a handful of world-class players at any one time.  Again, wrong!  It only takes 11 players to fill a team; and Holland – with a population of around 15 million – repeatedly play above their station if population is to be factored.  The key is to get the kids coached well and coached correctly; continually developing their all-round skills.  ‘The Other Foot’ focuses on small-sized coaching classes run by professional coaches, whilst at the same time ensuring that the classes remain fun… after all, football is meant to be enjoyable! 

This simple yet novel coaching scheme may not be a 100% solution to the lack of technical coaching skills, but used as a weekly addition to a young player’s training and match-days then it really is a no-brainer.  Football is a team game, and for that you need to be a team player.  You can add to that team if you can play in more than one position, and to play in more than one position you need more than your right or left foot… you need ‘THE OTHER FOOT’.


Felix da Gama

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