I have played with many soccer players regardless of gender while experiencing various levels of soccer in various countries. It's been 13 years since I started playing professionally, and I feel that football has changed a lot in the last 10 to 15 years I've seen and felt.
I think that my soccer life is a life where I have repeatedly asked myself the question "what is a high level of play", but I feel that the answer to this question is only within me after all.
While experiencing soccer in Japan and around the world, the development of the Internet has increased the chances of watching many games in each country more than 10 years ago, that making it easier to compare each how it is like.
However, to be honest, it is not easy for me to feel the essential difference or changes just by looking through the screen, because I can not understand it unless I actually experience it, but I still notice it.
What is a good player and what is a high-level player?
This is a challenge I've been asking myself for a long time, and the answers to this question have been updated as the stage changes where I am in, so I'm still not completely satisfied with myself that I have a feeling of being there and I'm still playing soccer.
However, I think the answer to this depends on the filter of personal values, and the high level I think is not always the same as the high level you think, and it is not always different. That's what it is.
Since I went to play abroad, I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play with the top players in the world and to play as an opponent on a daily basis.
While playing with such players and sharing the space, I think there were many parts that were unknowingly inspired.
I was able to play with players who's been also active(retired) at the international level, such as Bajramaj (Germany) and Anja Mittag (Germany), who played together for Potsdam, are still one of the best players in my life, Ji-So-yung (Korea) for Chelsea, and Lina Mugul (Germany) in Wolfsburg. And in Chicago, Samantha Kerr (Australia), Alisha Neer (USA) and Muggle Brian (USA).
And what they all had in common was that they would move in a predictable way for their teammates. what does this mean?
It is said that it is an easy-to-calculate player, that is a predictable player, I think that it has the ability to consistently perform with high performance throughout the season.
What does it mean to be predictable?
Since soccer is a team sport, it is essential to collaborate with teammates. And, of course, communication through words is important, but in order to smooth the flow of play, eliminate time loss and improve play efficiency, it is necessary to have the ability to read the movements of teammates and body language and to select play.
What do you feel if your teammates movements are inconsistent, they make mistakes, and they have unpredictable ways of holding and moving the ball? you don't know what kind of play the player will choose next, and I think you will be at a loss about your choice. Then, the hesitation leads to a loss of time and a loss of opportunity.
By observing the "physical condition" of a player, what kind of play can that player choose next? It turns out that your actions are determined by it.
I think this is related to predictive ability, but the player holding the ball is ready to put out the ball, but you are not ready to receive the ball before it passes to that player... A scene that leads to a path mistake occurs when it is unpredictable.
In order to predict the flow of that ball, it is necessary to firmly recognize the technical skills and patterns of decision making , and if it is not possible to calculate it properly, it is necessary to select a more effective play will be difficult.
Being in a predictable state means that your actions can help the players around you know what they need to play next. This will change where you should stand, start moving, and where put out the ball, so the ability to send a message to the play and the ability to receive it to read it from your teammates are the keys to enhancing cooperative play.
The situation changes every second, and the action you should take changes each time. A state of always "predicting" rather than always thinking. You decide your action while always predicting what will happen next, and select a play while instantly calculating how likely it is that the play will happen.
I think that how to improve the accuracy of this prediction is one of the points to improve the performance as a team.
Being predictable leads to trust
If the goal is to increase the winning percentage of the team, I think that the minimum stability of the team is required. If an individual player is performing poor in each game, the team's performance will collapse, and a major individual not being in good form will have a negative impact on the team's performance.
If one player has to cover poor playing for another player, or if the performance of the other players are good, but their performance is poor, the performance of the other players will be greatly affected.
As long as it is a team sport, I have to consider the influence of my performance on the surroundings, and I think that coaches have a lot of evaluation criteria from this point of view.
Thinking from the perspective of "what if I was the coach?", What do you need for your team to perform better in order to play an active part in the game? I think you can see that.
I think that players who are difficult to calculate are difficult for the coach to use in the game, so I set the standard of being a player who is easy to calculate with a clear eye.
I think that players who can be trusted to perform this much in each game are firmly established in the starting lineup and play, and the tendency to emphasize the performance in the game rather than the performance in the practice is also the number of places. This is because a coach who has stepped on and won the game knows that "game and practice are different things".
Of course, I think this can vary depending on the coach's values. Therefore, it is natural that the evaluation criteria differ depending on the coach, and where the criteria are set can be measured by the instructions and points to be pointed out in practice and games, and which scene is picked up at the team meeting. ..
However, I'm not saying that practice is not worth it, and it is a fact that if you do not perform well in practice, you will not be able to have the opportunity to play in the game, and cooperation with teammates will increase in practice that I feel it. However, I think it's all about what kind of performance you performed in the game.
After all, performance in the game, not practice performance, affects the next game, improving play opportunities, positions, and team performance.
Being a predictable player has a great impact on the relationship of trust with teammates and coaches, and I feel that the high level of trust makes to be the quality of team performance. However, this is one of the values I want to cherish in the future.
And I would like to grow as much as possible while facing my own challenges so that I can raise the level of that performance as much as possible.