Scanning should be taught to footballers

NEW research suggests reading the field should be taught to football players from a young age, in tandem with ball skills, rather than as an advanced skill.

Dr Matt Dicks, from the University of Portsmouth, is one of the researchers who found people would become better footballers if coaches spent more time training them to look around, rather than just focusing on the ball.

He said: ‘It appears higher coaching qualifications in tandem with a greater amount of coaching experience leads to coaches developing a positive attitude to the importance of training scanning.

‘The coaches surveyed pointed out they tended to try and improve scanning through direct instruction and questioning. There were indications that it may be best enhanced through changing practice conditions like altering the pitch size, number of players and the use of different coloured bibs, so players learn the value of always looking around.’