Home > Fundamentals > Fragments for Creative Play
Fragments Teach Creative Play in Soccer and Futsal
Research documents that players learn faster and better when the number or pieces of information in "working memory" is limited to no more than 4 chunks of information at the same time. Bibliography: Psychological Review, 1956, March: 72: 89-104
In soccer and futsal training, chunking isolates a single fragment (small piece) of the game and teaches "how you do it" and "when you use it in games" in a very simple, easy to learn and hard to forget way. When all players on a team learn the same "fragments" and share a common understanding of when to use them in games, highly creative play results.
Many fragments are designed to fool opponents, create space and entertain spectators. Some lead opponents to believe one thing is happening and like a good magicians trick create space and opportunities. Fragments are also fun because players have the opportunity to be creative and successful.
The advantages of teaching fragments of play are numerous:
Learning to Use Fragments in Games
Players, like everyone, are most comfortable doing the things they have always done and need to learn to use fragments under game like pressure before they will become creative and use fragments in games.
A decade ago a 13 year old team learned to do cross-field (dribbling from one sideline to the other) takeovers (where a teammate runs towards and past their teammate with the ball and their teammate with the ball leaves the ball for them). They never did it in a game until they were told they tried cross-field takeovers in the second half of a game or their teammates on the bench would finish the game for them. See result below:
This team became so confident doing takeovers they successfully did them from in front of their opponents goal to inside of their own Penalty Box in front of their own goal. In over 5 years of doing several hundred takeovers in soccer and futsal games they never once lost the ball to an opponent.
Fragments are 2, 3 and 4 player movements that players can creatively piece together in games based on the positions of their teammates, opponents and open spaces. Fragment training:
Learning to Be Creative
Creative Play Fragments