Number 9: Understanding Pareto Principle’s Relation to Youth Player Development

In a previous article, I highlighted Paretos Principle. The idea that 80% of the results usually comes from about 20% of the work. This is also quite evident in sport. Alex Sarama discussed how coaches spend so much time focusing on the 80% of the skills that are not as effective or will only be used 20% of the time.

Most coaches focus upwards of 80% of their time with their athletes refining these specific details, which would be unnecessary and inefficient (within the greater scheme of things). Through small sided games, players are constantly put in positions to learn the skills that they need and will use throughout the game. As coaches, if we are able to step back and scan, we would see what skills each individual player performs most of the time and what skills they need to refine. As such, we wouldn’t spend most of our time focusing on skills that are only used 20% of the time. However, we could allocate specific time to focus on one or two more desirable skills that would immediately help the player as that is used 80% of the time. Within this context, we can then start to introduce or add new skills as needed.

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