The number one aspect that separates elite players from amateur is the ability to make quick decisions under pressure. Elite athletes are better able to process information, and frequently take in more information when scanning their surroundings, even if scanning for shorter periods of time. But scanning, information processing and attention to detail are all skills that can be worked upon by athletes at any level, in any sport.
Understanding BOTS & how to scan for quicker, correct decisions
Scanning goes far beyond what must coaches will shout out: "check your shoulder!". It needs to encompass a constant process of neck and eye movement, assessing ball, opposition, teammates and space.
Understanding the five corner model for player development & performance
As coaches, we must recognize that players have an array of qualities that make them unique on the pitch. We must also recognize that each of these unique pillars need to be paid attention to with dedicated attention and care.
Understanding ball, opposition, teammates and space
Nothing can exist in football without perceptions of ball, opposition, teammates and space (BOTS for short if you want!). While there may never be one unequivocally correct answer to any given footballing problem, players can more adequately assess for decision making through muscle memory, experience, automatisms, sheer intelligence, and studying the tips in this article. But those same players, analysts and coaches must also recognize the deeply-rooted tandem bike quadracycle nature of the four elements of the game, and how they all co-exist to work in harmony.