It is one of those coaching truisms that you should treat all players equally. This is logical. In a team everyone should be treated the same.
It is one of those coaching truisms for slightly more enlightened coaches that all players do not need to be treated equally, but should be treated fairly. This is logical. It takes into account the different personalities of players and their different values to the team, among other things.
It should be one of those coaching truisms that all players should be treated differently, especially the special ones. ‘Special’ can cover several areas, including personal, technical and tactical areas, and the contribution to the team performance should be the final adjudicator.
‘Special’ players are those who stray from orthodoxy and ‘right’ way of doing things, but whose individuality gives them possibilities that others don’t possess. Players with great physical abilities should be encouraged to use them and not be constrained by ‘technique’. Players with great technical abilities should not be forced into ‘correct’ footwork. Players with great capacity to take calculated risks and accept their consequences should not be forced to minimise errors.
The key is ‘in service to the team’. Special players add to the ceiling of your team need to be treated differently to realise their, and your, ultimate potential.
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