1 Touch If You Can, 2 Touches If You Have To, 3 Touches If You Must

As a player I love games reduced to 1 or 2 touches as it speeds up play and challenges your decision making and speed of thought. But something always jarred with me, my problem was that sometimes the wrong decision is to play it fast and by playing the ball fast when not required would put your team in a bad position tactically.

I recently saw a great video of a Dick Bates coaching session. I had no idea who Dick Bates was but he has obviously been around the block and 1 thing he said has stuck in my head for a while now.

During his exercises he gives his players the mantra

1 Touch If You Can, 2 Touches If You Have To, 3 Touches If You Must

meaning if the ball is there and you can play it fast, play it fast. If you need to take a touch to get it under control before you pass it then do it. If nothing is on or you’re under severe pressure with no outlet or the pass into you was bad then use another touch to put you in a better position to get out of trouble.

The other option he used which is of a similar vein were escape channels.

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