skip navigation

MYSA Coaching Tip o' the Week

Technique vs. Skill

Technique and skill aren’t interchangeable even though we sometimes treat them that way. Technique is the ability to move your body to get the ball to do what you want. In other words, the body mechanics needed to control the ball. Skill uses mechanics as a foundation to get results in a game, which includes making decisions under pressure, responding to a changing situation, dynamic opponents and teammates, varying playing conditions, limited time and space, etc.

When we isolate technique in training (removing opponents and decisions), we expect players to be able to plug technique into a game context. Modern research and learning theory indicate that training in a game context is more effective in building skill. Players need to transfer that learning to the game in soccer where they make instantaneous decisions and apply technique to an ever-changing environment.

We can teach technique, but we need to facilitate being skillful by re-creating the context in which technique is applied. This means training needs to better replicate the game, and developing skillful players means we need to improve our ability to help them refine technique within game-like activities.

Thanks for all you do.

This weekly MYSA Coaching Tip o’ the Week is sent to Head Coaches, to share with assistants or others as you wish. If you have a question or suggestion for a future topic let us know at

2019 Archive