‘Deep practice’ (training intensely and right at the edge of one’s capability) in sport is expected for the athlete to be the best they can possibly be.

However, in the world of business the commitment to training people using ‘deep practice’ is often avoided as it is viewed as costly both in terms of time and money.

However, when your firm invests in deep practice for your people, their skills improve and their commitment to the firm improves dramatically, making them much more effective overall.

The key is smaller and heavier balls – let me explain…

In 1997 football coach Simon Clifford borrowed £5,000 to pay for a trip to Brazil to learn about ‘Futsal’ (Futebol de Salão – football in a room). Why?

Because the Brazil national side had more players in the world’s top football leagues than any other country, and they had also won the World Cup more times than any other national team…

How had this happened?

All over Brazil kids play futsal. It is played in small rooms, with small pitches and  heavier balls.

The young players make more mistakes, passing is tight and under constant defensive pressure - the passing must be quick and accurate, and scoring a goal only happens when they have mastered everything else.

Once these kids reach 12 years old, they get to play football as we know it. The kids make it look easy, because to them it is - open pitch, lighter ball, more room to move, pass and score.

Clifford brought Futsal to Leeds and used it to coach the Chapeltown U14 football team. They had never played Futsal before and were pushed to the limit of their capabilities and skills. They failed many times, but they repeated and failed, repeated and failed until they had honed their skills.

Back out on the normal sized football pitch the skills they learned from this deep practice at the edge of their capabilities meant they went on to beat the U14 Scottish and Irish National sides!​

​Throw some smaller and heavier balls into the air in your firm and make ‘deep practice’ work for you. Click here to read how…