This is a beginner program to becoming Entangled with a primary focus on your solo football training. This guide is designed to give you tools to actually help you become a better footballer and athlete as a whole, not just in isolated parts.
It’s tempting to think you need a separate workout to treat every single separate part of what we call world class footballing ability, but that is the opposite of how talent is made.
Talent comes from within. This guide is to help you begin the process of unearthing that talent from the feet and from the mind. This is the only and best way because then all those symptoms of talent (skill, speed, strength, etc) manifest naturally in the best way for your frame and disposition. This is the self-regulating power of nature I hope to get across to all young athletes across the world.
How To Use This Guide
You should be able to load this webpage and use it offline while your phone is in airplane mode at the pitch as you need to revisit the guide. The videos obviously won’t load, but you should still have all the pictures, gifs, and text.
Most important is to have the general gist of guide. This is more of a set of principles as opposed to a checklist you must robotically check off. Most importantly, enjoy! Football is supposed to be fun. Only a labor of love is sustainable. What’s the point of all this hard work if you burn out and end up losing your passion for football?
This guide is meant to totally cover everything you need for the most optimal individual or partner training session. I wouldn’t do this every day of the week and definitely not more than once a day. You want individual work to supplement your team trainings, small sided games, and full-sided matches. Pieces of this guide could be used pre-training as a way to prime you and get in some extra work in a way that actually amplifies your team training not take away from.
I’d firstly recommend to try and be barefoot as much as possible every day and transition to some barefoot shoes like Vivobarefoot or Xero (see resource section for links). Vivobarefoot for casual use and Xero for running.
My personal preference are leather boots that are able to mold to your foot, not the other way around with plastic boots. I wear Nike tiempos right now. I’ve tried the recent Puma kings but they are way too narrow for me. Some of you might like them though.
This guide is focused on doing a session at the pitch, but many pieces could very easily be applied to your backyard or doing a barefoot ball and wall session on concrete.
Internal Foundation Work
There are 4 exercises below. The focus is quality, not quantity. Results come from work done correctly. Do your best to follow the directions and really master each action pattern. If go through this work without focus and attention to detail, you will not get the results you desire.
Take a tennis ball or spike ball and roll your arch for 3 minutes each foot before every training.
Maximal Intent Principle
With merely relying upon ball drills and cone training, your athletic and cognitive creativity is caged into artificial boundaries. When pushing yourself with maximal intent through free play and free training, you step outside these boundaries and push the limits of what was thought to be possible.
We can learn from boxing and MMA, the concept of shadow-boxing. You imagine punches and kicks coming at you. You dodge and respond with punches of your own.
You consciously push yourself at the speed of thought. You let go of constructs such as lines, cones, instructions, cues, etc. You let your mind think freely without constraint.
Applying this concept to football, this could be dribbling a ball, go past a few defenders and shooting onto goal. You use whatever tricks or feints you feel like doing and go 100%. You let your creativity and drive guide you in real time.
It doesn’t have to be to goal either. You could have a wall. Pass the ball off the wall. Receive and turn for a short sprint, imagining turning past an opponent. Do a series of turns or feints and pass the ball off the wall again. The key here is pushing your ability, not merely doing it at half-tilt. Keep going until you tire. Rest a moment with some juggling, then go again when ready.
Go with full intent until tired. Rest. Go again. Simple as that.
When you only use a wall or have someone toss the ball to you, it is more predictable where the ball is going, requiring less focus from you. This is the problem with so many cone drills and trainers. Everything is so structured and organized that nothing extraordinary is required of you. Your brain is not being demanded to think in real-time. Your athletic creativity is not being pushed.
💡 Having fun unlocks higher levels of creativity and thus athleticism.
It is also about having fun. Being relaxed and enjoying yourself is a key part of developing as an athlete, footballer, and a person. Being too tense and stressed won’t allow you to reach your best performance. Trying to overthink things will only make it worse. Less is more.
Why is this so important?
This act of pushing the limits of your ability is how you level up. It is how you push what you thought you were capable of to a new level. It is okay to try and mess up. That’s the only way you will grow. The confidence to try new moves, tricks, passes, runs, etc is what separates top players from average ones.
This filters down into how your athleticism, running, speed, power, and everything else all develops. Your mental resolve to push for the best is in your hands and yours alone. No one can take that away from you.
This is a session you would do where you don’t have team training or matches that day. This kind of session is used to sharpen skills you can’t exactly work on during team training or matches while maintaining a similar intensity to the Game.
Combining with Team Training
You would do this at home before you leave for team training:
- Roll your arch
- Do towel retractions, toe crunches, and beginner stance
- Juggle barefoot for 10 minutes
Something like the iso lunge you could do before or after team training. I would get a hang of it first before trying it before training because you might get pretty sore at first.
- Individual training should be a supplement to small sided play and team training. It is how you sharpen your sword, not improve your sword-handling ability.
- Expand your movement vocabulary with freestyle juggling tricks and use all parts of the foot.
- Learn how to tap into your mind’s creativity by removing the boundaries of drills and cones. Develop your maximal intent through consistent effort.
- Leave the cone and ball mastery drills for the kid who works hard all day but goes nowhere.
How to Progress
Using the maximal intent principle you can almost exponentially increase the difficulty of all the action patterns. Keep pushing your limits. Be careful about pushing too much that the quality drops off.
The Internal Foundation work you can increase the times and reps, but after 2-3 months it definitely is time to upgrade to Spectrum II. See below about upgrading.
After you’ve spent some time with this introductory program, the next step is to upgrade to the Entangled Tribe or all the way to the full package: The Way of the Natural II Course (Each link has more information about what you can expect to gain from either of those plans. Make sure to press upgrade since you already have an account in the system).
Please enjoy this 15% off discount should you wish to take the next step in your journey: WWN15
If you have any questions or criticism, I’ll be happy to hear them in my IG DMs or at firstname.lastname@example.org – Keep in mind that I only do coaching inside my tribe.