Welcome to <SKILL UP> episode 04!
In today's episode, we introduce Norbert Csorba, coach at various clubs across London - and how he develops his players.
What is most important to you when seeing players?
That's an interesting one. Obviously, many players come for trials and for me, the trials aren't about the skills; they're about assessing player attitude, behaviour, and character. I ask myself whether a player is a person is someone I can work with, who is serious, and coachable - at least that's my main point when hosting Chelsea Rovers' trials. Naturally I set-up passing, shooting, dribbling drills and so on but they're not the core of the assessments. They will need some basic knowledge and skills but I focus on their behaviour more - whether they're coachable and willing to learn.
What is key to your player development scheme?
The most important things is to not look at players as just football players.
We have to perceive them as individual human beings. Everyone has big personal responsibilities outside of football such as work, family, relationships, etc. and everything has to be considered.
When I see a problem with a player - for example, if one is not behaving well or not performing, I realise they're not doing it on purpose. I talk about it with them and try to work on whatever is going on together. It's important to tell them that that I'm there for the player. Once you trust them, then they'll trust you with everything on and off the pitch.
The mental side seems vital - how do you get to become truly part of the team?
Well, after trialing the players, we bring select players on board for two months and give them time to get integrated into the club. As human beings, if players feel relaxed and don't get judged in a certain environment, then we can see the true version and potential they have. The two months is about welcoming the players and making them feel safe - a place where it's okay to make mistakes and that they're truly part of a team and are being taken care of. I am very emphatic towards the players and never neglect anyone. Over the two months we also learn more about the players - why they play football, what motivates them, what they want from football, what they do for work, etc.
The players are asked to rate themselves on a scale of 1-5 based on four corners:
1. Tactical 2. Social 3. Physical 4. Psychological
We talk about their strengths, weaknesses, and ability-wise goals before planning around the players' needs. Knowing that every player is different, I try to consider each player's main needs and prioritise certain ones such as weaknesses because everyone has multiple wants which they would like to work on. This is where I challenge the players both as a team and individuals. For example, I will set a mutual goal for the team as well as separate objectives for individuals in a certain session.
The basic layout, football-wise, is simple:
1. Set a goal (the end product), and 2. Create a system (for the journey)
All-in-all, it's more about creating an environment where players feel comfortable and part of the team.