Stephen Covey wrote this in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. In essence this is talking about for each of us, there should be a main thing, somthing that motivates us, and keeps us engaged and interested in life. The main thing could be anything, a state of mind, a life-long dream, a career path. Regardless of what the main thing actually is, you should always strive to keep the main thing, the main thing. This is also true in a coaching environment. When you are planning a training session, a season or a long term goal, you need to ensure that you have a particular goal in mind, as well as having a particular area of focus. It is easy to go off on tangents because someone asks a question or because it is easier to work on something else, but when you have a specific “main thing” that you want to work on and achieve then it is much easier to maintain focus on the task infront of you.
When I am planning a training session for one of my teams, I always refer eback to my broader season plan. The season plan will typically only outline a general area to work on at that stage and so the individual session plan is still flexible with the specifics that should be done in it. When that session plan is being written then it is important to make sure that all of the drills planned keep the main thing, the main thing. Another famous quote by Covey is “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your
priorities” which fits in with this same mentality of having a particular focus and then making plans to support it.
Currently being the start of the training program for my ACT U19’s team, I have a high focus on fitness as well as generall ball control. This means that my sessions incorporate physically demanding drills in amongst those which require considerable control over basic skill, with very little technical specificity. This focus needds to change with time as the skills amongst the team develop and the team improves and as such “the main thing” will change with it.
While each session has its own main thing, and each phase of training has its main thing as does the season as a whole. As long as at each stage this main thing remains the main thing, the chances of success and overall improvement are much more likely to occur.