Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Bartek Sylwestrzak: Enhancing Ball Striking Skills in Football

In the world of football, specialist coaching has become increasingly important for achieving marginal gains on the pitch. While there has been a focus on areas such as set piece coaching, breathing exercises, and sleep training, one aspect that remains underexplored is ball striking.

Bartek Sylwestrzak, a dedicated expert in ball striking, has spent over two decades studying and refining this technical skill. With extensive training, research, and analysis, he has coached professional players from top leagues like the Premier League, Bundesliga, and more, focusing on various ball striking techniques.

Sylwestrzak’s expertise extends beyond ball striking, as he holds a BSc degree in Sport Science and an MSc degree in Sport Psychology from Loughborough University. We had the opportunity to catch up with Bartek and discuss the significance of ball striking in football, his work in advancing this field, and his thoughts on its future.

The Journey into Ball Striking

Sylwestrzak’s fascination with ball striking began early on in his career. His pursuit of technical perfection and attention to detail led him to focus on mastering various techniques, with the laces strike as his primary goal.

However, he soon realized that ball striking was an area where technical knowledge was lacking in the game. Most players, including those considered good ball strikers, had a limited range of swings and underdeveloped non-dominant foot performance. The lack of systematic work and technical instruction in clubs further contributed to this gap.

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The Potential Being Missed

The lack of understanding of ball striking means that numerous opportunities are being wasted on the pitch. Statistical analysts and coaches often conclude that shooting from free kicks is not worth the effort, instead of realizing the potential for improvement in this area. The consistency shown by players like James Ward-Prowse highlights the efficacy of focused ball striking training. Every Premier League team should have players capable of achieving a similar level.

The Anonymity of Extra Coaching

Professional players often receive additional one-to-one coaching outside their clubs, but many prefer to keep this private. Football clubs generally do not support players engaging in extra work, as technical improvement is not prioritized in the first team setup. Players’ skills are considered complete once they reach the first team, and the focus shifts to maintaining fitness and match readiness.

This lack of support and the prevailing mindset discourage players from seeking improvement and sharing their additional coaching experiences.

Working with Premier League Talent

Despite the obstacles, Sylwestrzak has had the privilege of working with talented Premier League players who are passionate about improving their ball striking skills. The commitment, excellence-driven mindset, and shared objective make these coaching sessions a joy for both the coach and the player. Goals scored from direct free kicks or clean open play shots bring a unique sense of fulfillment for both parties.

Building Intimate Relationships

Sylwestrzak’s training approach fosters a positive and supportive learning environment. Mistakes are viewed as part of the learning process, and technical feedback is provided to aid improvement. This commitment to the players’ progress builds intimate relationships based on trust and shared goals.

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The Brentford Experience

During his time at Brentford, Sylwestrzak’s work focused on developing ball striking skills within the club. Although technical improvement is a complex process that requires time, certain players showed significant improvement under his guidance. Goals like Yoann Barbet’s free kick against Bolton showcase the results of this work and the beauty it brings to the game.

The Challenge of Change

Sylwestrzak believes that widespread acceptance and open-mindedness regarding ball striking work in football may not come easily. The fear-based approach prevalent in the game, aimed at winning matches and avoiding injuries, limits the willingness to prioritize technical excellence.

The immediate data outcomes perceived in other specialized areas, such as set piece coaching, make them more appealing to clubs. The long-term nature of ball striking development and its translation into statistical data make it a more challenging undertaking.

The Future of Ball Striking Coaching

While Sylwestrzak acknowledges the difficulties involved in pursuing ball striking coaching, he sees a lack of individuals focused specifically on this area. Thorough education, continuous study, and supervision are crucial to achieving a top standard in this field.

In conclusion, Bartek Sylwestrzak’s dedication and expertise in ball striking have the potential to revolutionize the game. By prioritizing technical excellence and offering specialized coaching, players can unlock their full potential in the important aspect of ball striking.

To learn more about Bartek Sylwestrzak’s work, visit his website and discover the world of ball striking in football.