Is Roberto Martinez Football Coaching Players as they Sleep?

Roberto Martinez the innovative Everton manager that espouses all things Spanish, skills, premier league competition and total dedication to development of the individual - has shared his latest ideas - sleeping on the job. Yes sleeping on the Job!

I had to rub my eyes to believe this story – but there is method in his latest visionary "madness".

Roberto explains his latest plans at Everton "We have different projects – one is the bedrooms, one is the new pitches, one is for the youth to have digs.

Asked why he wants players sleeping at Finch Farm, Martínez said: "Because you can work longer with younger players especially, any player under 24, needs to have the right balance of training and recovery. The moment you lose a player to injury and he has to go home to recover and come back, it makes it impossible to get two sessions in, if you want to invest in youngsters.

"The 10,000 hours rule [the supposed time required to become expert in any field] is impossible but if you can get a player doing double of what they do the benefits are incredible. Even before games you have to go to a hotel. You don't create that environment of feeling at home. It is now a must to have bedrooms. Every first-team player should have a bedroom."

Sleeping before and after an S4K skills class – now there is a thought – perhaps the coaches would perform even better with a sleep either end of the class. We as parents all would like a little more sleep on a Saturday morning before our little ones drag us out of out beds and onto the field.

In “The S4K” way we talk of 10,000 touches and the way the Dutch, the Spanish and the Brazilian develop their youth. The players that Roberto is developing are of course the elite, the professional classes worth millions of pounds each as an asset of their club, and earning millions themselves each year. The stakes are high and nothing works more in developing skills than hard work.

The great Gary Player (one of the world’s immortal golfing legends – particularly good out a of a bunker!) once said “The harder I practice the luckier I get ” It remains true as ever. The more we practice our skills, the more competent we become, the faster we develop and the greater confidence we build in ourselves.

However – we know that children need to have fun and the passion for all sport comes from the delight a child has in playing. That passion has to be nurtured and comes from within. It takes years to nurture and some children just need to have fun, try lots of different sports and develop their self-first before such dedication ensues in later years.

The S4K Player Pathway is designed to help build that passion as much as the skills as these two key ingredients go hand in hand in developing our little ones. Fun, joy, skills and confidence often are the early years foundation for out Olympians and our Premier League stars..

We all know skills require lots of practice to hone, it is a great to enjoy the feeling of controlling a ball and our own bodies. As we learn and develop the more we enjoy, the more confident our children become. In our football classes we see that joy, that confidence build.

Parents and coaches have to strike that balance and providing beds for sleeping on the premise will have to wait a little while longer at S4K!