Coerver Colorado places a great emphasis on developing the ability to use the weaker foot as naturally as the dominant one. We “teach to the weaker foot” when striking the ball. Footskill work during warm-ups emphasizes using the weaker foot. And our Juggling Progression takes players’ proficiency in this skill to where they must juggle equally well with either foot.
We’ve seen the results of this emphasis – players whose use of their weaker feet is so routine that most spectators don’t even realize it.
We test juggling, shooting for power and serving a ball for distance and accuracy. Now we are using those tests to create an indicator, which we are calling the Weak Foot Coefficient, of the ability to use the weaker foot.
“Juggling makes every touch better” and those who complete our Juggling Progression through “Body Parts Juggling” have wicked-good ability to control a ball with either foot. So the coefficient includes a component that awards points based on reaching various mileposts in completing the progression.
With the other two tests we are looking at two things. The first is how close the weaker foot scores are to the dominant foot scores. Getting the weaker foot total to 90% of the dominant foot one seems like a realistic target. Getting to 95% or better is an indicator of real proficiency.
Next, we want to see how a player compares within his or her age group. In the group of summer campers we used to develop this formula, we determined that about half of the players nominated to the Center of Excellence finished in the top 10% of their age group. The WFC formula uses, for now, the median weak foot score of a COE group. That middle score is a “1.0.” Other players’ scores reflect how much a player is above, or below, that score.
All these things get bundled together in the Weak Foot Coefficient. Our initial thought is that a score of 5.5 or above indicates the player’s ability to use the weaker foot is very strong. 4-5 to 5.5: well on the way. Below that: it’s a work in progress.
Our recommendation to parents is that they focus more on the components of the WFC more than the number itself, starting with the dominant/weak foot differences and the player’s juggling progress. The place-within-the-group components contain factors tied to age (e.g. size and strength) within the group and won’t be fully reliable before U14 or U15.
The Coerver ColoradoCurriculum- Use by Written Permission