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How do the fundamentals of the game appear?

Some time ago, we wrote an article to explain what the Individual Fundamentals by Position were, and why we understand them as so important to know and master in a sport as hypercomplex as football. Today, in this article, we are going to explain how the different types of fundamentals can appear in the game.

Before we begin the explanation, we should recall that an Individual Fundamental by Position (IFP) is an optimal response to a specific tactical game situation that a player will frequently find themselves in. The specific type of them will depend on the player’s position on the pitch: centre backs, full backs, holding midfielders, wingers, attacking midfielders, and forwards.

Types of fundamentals:

  • Isolated Fundamentals: These are those that are implemented in a certain, specific, unique way. This means that they occur without a previous or subsequent application of other fundamentals at the moment of execution. For example, the individual fundamental of the fullback to close the passing lines to the inside spaces.
  • Chained Fundamentals: These are those fundamentals that are implemented back-to-back with other fundamentals. This means that after the first one is applied, the other one will appear sequentially. For example, the IFP of the centre back coming out to help the full back who has been beaten as long as there is an advantage in the centre of the defense, will almost always be chained with the IFP of the fullback to rebalance the defensive line if the centre back moves out to the wing.
  • Merged Fundamentals: These are those that appear and are implemented at the same time. For example, the fundamentals of: Individually defending the opponent in risk areas and Correct orientation / maintaining visual control of the attacker and the ball (they occur simultaneously).

Having described the different types of fundamentals in terms of their nature and appearance in the game, it is important for coaches to be aware that when we want to train a particular fundamental, it may appear in a chained or merged form to another one.

Therefore, we will have to design didactic strategies that encourage the appearance of those specific situations that we want, for the application of the fundamental(s) in the way we desire.

Finally, within the new profession in the world of football of the ‘individual tactical analyst‘, these concepts will be key within the training process of the player. It will help them to better understand the game, by knowing  which action or actions should be made depending on the situation  they are involved in.

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