What is skill?

A few years ago I was a voluntary football (soccer) coach for my son’s team. Together with some other parents I was educated for a few days by staff from the Swedish Football Federation. The head coaches recommended drills in which the kids formed small teams, playing 3 against 3, 4 against 4 etc.

The reason was naturally that every kid would get more ball contact. But even more important. In smaller teams all players are forced to make more decisions. Should I pass the boll or try to score, pass or dribble, run or stay?

Maybe it sounds like common sense? Well, when hearing this I got an insight that made a big impression on me. I realized that this logic is applicable to I believe any area in life.

It’s all about decision making. If you’re making pottery and press with too much force at the wrong spot you end up with a lump of clay instead of a bowl. Wrong decision. Likewise, a chef in a kitchen will make a decision if the dish she’s cooking needs more salt or not.

And still most decisions probably aren’t rational. We’re not weighing for and against. We act on gut feeling, intuition and reflexes. Just like in a game of soccer.

Thinking about this yesterday I arrived at the conclusion:

Skill is knowing what to do next.

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