It’s much easier for a player if you can process the image of where your teammate will be before receiving the ball. If I am in the kitchen and I know that the cups are always in this cupboard, I will drink my cup of coffee faster.” – Mikel Arteta

Arteta suggests that football is easier when players can “process the image” of knowing where their teammates will be before they even receive the ball. This is a cognitive shortcut that comes from repeated practice and allows players to anticipate actions rather than react to them. Just as you would instinctively reach for a mug in a particular kitchen cabinet because you’ve done it numerous times, pattern play instills habits in players. They learn where their teammates are likely to be in different game situations, allowing them to make faster and more accurate decisions. Knowing where your teammate will be allows for faster ball movement and a quicker transition from defense to attack. This increased speed of play is an essential factor in breaking down organized defenses and is often the hallmark of successful teams.

1. COHESION AND TEAMWORK: The more a team practices specific patterns, the more cohesive it becomes. Players understand each other’s tendencies, making it easier to execute complex tactical maneuvers.

2. MENTAL ADVANTAGE: When players know what to do instinctively, the cognitive load is reduced. They can then focus on other aspects of the game, such as reading opponents and adapting to different situations.

3. VERSATILITY: Although pattern play involves predetermined movements, it is not rigid. A well-trained team can adapt these patterns dynamically based on how the opposition defends, adding an element of unpredictability.

4. CONTROL: Patterns help the team control the pace of the game. Whether they need to slow down the game or speed up the game, well-practiced patterns provide the mechanisms to do so.

5. COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: Teams that are better at executing complex patterns have a competitive advantage over their opponents. This is especially true in high-risk situations where nerves can affect performance. Habitual responses, ingrained through pattern play, are more likely to be maintained under pressure.

6. TACTICAL DISCIPLINE: Practicing patterns helps ingrain a certain tactical discipline, ensuring that everyone understands their roles and responsibilities in various game scenarios.

7. EFFICIENCY: As in the kitchen analogy, knowing what will happen next allows you to act more quickly and efficiently, saving energy and creating more opportunities for success.

8. BREAKING DOWN THE OPPOSITION: A well-executed pattern of play can unlock stubborn defenses, offering routes to goal that may not be visible in a random game.

Phase of play


It is not the same as what I say, that since I presented the Pons Method in July 2020 from an island in Thailand, next to Cambodia, where the COVID pandemic caught me, that football is about habits, a shortcut Cognitive: working through mirror neurons, repetitive tactical training, on game patterns and their impact on the rapid understanding of the game model by staff, starting players, reserves, uncalled players, etc.. working on the game and hearing concepts of game, by positions, by drawings such as triangles, rhombuses, squares that the Coach understands what his scheme is, to facilitate the development of semi-collective and collective training as well, but well, if Mikel says it, I hope people understand it better.

Let Mikel put the icing on the cake, the Pons Method that provides innovative tools and new principles of modern training in addition to more than thirty improvements to comprehensive training.

In the end the important thing is the players, their progression and enjoyment.

Breathe football, Breathe Pons Method