It means being alert and focused on what is happening. Ready to act on whatever life is offering.
On a football pitch - being on your toes is a must! But not only there, it's important in life too. For me, it all goes hand to hand because football is the biggest part of my life.
When you're on the pitch, you can't think about anything else than what is happening. If you're easily distracted, it will be hard to achieve good results.
It's the same in every other area of life. When you're working on something, you must get rid of all the distractions (phone, e-mail, radio, etc) to be more efficient.
Training sessions vs games
Many coaches can confirm that most of the players, especially kids, play better in training sessions than in tournaments.
It's because of the environment change. In training sessions, the only adults there are coaches but in games the stadium is full parents from both teams.
In training sessions kids are playing with each other, with guys they've known for months if not years. They're basically playing with their friends and enjoying the game.
In tournaments they play with guys they don't know. Sometimes they don't even speak their language. It's completely different than playing against your friend.
When they have to play at a tournament, there is pressure on them even if the coach has said that the result doesn't matter and they have to enjoy the game.
Pressure often comes from parents. Especially if they're shouting them what to do and believe me - it happens all of the time. Some parents even pay their kids for scoring a goal which can completely break the game from a coach's point of view.
Luckily, it doesn't happen in our team. We're speaking with parents and explaining to them the best way to support their kids. They have positive shouts, they applaud every kid even if they miss an opportunity and they don't criticize their kids (at least I hope they don't).
Kids need support. Especially from their parents. They know if they've missed an open goal, they do not need reminding it. They need to be loved and cared for! That's what all of us can do - share positive emotions!
Have a great and productive day!