Thinking on his feet is the biggest challenge for Barnet youngster Joe Gater in his loan spell with Chesham.
And the 18-year-old admits recent evidence suggests there is room for improvement.
The first year pro with the Bees is approaching the halfway point of a three-month loan spell at The Meadow and while he has ticked the box for playing regular men’s football and scored a couple of rare goals, the defender admits the bread and butter side of his game is proving a challenge.
Two wrong decisions in the heat of battle at home to Cirencester on February 6 cost the Generals two goals as they went down 3-1.
Gater vowed to learn fast from his mistakes which he understands are magnified in a world the result is king.
“Decision-making is the biggest thing I’m learning about here,” he said.
“This is against big men; It is not U21 football where you pass it around the back. Here you have to make the right decision about whether you go and press or try and win a header because you are not going to win everything, sometimes you have got to step off, so decision-making is the big one for me.
“Their second goal (against Cirencester) was inexperience from me. I think I should have just clipped it down the line or played it to someone’s feet, but I tried to beat the man and then the geezer has just done me for pace.
“So it was not my best performance, but that is one of the reasons I came out on loan to experience situations like that and I’ve got to learn from them and push on. It won’t happen again.”
What makes life harder for Gater is the pace and intensity of Southern Premier football is a world away from the U21 football he is used to.
It means the decision-making has to be done in a fraction of the time, making the learning curve all the steeper.
“Men’s football is so fast you’ve got milliseconds to make the right choice, he added.
“I have come to Chesham to make sure I’m used to it so I can progress into Barnet’s first team. On today’s performance that is far away but it is all a learning process for me.”