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Communicate on the pitch

One of the ways to improve your team in 2021 is to get them communicating on the pitch. Players do this by verbal and non verbal actions, like pointing where they want a ball to be passed or calling for the ball when overlapping from behind like a fullback running outside a winger.

I often get asked about how to get players to communicate on the pitch because it is something you have to encourage during your coaching sessions. It is very important to develop communication within your squad especially when they have played together in a team for over half a season. So I use sessions with different age groups that encourage them to use verbal and non verbal communication.

You can see in the sessions below that players can call for the ball when they have created space encouraging switching play or when they pass to their team mates how to put information on the pass.

Players will communicate with a bit of help from you – simple instructions to make the game easier.

Here are four ways to help your players communicate better.

Start by giving your players the chance to shout out moves they want their team mates to make. In The Conductor if the communication is poor or the defenders don’t listen to the player making all the calls, the attackers will breakthrough.

You can then play this great game that is fun and needs players to communicate to win the game. Tic tac toe is  all about using soccer brains to solve the game then getting a ball and score in the goal. Lots of coaching points but it is the efforts of the players to win the game that works best.

When your players are passing the ball they need to communicate to the receiver where the danger lies behind them. “Put information on the pass” is a term you can use to encourage your players to communicate when passing the ball – try using Info on the Pass it will help encourage players to be constructive in their play.

Finally, I find small-sided games are excellent for communication on the pitch. Switching play – creating space is  a session that improves a player’s awareness of when and where they can turn with the ball, and helps them hunt out space in tight areas in order to switch the play.

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