INSPIRED, CONFIDENT & EFFECTIVE COACHING

How to develop individuals

Using questions and giving challenges is an important part of your coaching style and can have an impact on player learning and understanding of your coaching sessions.

When you use questions make sure you don’t immediately tell the answer or if it is a question to the group don’t always pick the player who puts her hand up first.

Give hints to help individuals to answer the questions. So if the player is defending and is not providing support you can ask the question where should you be standing when your team mate is defending? What are you defending and who poses a danger?

Challenges also help the player to correct anything that is going wrong for them on the pitch. If you give individual challenges it is easier to then check for understanding by asking individuals questions – again don’t worry if they take time in answering often they will think through what you have said and asked.

As examples for younger players this is the kind of challenge and question I would ask:

– Can I play forward when the ball is passed to me?
– Can I beat a player in a 1v1?
– Can I lend the ball to someone else then get it back?
– Can I leave the ball playable for the next player?
– What do you think may be tricky about the challenge?
– What can you do within the challenge you couldn’t do before?

Use a session like Play through midfield to get players to meet challenges you give them… or if you are coaching younger players check out the sessions below to help you give challenges to your players.

Use a session like Play through midfield to get players to meet challenges you give them… or if you are coaching younger players check out the sessions below to help you give challenges to your players.

You can show how an individual can boost the team – where they play, movement of team mates and how creative passing can split defences open. Use Play between the lines from my Soccer Tactics manual, which explains how players can make decisions that benefit the team.

With the technical practice Try something different in the final third creativity stems from players being confident to try something even if they fail at it. It is a simple session that uses all of your squad and, best of all, requires no cones or equipment so can be set up by the kids and used as a pre-game warm up.

For the younger age groups, the best way to encourage creativity is to give them a fun game that stretches their skills. Tomb Raiders is perfect for this as it gets players using short passes, making interceptions and keeping possession with good decision making.

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