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How to get players communicating

Jose Mourinho the Tottenham Hotspur manager says communication is not only difficult at youth level it’s difficult at the top level as well. He said: “Sometimes people say the team has no leaders, it’s this, it’s that, but what we need is everybody with the same kind of mentality. I like communication and push them to communicate. I give a lot of instruction in training. It’s difficult for me to do the same in matches so I need guys on the pitch to read the game, to understand what we want.”

In youth games it is one of the key factors that help teams to play well and gives them more chance of winning games. If they can understand what each other are doing they can react to winning the ball and moving the ball quickly up the pitch into the dangerous areas that produce goals.

You can help your players to communicate by giving them simple tips to help them when they are on the pitch. Things like “Does your teammate have his eyes fixed on the ball? Let him know you’re open by calling out your name. A simple head nod or finger point can be a subtle way to let a teammate know about open space or desired through ball.”

How many times have you seen a harmless pass turn into a goal-scoring opportunity for the other team? Make sure your players can talk to each other on the pitch with visual and verbal cues.

Here are six ideas to get your players talking in the new season:

Start by getting to know all your players and finding out what each one of them does outside the game. When Phil Neville took over the England women’s national team he made some great points, find out in Get to know your team as boys and girls.

Team preparation is one area that teams of all levels must work on. In Team preparation key to Guardiola success you can find out how the top coaches prepare their teams for a winning start to the season.

Communication is the key to working as a team – a collapse in communication leads to a breakdown on the pitch. A simple move like Score from crosses looks easy but it is a great way to get players talking and combining in attacking areas. In the Sweeper game, a conductor gives instructions – if you’re not listening your team will lose. And it helps teamwork if you get your players get used to giving Info on the pass as a tactical skill.

To help younger players become more aware of their team mates, the walking game Robocops is great fun and gets youngsters talking to each other.

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