EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

There are 18 players in my new team. What can I do to remember what their names are?

Ask Dave

Dave says

Well this is one we’ve all come across in the past. Indeed, many people will struggle to remember the name of a person they’ve just been introduced to, and that’s because our brains are too occupied with presenting ourselves in a likeable way that we therefore switch off from importing information as we normally would.

So when it comes to an entire soccer team, you’d imagine the problem to be 10 or 15 times worse. Well the good news is it isn’t! Given the wider and more obvious need to remember a host of names, our brains will switch on to individuals more readily.

Your sense will be that you still have lots of players whose names you don’t know, but the brain is actually fixing and picking up other names and faces very quickly. Of course, there are a few things you can do to help your memory along the way.

For a start, always repeat someone’s name back to them. Then, try to pick out a characteristic that can link appearance to a name.

For instance, ‘Hair that’s red = Fred’. Work your way around the group so everyone gets equal attention, and get into as many conversations as possible so you can begin building personalities as well as just faces.

But ultimately, if you cannot remember someone’s name don’t skirt about and try to coax the name out.

You need to invest your time in soccer coaching, so just come out and ask them to repeat their name. Easy!

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