INSPIRATION | CONFIDENCE | SUCCESS

Let them choose

I had a problem this week at training – not only was the pitch waterlogged and we were playing indoors but I had three sessions to choose from and I was scratching my head trying to decide which one we should use.

Then a thought came into my head: why not let the boys decide which session they want to work on. That way they would have complete control of the session and, because they had chosen it, they would put the extra effort into making it work.

Pick and choose

In the back of my mind there was a slight doubt because I knew the mindset of a couple of the players who may choose a session the others hadn’t just to be individual. So I split the group in two, allowing me to pick and choose which egos went into which group, and then, with the help of my assistant, I could run two sessions at the same time if they chose different ones.

I had drawn the sessions out and had put them up on the board with basic instructions explaining what they had to do in each of the three sessions and whether they would be working in teams, in pairs or individually.

As it was, because the players didn’t know what each team was choosing, they both picked the same one, which meant I already had the group split into the two teams for the session.
It was a funny thing that they chose the hardest session. I thought maybe they would go for the one that most closely resembled a match, but they choose the one that involved a lot of passing and receiving. This showed how confident they were in the session and I took a lot of positives from their choice.

Fun for the players

The session went very well, with all the players seemingly enjoying it and putting a lot of effort into making it work, which as I’m sure you know is a big part of the battle in making activities a success at training.

At the end of the session we had our usual question and answer session and I let the boys explain what they liked about the session and whether it worked just as they had thought when they picked it. It produced a lot of comments and all the players were keen to get their points across.

So, it was a player-led session with peer learning, as well as Q&As to help the coaching points come out. A perfect learning environment! And as they went home there was a chorus of “can we choose again next week!”

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