A run of poor results at the start of the season can really knock a team’s confidence. Sport psychologist Dan Abrahams offers grassroots coaches four tips to help their teams get over a rocky opening to the campaign MORE
A match that covered the four corner model
The game at the weekend with our U18 boys was a tough tussle between two on form teams that threw up a lot of coaching points from all four corners of the development model.
One point I would like to raise was that one of our subs was dying to get into the game and with the score tied at 0-0 at half–time there was plenty of opportunity for him to get some time on the pitch.
Both teams had shown plenty of skills and plenty of tough tackling which had resulted in quite a few free kicks for either side but I wasn’t a dirty game and the ref was fully in control.
So on went our boy raring to go and within 10 seconds had made a nasty tackle that resulted in a few players charging up to remonstrate with him. The referee could easily have sent him off but because the game was played in good spirits and the fact the player had just come on he was only booked.
This put our player into a rage and the team as a whole stopped playing the game and became niggly and argumentative. Words were spoken to our manager and in the opinion of the coaches and most of his team mates it would be better if he was taken off to calm down.
Within five minutes of going on he was taken off to cool down. This resulted in a display of petulance, kicking water bottles and generally showing aggression to all concerned.
Needless to say he didn’t get back on.
With 10 minutes to go our keeper gave away a penalty and we went into the last stages of the game 1-0 down. But with a certain amount of urgency the boys didn’t panic and turned their game up putting the opposition under a lot of pressure. We got a last minute corner and scored to finish the game at 1-1.
Phew! Relief at the scoreline but plenty to write about in my note book. What do we do with an unruly substitute. There is a code of conduct that players must follow so the club will work out how many games he must sit out – and he has to turn up to the matches but will not be allowed to play.
It was a silly thing for him to do and one which no one wants to see. However he has been given a lesson in what he can and cannot do and I will be watching to see how he responds. Hopefully he will do all the right things and get his head down and wait until he has another opportunity to show the kind of player he is.
Discipline is very important and I wouldn’t want the other players to be influenced by his behaviour.
So if that covers the psychological side of the game I have to say to our opponents that defending last minute corners can be the difference between winning the game and going away feeling like you have lost. Their corner set up was panicky and led to them losing the goal.
The manager needs to read about setting up in my How To Defend At Corners session!