Watching the Under 14s pass and move their way to a really pleasing victory this week I went home and decided I needed to see what I had worked on with this team when they were much younger and what had been the foundation for the way they were now playing. MORE
How to keep your subs involved
Young players are often easily discouraged and, once they’re feeling demoralised, it can get in the way of their performance on the pitch, so it’s in your interest to keep them in the loop and happy with their role.
One way to do this is to make sure youngsters who have been substituted understand why they are not starting and explain to them those areas they need to improve to get a starting place.
- Give your substitutes specific tasks to do at the side of the pitch. A couple can be in charge of getting water on and off quickly, another two can be in charge of looking out for any players going down injured.
- Keep substitutes active and make sure they are warmed up before they come on to the pitch.
- Keep the subs near you so you can talk to them and show them things that are happening on the pitch, don’t let them sit on their mobiles playing games.
- Get them involved with the play. You can also ask them to count tackles, passes, attacks or any other aspect of the game you want some information on.
- You want your substitutes to have an “I’ll show you” attitude. They should have the desire to show you that you can’t leave them out of the starting team in future.
- You can help your substitutes develop this attitude by telling your players exactly what you are looking for from them. Be genuine with them. If they play well when they come on, then start them in the next game.
- Remember they will be affected by the weather so if it’s cold keep them in their track suits or if it’s hot make sure they drink water