Use team talks
Team talks provide a great opportunity to link training to matchday. You may already do this before the game. Providing little bits of information about what you’ve been working on recently and setting some outcomes that relate to that. But it’s something to keep in mind for half-time, too.
Depending on how the game is going, there may be a lot to consider at the break. But don’t lose track of your original focus for the match.
While your players have the chance to settle down and have a drink, think about your messages carefully. As mentioned in this article, don’t overload your team with loads of information at half-time. But, based on what you’ve observed, find a positive way to link back to training and the day’s objectives. It might simply be praising them for showcasing some of what they’ve practised in training, then encouraging them to see if they can try it more often in the second half.
Having your team talks near the players’ parents and carers can be beneficial, too. Letting them hear what’s being said will help to get them on board. Plus, it will increase their understanding of what you’re looking for and how your training sessions link to the game.
Link matchday to practice
As soon as the full-time whistle goes, planning for the next matchday begins. While you use this time to consolidate the day with your players during the full-time team talk, it’s also a chance to set up the plan for the following week. This is where the plan, play, review cycle starts.
You can use this opportunity to highlight:
- any learnings you’re taking away from the game
- what you’re going to work on at the next training session, and why
- how this connects to the playing philosophy you’ve set – and potentially the match they’ve just played
- what you’d like to see players take from this game into training and onto the next matchday.
This is a great chance for you to scaffold their learning as you help them see the bigger picture with how it all links together.