5 Helpful Ideas for Getting Your Players Talking More On the Pitch
Finding the perfect coaching point or motivational tool to get your players talking more on the pitch is never an easy task for a coach, but there's no underestimating how important it is for your players to feel comfortable exchanging direction and engaging in lots of chatter and verbal information given during a match.
Here are five ideas to get your players talking more during training and on match day.
1. Utilize Team Building Early On
It's critical that early on in your preseason you devote time towards team building activities, come up with some fun games that get the players working together, puts them in close proximity, and allows them to have a laugh.
It might seem like a waste of good training time, but there is incredible value to team building, and the results that can be reaped from a team with good chemistry are incalculable.
If you want your players to be comfortable giving and receiving verbal commands, a shared sense of team is critical, that way the players will know they're part of something bigger than themselves.
2. Squash Cliques
If you do put the time in on team building, it's going to help you mitigate any possible cliques that might develop amongst your players.
Cliques can be very dangerous, and lead to a less cohesive squad on match day, so it's absolutely critical that you ensure there aren't little subgroups that favor each other over other members of the team. Your players won't feel the desire to communicate with all their teammates if cliques exist.
It's true that certain players on your team will go to the same school, may have known each other for a long time, etc., but don't let that turn into something divisive.
3. Put a Name on It
One of the greatest things a coach can do is ask his players to put a name on their passes, if your passing to Tom, say his name, passing to Sue, yell her name as you stroke the ball over to her.
It sounds so simple and basic, but this a very useful way to get your players to start communicating more on the pitch, so always encourage them to put a name on it.
4. Be Demanding but Positive
Your players have to be comfortable enough with each other to give and receive feedback, and it's great for teammates to be demanding and want to keep a high standard, that has to be a prerequisite for your team's on-field communication, but any words exchanged have to be offered in a positive tone.
Players that go off on a teammate are never fun to play with, so remind everyone that there is an expectation for excellence, but that delivery of the message has to be positive.
5. Keep Hammering the Importance of Communication
If you want your players to communicate on the pitch, your going to want to find examples throughout the season to make coaching points as they relate to communication.
Don't be afraid to stop, or freeze, play in the middle of training to discuss how better communication could have made things click, or saved a mistake from happening.