6 Coaching Ideas for Negotiating a Knock-Out Round Tournament
If your team has entered or qualified for a knock-out round tournament this fall, then there are many things to prepare for if you want your team to make a deep run towards claiming silverware.
The more preparation and consideration for different scenarios and situations the better chance you'll have at guiding your team to victory, so get studious in mapping out how to approach each game.
Here are 6 coaching ideas on negotiating a knock-out round tournament:
1. Get Fit
If you enter a big time tournament against regional opponents, then you want to make sure you're heading into the competition with players that are healthy and fit.
Most tournaments will require playing multiple games in the same day, so it's critical that the fitness level of all players is strong enough to make an impact on the pitch and ensure that undue injuries aren't incurred from overexertion on on athletes that aren't fit.
2. Select In-Form Players
When it comes to competing in win-or-go-home tournaments, it's critical to select players that are in-form and on song for that particular weekend or run of games.
You might have gone the whole season relying on certain players to start or play big minutes, but as the season goes on, players can lose consistency and confidence, and you have to focus closely on who is hungry, determined, and peaking at the right time for your tournament games.
3. Visualize Success
One of the most powerful things you can teach your players is to visualize what success in each game looks like for the players. Teach them how it will feel to connect good passes, make good tackles, diving saves, score important goals, etc.
Having the players watch the reel of this movie in their minds prior to a game, or during half-time, is a great way to achieve real results on the field.
4. Play Every Minute
If you've worked to gain a strong level of fitness, picked players that are in-form, and taught them to visualize success, then you'll be ready to fight for a result and play every single minute offered from the referee's watch.
Developing a never-say-die mentality is one of those intangible characteristics that define championship teams, so train your players to fight from the first whistle to the last.
5. Practice PK's
Coaching a team that never quits is always the goal, but no matter how good your team is, and how hard they've been trained to fight for a result, you'll want to prepare for the ever-undesirable penalty shootout that might occur if the score is knotted after extra-time.
Dedicating the proper preparation in training for your kick-takers to practice is an absolute must prior to a knock-out round tournament, so be sure to incorporate penalties into your sessions at least one-two weeks prior to the first game.
6. Know Your Kick-Takers
Practicing penalty kicks before a tournament is crucial because that's where you'll learn who your first five will be, and having that list ready is a mandatory part of you preparation for a one-and-done tournament.
If you fail to plan, you should plan to fail, but if you put in the time, and do your homework, you'll be hoisting a cup in no time.