Matchday is back and we're super excited! An extension of training, matchdays create an opportunity for coaches to connect players to their super strengths and grow a love for the game. We spend plenty of time planning our sessions but do we plan out matchdays? Coaching interactions? Player questions? Team challenges? Here are a couple of our top tips and tricks to get the most out of your players...
🚀 SET PLAYER CHALLENGES
Young people believe in magic and that everything is possible, create a story of adventures using role models to transport players to a whole new world. Zooming in on what players are good at will only improve their self-awareness and self-belief, attributes we want in every player surely? If you ask a player what they are good at, they often struggle to tell you which means we need to talk about their strengths more.
“You shouldn’t be working in youth development if you think your job is to win every game and not produce players for the senior team...” Aidy Boothroyd, U21 England Manager
Choosing challenges that are built on player's super strengths or inviting players to self-challenge by picking a MatchPlay Card for themselves or for a teammate will shift the focus from the end game to the process and journey of reaching the end game, the game a puzzle.
🚧 CHECK & CHALLENGE LEARNING
If we can begin to support substitutes to reflect and review allows them to plan ahead of time, putting them in a visionary position of mastery. Why wait till half time or quarter time to check and challenge learning? The format of rolling substitutions creates an ideal opportunity to share experiences, set new challenges, and capture learning.
Leaving a preselected group of Reflection MatchPlay Card questions on the bench for players to check in with as they come off will ask players to press pause and rewind on the game so far often creating conversation with other teammates. You may choose questions that relate to the player challenges you said at the start of the day.
"The creation of sport is designed around winning or losing, yet we shouldn’t be defining individuals and/or team’s ability by our winning or losing record, especially within youth sport." The Objective of Youth Sport
Taking this player-centred approach as you guide players to become more self-aware of their performances will undoubtedly lead to the development of adaptive decision-makers, players who can #ChangeTheGame, this is what youth development is all about. How many learning opportunities are you creating on your matchday?
It is the most asked question to every coach but not anymore! Designed to support coaches coach through games, grow tactical thinkers and design environments that have stretch and support players, MatchPlay Cards are here to #ChangeTheGame.
We've shipped to 33 countries and counting, supporting coaches from grassroots to elite performance. Wherever you are in the world we will get MatchPlay Cards to you!