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Two ways to be more player centred

Built on three core pillars of development Salisbury Rovers FC practice what many say they bridge 1) Provide the best quality environment​ 2) Allow kids to play with freedom 3) Develop the whole child. Encouraging young players to be kids first and foremost, wanting kids to own their game and become thinking footballers.

Rejecting adultification and commercialisation of youth sport at Salisbury Rovers FC game days are viewed as another learning experience. Football is unpredictable and players must learn to be responsible for making the correct decisions during the game. "Development is crucial and more important than adults' bragging rights," explains Club founder and coach, Debbie Sayers.

Believing that football is not about short-term wins, it’s about the love of the game and long-term development, coaches of Salisbury Rovers FC have been using The Coaching Lab MatchPlay Cards©️ to give children back their game, encouraging players to be great decision makers and problem solvers in their small sided games.

"Kids do not (and should not) play for adult entertainment. They should play for themselves. They should play because they love football." Shares Debbie Sayers of Salisbury Rovers FC.

​" . . the fact is that kids learn to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions." Alfie Kohn, Lecturer in Education and Psychology


Coaches will add MatchPlay Cards©️ into small sided. games (there is 100+ to pick from!). Giving players a choice of which challenge cards they'd like to play in the game.

"If we are really serious about letting children play their game and being child centred we have to turn the table and begin to ask the players want and how're they are thinking."

Giving player ownership is absolutely critical. If you have responsibility for the game, you'll take ownership for what you're going to do, you're not then focused on the scoreline all the time"

Why wouldn't you create a playing experience like this for your players? It is their game at the end of the day. Create an experience for your players to be the best version of themselves, don't be someones, last coach.

"MatchPlay Cards©️ are such a great idea. The kids get so excited about them, they keep asking for them" Debbie Sayers, Salisbury Rovers FC


"On a Saturday, the coaches we will spread all the challenge cards out on the floor and then pick cards that suit the group before putting them in their pocket ready to use. They will call "STOP" during the game and give each team a different challenge or a secret challenge to one team and not the other."

Facilitating child-led and game centred sessions coaches at Salisbury Rovers FC are using our MatchPlay Cards©️ to not dictate player decisions but rather encourage freedom for players to make their own decisions and ask great questions with Reflection MatchPlay Cards©️.

Just like Salisbury Rovers, be a game changing coach with MatchPlay Cards©️ 🛒👉🏼


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