Playing games should never be a reward for good behaviour, nor should it be the last thing to do in every training session. We would love players to ask “What game are we playing?” Rather than “When are we playing a game?”. Follow these 3 top tips and you’ll be a game changing coach!
⏱ Start EVERY session with games
If you start training with a game every week we guarantee two things will happen 1) Your players will arrive on time every week and 2) Your players will become better decision makers. To get better at the game, you must play the game.
Set up 2 (or more!) pitches for players to jump straight into. The team numbers will change each time another player arrives; 1v2, 3v3, 4v3. Pick a #MatchPlayCard© that sets the theme of the session and leave one on each pitch, that both teams will play, this will engage players to begin making positive decisions.
"We start with 5v5 at every session using MatchPlay Cards©️ and the players decision making has gone through the roof" - Antony Gosling, St Albans City FC
👉🏼 Play a GAME SCENARIO
Combine a set of #MatchPlayCards© that represent a team you have played or a team you’re going to play and add them to your game. Try playing your game as a best of 3 series to allow for time huddles in the middle.
The game should sit at the centre of every training session (You’re preparing players to play the game, remember!). Try this! Start the next training session with the same game you finished with in the last, impact? Players know how to play the game and you’ve got a measure of learning as the coach.
💥 Small Sided Games vs BIG games
If you play 10v10 at training, that could also look like; Two games of 5v5 or 6v4, four games of 2v2+1 or 8v8+4 bonus players, go crazy and play with 2 balls and give .
Every time a team rotates to a different field to play, add a new #MatchPlayCard© into each of the games, we call this “games within games”, players are picking up bonus points, making decisions on the run and working together to problem solve their way through the game.