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Top 3 ways to engage players in 2024

You've just come straight from work, a Melbourne like winter has hit, it's raining and an unknown amount of players about to arrive for the session. Coaching is HARD WORK! Try our Top 3 ways to engage players this season...


Give players ownership in the session

You will feel more committed and involved if you are given an opportunity to have ownership of what the session should involve or what games are played.


Invite players from each team to pick out a Footy MatchPlay Card©️ from the deck, this will act as their team challenge for the handball game. Our Top Tip is restrict the choice to 3 or 4 cards and preselect Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ that fit the theme of the session.


Adding Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ into session to promote player ownership in turns gives players accountability and autonomy, creating an opportunity for coaches to see leadership skills and notice changes in behaviour.

"At a session recently, I gave each team one Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ to each team, they had to decide what player would play that challenge on their team, come the second half teams could decide a player on the other team who'd play the challenge" Jacko, Founder of The Coaching Lab



Add variety and variability

The two things coaches have control over? Their behaviour/interactions and session design. Being different is good, we say "don't be boring, be exciting." This maybe you change a footy for a soccer ball or frisbee, playing in a rectangle rather than an oval or using un evan teams to create more challenge.


Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ make adding variety and variability into your sessions easy, there's 40 team and player challenges to play in your handball games and scratch matches.


The more variability in your training the more like your players are going to be able to adapt and problem solve come the weekends games. You're only as good as the problems you're set!


"When I started coaching, I thought it was all about telling the kids what to do now but now with the help of Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ I see its about giving players ownership and challenging them to answer the questions" Year 7 Junior Club Coach.

Give players what they want

If players keep asking to play games, it probably says alot about your environment. Players LOVE to play games, they want to play with their mates, play like their heros and go head to head against each other.


Every coach should know what makes players smile, if you don't we challenge you to go and find out this week. Measuring smiles is a powerful way to measure engagement and feedback for your session design.


Play out a series of small sided handball games with Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ as a mini tournament, every round you play a new team challenge is added, level it up and add player challenges as well for players to gain bonus points through the tournament.


Pick them, add them, play them. Explore Footy MatchPlay Cards©️ for your sessions HERE!




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