Updated: Oct 29
Using in-game challenges on a match day or during training is a great way to take the game to new levels of exploration. Here are a few of our favourite ways to use team challenges on the pitch.
Rise to the challenge:
Create an opportunity for one team to challenge another based on their observations and experiences they have just had. Where do they think the opposition can challenge them more? And what do they think the opposition can do to be more successful?
Better understanding your players:
What do you know about the players in your playing group? And how well do you know them? Who is the player who can eliminate 10 days players if needed and who needs support with their in-game mindset? Understanding your players and their characteristics will allow you to use appropriate team challenges that neither too easy nor too complex.
The key always with practice is the transfer into the game… It is important to try to maximise the possibility of a transfer by not steering too far from the reality of the game.
Steve Holland - England Football Assistant Coach
Look and feel like the game:
Playing out scenarios and replicating the playing philosophy of your upcoming opponents creates a theatre of atmosphere for your players to feel as they experience playing under new challenges but shhhhh only tell one team. Can the team without the challenge adapt and overcome to #ChangeTheGame? How will you present the team challenge to the players?
Match Day Challenges:
To bridge the gap between training and the game is the ultimate reason why we train but often do us coaches disconnect our match days with training? Challenging players with match day challenges not only asks players to tactically explore their challenge but promotes reflection into previous training sessions (Also giving us coaches some good feedback on how game-related our training was!) Don’t let the scoreline detract from what you are trying to achieve with your individual players.
Lastly and maybe most importantly, don’t forget to ask the players what they thinking and feeling. It is their game and they have a right to absolutely own it! Imagine the impact on players we involved them more in our session planning….