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This content is taken from the University of Birmingham & The Football Association (The FA)'s online course, Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players . Join the course to learn more.

Match day environment

The environment you create on match day is of equal importance, if not even more important than the one you create in in practice.

When you look at the average time spent with players in grassroots football, a large percentage of that time is spent on match day. During a typical 1 hour per week training session, often the likelihood is there is only 50 minutes or so of activity, with players often arriving late, previous users of the facility running over etc. However, on match day, the total time spent with players and parents alike is usually much more than this.

Do you behave the same on match day as you do during practice? Do you encourage your players to be creative in matches?

What methods do you use on match day to create an environment that enables creativity?

  • Give every player equal game time?
  • Use different substitutes every week?
  • Rotate players so they experience different playing positions?
  • Develop trust, respect and enjoyment and take away the fear of failure?
  • Concentrate on player development and not the outcome of the match?
  • Give developmental feedback?
  • Do you link the game to the practice?
  • Recognise success and praise effort?
  • Involve your players in the match day?
  • Do you involve them in the planning and organisation of the game?

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This article is from the free online course:

Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players

University of Birmingham