Sunday, April 19, 2015

2 things anyone can do to improve their team

There are little things we as players can do to help the team, regardless of our relative skill level or experience. All we need, is a little effort, and sometimes, just saying something encouraging.

Coach shared with us a nugget of advice the other day, after witnessing a shambolic 2-sided game displayed in training. 

"The losing team, especially at amateur level, is losing because they are operating  as 3 distinct lines of players- defence, midfield, attack. Each line not connected to the others."

(Above) Players got to track back as a team when defending to compress the amount of space available to the opponents.

He explained that this makes the players' positions too static. No fluidity. No movement. It becomes very easy for the opponents to mark them out of the game. 

In order to be effective, the team must be linked. Strikers who lose the ball, must at least jog back. 

Symbolic or Effective?
It may look SYMBOLIC. 

It may look like it won't actually help matters. 

But it does. When a striker jogs back 15m, the midfielder nearest to him will also backtracks 15m. Space available for the opponents to exploit has thus shrunk by 15m. 

When eventually possession is won back by the defence, instead of having to launch a long pass from defence to midfield, the pass is simplified into a short pass. Probability of keeping possession is thus greatly improved."

Another oft under-utilised way of helping the team is simply offering encouragement. 

"Good cross!"

"Great tackle!"

"Good run!"

"Power save!"

The person receiving the compliments will feel good. As a result, they play with their heads held higher, they run that little bit faster, they tackle a little bit harder. Repeat this for every player in the field and you can imagine the effects. 

So remember, do your part in the team. Every little effort counts. Backtrack when defending, shout encouragement whenever possible. A little effort from everyone improves everyone's game in ways you will never believe possible. 

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