At a professional Football Academy, we believe it’s so important to prepare appropriately. Preparation is often the key to success, and we look to ensure that all of our players are ready to commit to 100% preparation. Without the correct planning, training, and readiness to commit to giving their best, players find it hard to achieve the success they could find. For coaches, too, preparation is the perfect time to give players the support, the encouragement, and the belief that they need to make the most of their abilities, skills, and capabilities as professionals.
Preparation, then, should be giving the players in the team – and outside of the matchday squad – the chance to:
- Work on their weaknesses in relation to their opponents’ strengths.
- Learn how to control their emotions in the build-up to a match, no matter the occasion.
- Link together training and education sessions with the scenarios the match could throw up.
- Try out new skills, formations, strategies, tactics, and ideas, for a specific opponent.
- Develop players and prepare them for the unique challenges they could face coming up.
Prior the match: the night before
Before a game even kicks off, we recommend that professional coaches spend as much time as you can, looking at how to manage the scenario of the match. The night before a game should always be used to planning and preparation. It should be a time that you use to minimise the amount of supplementary work that you need to do on the training field with the players.
You can reduce the time that you need to waste going over basic factors of pre-match preparation by doing it the night before. For example, take a look at your fit and ready roster; who is available? Who can be selected? Who can play what positions? How do you ensure that game-day action is shared fairly across the squad?
Use the night before to work out all of these factors. It’s essential to preparing for the match properly, and ensuring that you arrive with A) a team in mind and B) a plan for each part of the team.
Prior to the match: before kick-off
As we build towards the match kicking off, we suggest that you prepare all needed equipment at least one hour prior to kick-off. This means that you should be in place at the venue, with the team, with all equipment in place. the professional football club should have a fixture page information on the websiteand soicel media with easy acess for the teams of the football academy.
Kits should be prepared in the changing room, and everything should be organised accordingly for all of the players. The academy coach look to make sure that all of the matches are well-prepared ahead of kick-off. Good preparation off the field is key to ensuring preparation on the field during the match itself.
We may also delegate some tasks to parents in a way that would be helpful to the team in developing.
Around 45-minutes prior to kick-off, we would then look to ensure that the team are in place, ready to start warming-up, and removing any tension or negative mood within the camp. We use this as a team for players to catch-up with their teammates, and to work with the ball prior to the match beginning. We ask that all coaches give their team the proper time to warm-up, build a rapport with their teammates, and prepare for the day ahead.
Our coaches will look to turn a quick training session into a final pre-match learning session. We’ll judge and gauge the mood of the team, and make sure that the players feel comfortable. At this point, we also try to encourage all involved to take their mind off the match; talk about other sporting experiences, life at home, activities taken part in outside of football etc.
We look to build a rapport with the players, but also to ease the tension and reduce discomfort for all involved as soon as we can. As kick-off approaches, around 30 minutes prior to kick-off, we will look to begin all coaching for the match. A quick recap of previous matches will take place, as well as a quick showcase of flaws in the previous team performances that need to be corrected.
Encourage all players to be open and to speak – especially players who are not so vocal. Encourage them to talk about the match, what they wish to communicate to their teammates, and what they know of the opposition.
Most importantly, make sure that all members of staff and the squad are in agreement about the plan. Use tactical appliances, such as tactics boards or handouts, to ensure everyone know exactly what they need to be doing.
However, we have one other key factor that we look to use on match day for the Stars Football Academy.
Match Day: Avoiding running commentary
At the Stars Football Academy, we are very strict about the kind of commentary and feedback that we want and allow. From parents to coaches to players on the sidelines, we ensure that there is no running commentary for players to listen to as they play. Football matches are at their most educational when a player is free to make their own choices within the squad framework. Playing only to the instructions of a coach, or parent, is not the way to improve how a player can handle the match. the coaches can share the system of play with the player week after week and let the player ve fmailiar with the way we play . Coaches can do using E learning system or any other way of commiuncastion that thye prepare and afffordbale with thiuer teams .
So, we look to ensure that each position has a clear idea of what they are asked to do. For example, we could ask:
- That the goalkeeper moves the ball quickly back to the field when a counter-attack opens up, and plays closer to the edge of their box to anticipate enemy attacks.
- That the wide defenders provide cover for the central players, and that they move to congest the side of the pitch where the game is predominantly being played.
- Wide defenders may also join in the attacking side of the game, supporting possession play and creating overlaps when needed.
- Central defenders would be asked to keep the ball, move to the corners of the penalty box when the goalkeeper is in possession, and to match-up with central opposition attackers.
- Midfielders would be asked to play the most versatile roles, adapting to the game depending on the needs of the team in a defensive and offensive structure.
- They’ll be asked to keep the ball, move the ball into space, and lead the press.
- Attackers will be asked to lead the attacking press, to force the opposition back, and to mark-up specific opponents to kill off passing angles and stop the opposition playing out.
These are just some very basic examples of the general framework we would ask our players to operate towards in a match. However, our fundamental idea is to ensure that preparation is as perfect as can be prior to kick-off. By preparing the squad properly, we ensure that all of our young beginners arrive in a match day situation comfortable and confident of making their own decisions.
The work that goes into developing the squad framework ensures decisions can be made with confidence that it will come off. By removing the need for coaches to police every pass made, we leave our children with the individual knowledge needed to build solutions and find conclusions on the pitch as a team, not just as individuals.
For our academy Star Football Academy, this is the key facets of our day-to-day match preparation. visit our website top know more
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