Rein de Jong
3 min read
5 Effective Ways to Approach Your Football Team's Next Game
It's that time of the year again - playing football while it’s cold outside! Struggling to get yourself together for match and training days? Read on for 5 effective ways you can help your team pull together a win their next match. The following 5 ways are not exclusive. Rather, they are a variety of strategic options to choose from when preparing your next match.
1. Have a "Breakfast of Champions"
The chemistry in a team often defines a big part in the performance. It’s this certain quality that leads to players understanding each other better, discovering and adopting the same playing style, and ultimately giving their all for the team. Team chemistry can be developed in different ways. A good and easy way of doing this is having meals together. And because most games in grassroots football are during the day, having breakfast or lunch together could be a good start of the match day. Breakfast can be used to discuss strategy and tactics for the upcoming game, but can also just be about how much fun you had last Friday night or about how your week has been going.
2. Get your rest
Football players need a lot of rest, especially before an important match. The whole team has to be at peak performance level for the game. That's why the whole week has to be organised in terms of recovery days, match days and training sessions. A balanced schedule is very important for a team to succeed! If you and your team train twice a week, try to use Monday and Wednesday as your practice days so everybody gets all the recovery time they need. If you want to train more often in a week, then try and use the training closest to the upcoming match as a strategic training rather than an intensive one.
3. Be prepared
There is no worse feeling before an important match than the feeling that you and your team are unprepared. Nobody knows how many cars are available, the only left-back of your team didn’t tell the trainer he was injured and three team members are hungover from the night before. All things that could have been prevented from happening if the preparation was done better! Try to make sure everybody knows their role in the team. Select two players that make sure all equipment is ready. Make sure there are enough cars available and if it’s not the case yet, try to solve it together. Feeling prepared a day before the match will make sure everybody can get a good night of sleep and have no worries in the morning before. Sometimes we can get stressed even though we prepared everything. Then always remember to relax and focus on what is in front of you instead of worrying too much about things you can’t control.
4. Have a winning strategy and mentality
A great midfielder ones taught us an important lesson. “Football is played with the head. Your feet are just the tools”. Whether you think Andrea Pirlo is right or wrong, having a good strategy will most certainly help to improve your game. So for all trainers out there, try to know your players’ strengths. If you are able to let everybody play in their best position, as a team, there is no doubt you will win matches. Even when the team has less qualities than the opponents. Playing together and playing smart can help in having a winning strategy. Mindset is also important. As long as you fight for every meter as a team, the results will come your way. Take for example a look at the Moroccan national football team at the 2022 World Cup. On paper, perhaps not the best team compared to the World Cup favourites. But because of the fighting and team spirit, they still managed to beat one of the best teams in the world and were the first African country to reach the semi-finals in a World Cup. With of course a lot of talent, but also a great mentality and the will to win like no other country has.
5. Enjoy the game
There's not just one way to approach a football match. There's probably hundreds...well, maybe not hundreds. But there are certainly many ways to do it, depending on what you hope to achieve. Sports can be used to achieve great things. When you are playing a game, it doesn't matter if you win or lose. Everyone is there to have fun and make positive memories with their friends. One of the simplest pleasures in life is having a good time with friends on a Saturday morning at the field or playing a game of football on a Sunday afternoon with some neighbours and friends. Football is something that can bring people together like nothing else!