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Want a great season?
Of course you do.
So what's the secret?
Getting your side to gel through teamwork.
Successful teams are a mix of good technical players,
talented individuals, hard working players, good
passers, strong players, quick individuals and, most of
Now you are extremely fortunate to have all of these
traits in your squad but you don't have to have them all
to have a successful season.
However, if your team doesn't bond into a team then
you could be in for a tough time.
Your team gelling could even be the difference between
an average season and a great one. So, what can you
do to help develop the chemistry required to produce
By teamwork I'm not only talking about what happens
on the pitch.
It is how players interact with each other whenever
they are together;
• at the game,
• in training
• and in the locker room
But it is not only how they get on amongst themselves,
but also with you, their coach.
Ideally, what you should be aiming for is the following:
• All players get along with each other, working
easily together, looking out for one another and
willingly following your instructions
• Respect amongst your players towards each
others contribution to the team
• An atmosphere that is conducive to players
feeling able to express their views without fear of
disrespect or ridicule
• Loyalty together with pride in being a member of
the team squad
• An understanding among your players that grows
into a type of second sense where players instinctively
know each others moves
They may take a little time to gel, but the sooner it
happens the better. So here are a few tips to help the
• Get the players to choose a team mate that they
feel has made the biggest contribution during the
training session or match. Then get them to say exactly
what that player did to deserve the nomination. Be
careful that it isn't the same player all of the time, or
that players are being excluded. Everyone must feel
part of the team.
• Get the whole team to say what they like to do in
training and why. Also, what they don't like doing and
• Get your team to events that are not necessarily
soccer related. It could be an End of Season Party, or
bowling or paintball, or arranging to go to professional
soccer match. Just make sure it is something that the
players would enjoy and can get involved in together.
Any time that the players together where they are
enjoying themselves is time well spent in gelling a team
• The more you get your players to have a say in what
goes on the happier they will feel. Encourage your
players to give their opinions on training and styles of
play. Now I'm not saying you should do everything
they say as their reasons may not be sound in the
bigger scheme of things, but, if you bring in some of
their suggestions you will have them on your side
and willing to do what you ask.
My teams have benefitted from the above but you may
find that not all of the suggestions work with your
What you need to remember is that you will know your
players really quite well after a few weeks, so just work
out what they respond to and tailor your team building
You do not want eleven individuals doing their own
thing on the pitch, no matter how good they are. If you
fail to get your team to gel you will find it hard to get
consistently good performances from your team.
My website Soccer Training is full of hints, tips, drills
and techniques to improve your team's performance
and increase your knowledge as a coach.
Why not take the opportunity to sign up for my free
five day mini course specifically designed for people like
you, the brand new soccer coach.