Home Football Player Development Why Do My Players look Great in Training But Not in Football Matches?

Why Do My Players look Great in Training But Not in Football Matches?

by Coach Kurtis

In today’s article, we will look at a question I hear crop up on numerous occasions which is “why do my players look great in training but not in football matches?” good question. 

It must be frustrating for many coaches around the globe involved in youth football, you train once or twice a week and the players are doing everything that you ask of them so you are thinking “great we are ready for the game on the weekend”. 

When the game arrives you see a completely different set of players and you are left scratching your head thinking where have you gone wrong? 

Truth is, there could be many factors into the reasons why your players are just not transferring what they learn into the game. 

We will discuss all below in today’s article. 

What makes my players FREEZE on matchday? 

A common excuse for coaches is that their players just ‘Freeze’ on matchday, not turning up for the occasion. Other than this I tend to hear are “my players don’t want it enough” or “too many of them are just lazy, they don’t want to put in the effort when the matches arrive”. 

Do you really believe that kids don’t want to do their best when they play? 

I am yet to meet a child who wants to play football and loves the sport, not try their best when it comes to the matches. 

Every child who has a strong interest in the sport will want to impress you (the coach), their parents, peers, and anyone else who may be watching at the time! 

This is one thing I have learned after working in schools and communities with thousands of different children, they love to impress others. 

So if it’s not effort then it must be that they just don’t want to win enough.

Really? If you believe this then you obviously don’t know children very well! 

Children who enjoy the sport always want to win! They HATE losing. 

I am yet to meet a child who is happy with the fact that they have just lost a football match. 

So if it’s not any of the above, what could it be? 

Let’s first think about how different your training sessions could be from the actual matches!  

Do they mirror what the players might face in the matches? (Are they realistic). 

Do they help the players solve ‘real’ football problems? Allowing them to learn from their mistakes and you the opportunity to help give them guidance towards the correct solution?  

For me, this is one of the most common issues I see in grassroots football, unrealistic training sessions. 

If a player learns how to perfect a technique without also developyou oa[aja8comv9!oneing w,best w&sons >Do thve j excact th a technh is, thbe it coawill onnper.ion?  

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