One thing I find irritating is when players don't talk in training or games. It’s something that we find is lacking a lot in the players we train, and I’m sure this isn’t just an isolated incident for us. Talking is an art. Knowing what to say, when to say it, and how to say it comes from the experience of playing the game. There are a number of reasons why players don’t tend to talk when playing - they may not confident in their ability, they may feel as though they will hurt teammates feelings, or they feel as though they don’t understand the game well enough to provide instruction. But, effective communication as a soccer player could be the deciding factor of winning the game, preventing a teammate from getting hurt, or you being chosen at a tryout among other things. Below are 5 benefits to players talking on the field.
1. It Shows Personality and Confidence
You may be a shy player off the field, but you need to change your mindset when you’re on the field. Your personality isn’t only shown in the frequency of your communication, but how, and where you do it. Are you the type of player that starts to talk when your team is 3-0 up, and are silent when you’re losing? As a coach it’s always interesting to see if a player continues to want the ball after being dispossessed a few times. The players that are still confident in demanding the ball after losing it a few times, and continue to rally the team when losing are the players we look for.
2. It Increases the Chances of You Getting the Ball
Fairly self-explanatory. There is only one ball between 22 players, so you need to maximize the chances of being on the ball. It’s amazing that some players are okay with running around the pitch hardly having a touch of the ball. As a player you should always want the ball and communication increases the chances of getting it. How you call for the ball is important too. You could be calling for the ball but if your tone is soft, the chances of your teammates hearing you and wanting to give you the ball is far less than if you are assertive and demanding the ball.
3. It Increases the Intensity
The urgency in your voice doesn’t only dictate your own intensity before receiving the pass, but it also influences the player on the ball. For example, shouting “man on” with urgency as your teammate is about to receive the ball will let them know how close the pressure is and how important it is for them to keep the ball. Players not demanding the ball is so common in the drills that we do. Maybe they feel awkward when communicating especially in a 1 on 1 setting, but once we address it, the intensity of their movement, and execution of the technique is of a better quality.
4. Shows You’re Focused and ‘Switched On’
Ever go through a lull in a game? Keep talking. The natural ebbs and flows that come within a game may mean you aren’t receiving the ball much. Maybe you’re a winger and the ball always seems to be on the other side of the field, but you need to be ready when the ball does come to your side. Communication doesn’t just mean calling for the ball, but also talking and helping your teammates out too. Simple cues such as “drop”, or “press” shows you’re engaged within the game, trying to help the team and are focused on winning the game.⠀⠀⠀⠀
5. It Makes you Stand Out
Especially if you’re on trial or at a tryout. Players may catch the coaches attention with technical and physical attributes such as ability on the ball, speed, & strength but effective communication shows an understanding of the game, qualities of being a good teammate, and increases the chances of you getting on the ball to show the coaches what you can do.
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