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How to avoid slow starts to our game?

My U12 girls teams are slow starters. They are undefeated although it is usually 0-0 at half-time, then they come out and put teams away. My challenge is pushing the team (and each girl individually) to improve even though they are winning.

If the team is undefeated, it's probably part of the reason that they are slow starters, they don't feel challenged enough. They are now getting used to the fact that they will "probably" win the game in the 2nd half anyway so don't feel the need to up their game early on. You may want to challenge them as a team (and try to develop them individually) by adding your own conditions to the game. Maybe introduce a 3 touch rule in training and then carry it forward into the game the week afterwards. That may get them moving more quickly to support the ball.  You will probably see that if they are under pressure early in a game at some stage that they will raise their game then but I'd imagine up to now they can't see the point of exerting undue effort as they are getting by without doing it. Another issue may be that their warm up is being done at a relatively easy pace and an increase in the pace of this approaching kick off may inspire a quicker start. Otherwise, you may need to challenge them with a game against an under 14 team in their area to increase competitiveness and see if this works. Hope something I've said helps.

Maybe a well done warm up and very good motivational speach will help them. 

I have also found that the addage "you play the way you practice" is true for speed of play in games.  If you start practices slow, and players are allowed to go at their own pace, that's exactly how they will start the game until they get into the groove.  But against a good team, that could be too late.  Set the pace of your practices the speed you want to play in games.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans