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My U'16 team can't get going in the first half

My under 16 team just cant seem to get going in the first half but come out strong in the second! I feel this is a bit of a sports psycology issue! I have heard a few of them say." Well, we know what the opposition are like after 40 mins! I need to install belief!

Hi Neil,

we recently had a very similar question asked on our hockey page. Though it's not the same sport I thought the answers were still relevant to your slow-starting predicament so I've included the link below:

Hockey Question: How to improve my slow starting team?

Hope this helps!
The Sportplan team

hi neil,  there could be several reasons for this, i think  in my experience u16s can be difficult especially as reputations of other teams spread quick at this age, and also that the fear factor of other team may make your players cautious before games and only during the battle they gain belief that the opponents are not actually up to what there reputations procede, mind games can start at a young age and if you can tell your players regularly they are good and can beat any1 and to fear no1, that may just spur them to have a little more self belief, also at that age i find offering them rewards, even if its a bag of haribos, for the first goalscorer, does actually help in initial confidence boosters, good luck, neil

This is about pre match organisation and team discipline.

If the pre match warm up is not up to or near the intensity of a match then most teams will use the first 10-20 minutes actually warming up!!. The warm up should include any remindders of whats expected of them and here you can let them know that you will be subbing any player who takes it easy in the first half.

If your 16 year olds think they can get away with it then they will!

In training play the Liverpool 0-1 game where you play 2 x 10 minute matches with one team denoted as being 1 goal ahead with 10 minutes to play while the other team is denoted as being 0-1 down. After 10 minutes, rest 1 minute then repeat but swap the roles with the team that were 1-0 up are now 0-1 down. After the two matches, whichever team has the highest aggregate goal total wins. If the arrogance is such that they STILL want to play that way then give them targets before they can th way THEY want. Have a target of 4 goals ( minimum 3 goals ahead) THEN they play to whatever tempo they wish. The longer it takes them to get this 4 goal up tally, the longer they must play harder.

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  • search our library of 500+ football drills
  • create your own professional coaching plans
  • or access our tried and tested plans