4 Tips For Winter Success

  • November 28th, 2017
  • Susan Graham

Winter can be a difficult period for team manager... Games come thick and fast, weather disrupts, some players get injured and others get caught up in a flurry of social, family and work events (particularly with Christmas in Europe and the US).

All of this can result in a major organisational headache for managers and coaches. On the flip side if you can get your house in order, this is a great chance to get ahead of the competition and make the rest of your season a great success.

Here's our 4 point plan to help your team succeed this winter:

1. Avoid injuries: train smart.

It's well known that training and playing sport in cold weather can make players more susceptible to injury. A long injury list is the last thing you need during the busiest time of year, so train smarter in the winter months to keep your players fit and fresh for match day.

It's particularly important to warm up properly in cold weather - keep stretches dynamic and avoid anything that involves your players standing still. Once your players are warm, don't stop! Opt for drills that keep your players moving from start to finish and avoid anything where your players might be queueing to wait their turn. If in doubt, setup some match situations in small groups to keep everyone moving and reserve long team talks for the warmth of the changing room. Need more drills? Sportplan is your friend!

2. Player availability: Get ahead of the game.

This is normally the time of the year where your players' social calendars are at their busiest, so keeping track of who's available for upcoming fixtures and training can be an absolute nightmare for managers and coaches.

This is where our friends at teamo can help... the app will automatically remind your team to mark their availability for upcoming events in advance. You'll then get a live list of players available well before game day. You'll have buckets of time to select your teams and call up new players if needed.

3. Beat weather disruptions.

There's nothing worse than turning up to matches or training and the field is waterlogged/frozen/unfit for play. So plan ahead - check how many players are available for training and book the right venue. teamo even includes a weather forecast for your fixtures - if weather is going to be an issue, make sure you get in early and book that local all-weather surface or indoor venue before someone else does!

And if you can't do that, work with what you've got. Fitness is always an option, but make sure you keep it fun and competitive. Failing that, head to the pub to work on some team building (perhaps not for junior teams!).

4. Team morale: Get social.

It's easy to keep your team happy in summer when they're running around with the sun on their backs but sometimes training on a cold, wet muddy Tuesday night can get your players down, and some may even stop turning up.

So, give your players a reason to turn up. Keep training short, intense and varied. Reward players who turn up to training by selecting them for the game at the weekend (you can record attendance in teamo). Why not plan a social too? It's a great time of year to bring everyone together and celebrate your successes mid season - sometimes it's just as important to spend time together off the pitch as it is on it!