Changing the Game

When the game isn't going our way and what we're trying to do just isn't working, I look for ways to change the game. There are a few things that I look at and will discuss here but there are countless ways that changes the coach and players make can alter the game.

The first thing I look at is tempo. Is the other team stopping us and creating attacks of their own because they are playing more quickly than we are? Are they putting us under pressure because they are keeping possession longer and building up against us? Are there one or two areas on the field where they are just quicker than we are and we need to change who is playing in those areas?

If the other team is just working harder than we are and investing more into the game we need to raise our game match their intensity. I don't believe this is often the whole problem. Coaches who just implore their players to work harder are bound to miss other important factors that area affecting the flow and tempo of the game.

The second thing I look at is what areas of the field is the other team exploiting and how can we limit there effectiveness there in order to win the ball back more often. The same goes for places they are stopping us from playing. Is there a player that has other qualities that would create opportunities we are currently enjoying? This usually means adjusting who is playing in those areas of weakness and plugging in a player that may be able to have more success there.

I think the most common way to change the game is to change the formation you are playing. That can mean putting more players in attacking positions or shoring-up the defense with additional support.

I have begun to play mostly out of a 4-2-3-1 this year.

This variant of the 4-3-3 provides a wide variety possibilities for adjustments and tweaks.

If we need a goal my first move will often be to move a defensive central midfielder up front creating a 4-1-3-2.

Late in the game we will gamble even more by playing with only three defenders creating a 3-4-3.

Ultimately, it's up to the players to find a way to win but I feel it's my responsibility look at an overview of the game and put players in a position to be successful. They still have to out work the other team and make it happen.

One of my least favorite, 'coachisms' is, "Don't worry, it'll come." NO, NO IT WON'T! Someone has to MAKE it happen. Simply doing what you've been doing will get you exactly what you've gotten up to that point unless you just get lucky and the ball bounces you're way. I would rather take the initiative find a way to change the game.

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As I said, there are many was to change the game. What are some ways that you've used to help you team find success in matches that they have struggle with?

Have a great day!


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