No coach can absolutely predict how a football match will play out in the next 45 minutes or so. Not even Sir. Alex Ferguson, who has been a top flight manager for 30 years and has been in charge of Manchester United for so long or Jose Mourniho, who has also managed different top flight teams like Porto, Chelsea, Inter-Milan, and now, Real Madrid. They both know that sometime, something may go wrong with Philip, and the whole team get punished in the first half of the game. It could even be that the Coach’s tactics crumbled and the players couldn’t just get the right feet on the ball. It does happen in football game and if your team has gone down by say 4 goals, the morale maybe so low to fight back.
But what most top flight managers would tell you is about the unpredictable nature of a football game. Every seconds counts and the tide of the game may change anytime and as they say, “It’s not over until it’s over.” Thank God, the referee has blown the whistle for the end of the first half. It’s time to show your managerial skills in the dressing room.
Understanding the dressing room dynamics will set you ahead of most managers. You should learn to take charge and full control of activities at the dressing room. There’s the tendency that officials as well as top supporters of the club would want to gain entrance into the dressing room with the team, to air their views about the game so far. You should minimize the in flock as much as your authority permits – it can be much of a distraction to the team.
It’s important to note that the dressing room is not a place to trade blames, especially at half time. Two things you should ensure it doesn’t happen in the dressing room are, Bickering and brawls. Learn not to blame your players and don’t allow anyone to blame them either. Don’t allow players to blame each other, which may result to brawls and further demotivate the team. As the manager of the team, you have just 15 minutes to turn around your team. You should learn to act like a motivational speaker and carefully choose words that will uplift the morale of the team. For example, You can start this way: “We were a bit casual in the first half, but lets get in the game now…” Or you may say, “We’ve a better team, we’re just letting them punish us for some casual mistakes, lets’ correct them now.”
Four Steps in Giving a Powerful Pep Talk
1. Read the game for the team: Review the first half of the game and analyze what were the weak points of the team. Expose to them the tactics the opponent team used and how they applied it to score those goals in the first half.
2. Close up the weakness of the team: After analyzing the first half, begin to tell them how to close up the weakness of the team. Give special assignments to some key players in the team to stop the opponent insurgence. You could make changes where necessary. You may let fresh players come on to ‘police’ some enterprising players in the opponent’s team.
3. Bring forward your Alternative Winning Tactics: Assure the team that they can still win the game and go on to show them how to dismantle the opponent’s tactics. You may re-position the players if need be. Set up some players that will spear head the onslaught. You may decide to alternate the players immediately or you may decide to introduce fresh legs when the second half is on-going.
4. Speak Motivational Words to Inspire the Team Afresh: Tell the team they can do it, they can win the game. In few words, recap the team’s target for the season or for the tournament. Give them reasons why they cannot afford to loose this one. If the match is that crucial, you may by the consent of management, promise the team a higher reward such as increased match bonus or daily allowance… Don’t forget to tell them the magical word: “Go and win the game, you can do it.
Note. Match is won at the sideline more than in the dressing room, because tactics and the tide of the game keep changing till the end of the match. Therefore, a manager must know how to adjust fast enough as each tide of the game changes again and again. However, dressing room is a place to motivate your team and inspire them to fight till the game is over. This powerful Pep talk steps can help awaken the winning mentality in your team.