website image

The team meeting before the game is an important moment for the coach and strengthens the spirits of the team. This meeting is as important for the players! When addressing team, there are a few points to be considered.

The basics of a good team meeting

Players need clear instructions, tactical guidelines, a short opponent analysis and most importantly – motivation. However, the players notice very quickly whether you are just hammering them with a 1000 different facts, or whether you actually have an exact plan for the match. Too many facts and demands will result in the players switching off very quickly. At the end you are the one who is surprised about the many mistakes made by your team during the game. But could this happen, since you had all the facts covered.

One fundamental problem in a lot of speeches stands out and needs to be addressed seperately in order to continue with the five commen mistakes. Never mention all of the information and facts during a team meeting! Statistically, people can only remember 7 points in such a meeting. But in most cases a lot more than 7 points are addressed and this is why your motivational speech should be very well prepared. Read on to learn more about the five main mistakes that can happen.

The 5 mistakes you might make

A negativer start/end to your team meeting

Phrases like “Men / Women, last week was shocking. Today you need to show a massive improvement” are absolute motivation killers! They convey directly that the last performance has not been forgotten and result in a negative atmosphere. If the coach can’t be optimistic about the next game, how can the players be? Motivate your players to the fullest. A positive team speech, confident body language and proper communication are important tools to a coach.

No exact game plan

The team must be given a clear game plan. And this means: the coach must deliver. He naturally has the best overview in analyzing the game and the team’s performance. He knows the strengths and weaknesses of his players. Phrases like “You have to play down the wings more” or “You must be more compact in your defence” may seem like an attack on the players. A simple counter-question by a player, for example “How?”, could catch you off guard, when no exact plan is in place. The coach is responsible for detecting errors, addressing these and giving help when needed. Without providing a competent answer, logic dictates that there can also be no game plan.

"All of the information and facts, that have been recorded, should never be mentioned in a team meeting."

Constant repetition of the opponent's strength

When the opponents strength is mentioned too often, it automatically suggests that the team should be worried. Consequently, it is understood that your team is not strong enough to hold out against their opponents. Any optimism is thus nipped in the bud. It is clearly necessary to mention the three main strengths of the opponent, however, an appropriate counter measure should be delivered to the players as well.


Words like “always”, “never” or “all” should be avoided. Here are some classic examples:

  • “We are ALWAYS standing too deep”

  • “We NEVER gain the ball in the defence position”

  • “As soon as we fall behind, you ALL slack off”

Unfortunately, these phrases slip quickly of the tongue when emotions are high. The bad thing is however – they are not true! You want to point out a clear danger, but exaggerate it with empty words. It is much better to directly address the player by means of competent support.

Poor preparation with respect to the opponents

You have to be well prepared, as players realize very quickly when you are lacking knowledge or dodging corners. It is extremely important that attention is not only drawn to the strengths, but also to the weaknesses of the opponent. If little or no information is available, the speech should be a positive one, focusing on the strengths of the team to build team spirit and motivation.

An example in the case of the midfielders: “The way that you trained, I am convinced that you will clearly dominate the midfield. During the training sessions, I’ve seen how well you work together. I want to see it again, out there today. It is completely irrelevant who the opponent in the midfield is!“

As you can see, there are important points that make up a meeting, which go beyond the tactical formations or specifications. These points will definitely help to improve the quality of your team and of course your personality too.

Good luck.

website image

This article was written by Sebastian Kneissl. Sebastian is a DAZN expert, former FC Chelsea professional and founder of SK Mentoring. If you are interested in support and quality management in the training and club work through SK Mentoring, you can contact him through his page.

Start now with your premium membership

Register now