The coach’s half-time talk can often have a huge impact on the outcome of a game, especially if things need changing around.
But many coaches, especially those who are still learning the game with junior sides, end up confusing their players.
In many cases, it’s because they haven’t planned how they will use the time during the break.
First, it’s important to know how long the half-time break will be. It can vary, depending on local rules and what the referee insists upon. If in doubt, check with the referee (or opposing coach) and agree how long the interval will be.
Don’t launch into your team talk straight away. Give the players a minute or two to catch their breath, grab a drink and to settle.
Use the time to mentally rehearse what you plan to say. Prioritise what you are going to say.
There’s no point in racing through a list of 10 instructions if the players can’t remember which are the most important.
Keep the message simple. It’s better to highlight two or three crucial points and make them well, than deliver a long list which has the players tuning out.
And don’t keep talking just because you still have time left. Better to ask the players to repeat back to you what you’ve just told them.
Over time, you’ll find the best ways to deliver your message – nothing beats experience!