Teaching your Players to Read the Game Better

In this day and age young players don’t watch enough soccer.
So if they are not watching soccer how do they learn to read the game better?

I played soccer growing up in the streets, in my backyard, classic leagues and
at 14 I was playing on 3 mens teams on Sunday’s. when you play that much soccer
you begin to read the game and get the experience of recognizing situations before
they happen.

These days I coach players that depend on me twice a week 1.5/2hr. That’s about 4 hours
plus a game on the weekend. All players are committed to playing soccer, but hardly any
are committed to their development. A true player will live with the ball. Touch the ball
everyday! Maybe take some time off on holiday’s. A day or two off..that’s it!

So what do you do as a coach to help your team read the game better?

Teach the 4 Moments of the game!

There are four moments in the game that interchange from the first whistle to the last
whistle.

1. Moment in Possession
2. In the process of losing possession
3. Opponent in possession
4. In the process of regaining possession

These 4 moments interchange the entire game. So you must explain the moments to your players.

How do you do that?  Well just use scenarios.

Example:

If we are in Possession. Then your outside back knows he/she can get into the attack.
As long as they know we are in full control in possession..then the outside back reads
I can get up the flank.

Now if the outside back sees that there is a divided ball and we are about to lose possession
then the outside back is not sure so he/she will wait before just running up the flank.

If outside back knows other team is in possession naturally he/she won’t be making a run into
the attack.

A midfielder on our team challenges for a ball and the outside back is 99% sure that the midfielder
is going to win it. Then he/she begins the run because he/she has read that we are in the proccess
of regaining possession.

This is just one example of each moment. You can come up with your own scenarios to help your players
understand the Moments. This really helps my teams begin to read the game better. I still believe
there is no better way than to watch soccer and be a student of the game.

The moments are just a way to help players understand and read situations when or before they
happen.

I hope you find this article useful. Drop me a message if it helps you.
Coach
Luis Zuazua