As you’ve probably guessed from reading previous articles that I’ve posted here recently, I’m a SSG advocate and think there are so many benefits from learning through game play. Personal belief is that you need those technical aspects in sessions, you need broken down tactical elements and you can connect all of these in smaller sections via SSG’s… this is where the match cards can come in.
Predominantly aimed at the younger age groups, they can still be relevant to older players if the correct ‘constraints’ are selected.
Constraint based coaching:
Ben Bartlett has excellently promoted and developed the use of constraint based coaching in recent years, demonstrating the use of challenging players in situations that connect to the game itself.
How does this link to the Match Cards?
Well… rather than a tactical constraint, how about a super power for your players to use to gain a technical advantage? Or an individual challenge that you want to set to a player who is either finding it hard or finding it easy?
Want to encourage your young players to move into spaces? Throw in the ‘lava’ card which means they have 4 seconds to move after passing. Maybe you have a player who is a role model to others? Offer them the ‘manager mode’ and encourage their leadership skills whilst also allowing others to flourish.
How can they help you?
As a coach, they’re useful to use as a fun ‘tool’. They promote a unified feeling in the group (in my experience!) that keeps up competition levels as well as being another method of challenging players to meet session aims. There are many cards that link to possession based games, attacking/defending situations, finishing sessions etc and these can highlight understanding very well.
For players – who doesn’t want a bit of fun? I’ve tried these with u10 players, u14’s and even u23’s (these guys were sceptical but did see the benefit once they started playing!)
How much are they?
There are 3 types on offer based on target age ranges but the common ones are The Coaching Lab Match Cards at £25 – but if you’re reading this and want a 10% discount, apply “CD10”.