Providing Feedback to Players

Providing Feedback to Players

When providing feedback we must be careful to not focus too much on the negatives. To get the message across we need to ensure our players have confidence in their ability and feel assured of the challenge, task, or action you are asking them to improve on. This often is initiated before, during and after sessions or matchdays.

The words we speak to an athlete, player or child can encourage them through praise, or discourage them with criticism. Young athletes need more positives than older athletes, with research showing:

  1. Youth players require a 7:1 ratio of positive to constructive feedback points
  2. Adolescent players require 4:1 ratio of positive to constructive feedback points
  3. Elite players can manage 1:1 ratio of positive to constructive feedback points

Apply this when delivering feedback to the right category of player and reflect on the response.

Read more to hear our approach on providing feedback to players – before, during and after sessions.

If possible, can you provide player visuals through images or a session plan of the session focus
Ask the player which specific areas of support they would like assistance with – what do you want to develop?
Make the player as comfortable as possible by making them aware of the areas you will observe
Discuss and agree with the player when they want feedback from the session, and in what form – create an individual task
“How can I best support you as a player?”
Let the player ‘play’ and enjoy their football
Focus on your approach as a coach and be conscious of checking the player’s reactions to the coach messages.
Pick you’re the right moment – giving feedback during drink breaks, on the run or in pauses in the session
Ask the player, before engaging with them during a session. “This practice is attempting to work on… can I provide you some feedback to ensure you can recreate this situation in a more effective way in the future
Provide players with regular positive affirmation during sessions – and attempt to reward the intent instead of always focussing on the outcome.
If a player asks, or you deem it will benefit the player – show and demonstrate coaching behaviours and football knowledge utilising the ‘words and pictures’ method
Use the REVIEW model to assist the player to reflect on session
Acknowledge the players’ commitment to their own development and their effort towards achieving individual and team tasks
Praise them with positives from their session – (Positives, Examples, Gain positive affirmation from other players and some takeaways – ‘Areas to consider in the future)
Ask the player what they will do differently as a player next week.
Ask the player what additional support they believe they need from the coach next session or matchday

Following on from ‘the when and what’ of providing feedback – attempt to utilise the REVIEW methodology – this is an easy way of ensuring you have a guide on what and how to deliver feedback to players to ensure you are an inspiring, supportive and caring coach.

REVIEW methodology
RReassure the player
EEstablish what the session focus or objective was
VVisit the player experience through questions
IIdentify an area they can improve (from their answers)
EEmphasis key points
WWhat will be worked on next session?

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