It's a good tip to have only you, the soccer coach, and one other person involved at the half-time chat. Half-time team talks should, ideally, be short. The team should be sat down, quiet, given a drink and told one or two main points that they can take in. Praise your players for something they are doing right. Then point out the things they are doing wrong and how they can put it right. This is the central point of the half-time talk. Use your whole body and not just your mouth. Positive body language is crucial.
Key soccer coaching tip: Encourage, encourage, encourage!
Pick up one or two things your players have done very well before you remind them about the things they haven’t. Don’t get on their backs but give them something to think about.
Play your game
So you’re losing 2-0 to a side you should be beating. Your players are all talking about the tall kid who’s constantly pushing. The skilful boy on the wing is worrying your defender......
Quieten them down, tell them to forget the opposition and to focus on what they do best, week in and week out. Point out that if they keep passing the ball, shielding it, throwing it, the chances will come and they will get back into the game.
Remind your players to enjoy having the ball, and tell them there’s only half a match left to play. Tell them to “play your game” which will instill the confidence and teamwork your coaching has developed.
Pitch and weather conditions: coaching tips to solve problems at half-time
Problem: Rain – wet pitch
Solution: A wet ball means faster movement. Tell your team to keep their passing simple, and not to put too much weight on one leg. Goalies and defenders must clear their lines into touch.
Problem: Wind blowing into faces
Solution: Tell your players to keep the ball down and pass to feet. Tell them long balls into the wind do not work. Your goalie must kick to the side - make sure he/she knows that. If your team has played with the wind behind them in the first half beware of complacency as the other team will be raring to go having struggled into the wind.
Problem: Long grass
Solution: The ball will stick so your players need to keep their passes crisp. The bounce from goal kicks will be poor so be aware of this and be first to it.
Tips to give players just before they go back on the pitch: Pick one or two points
Remind players to be aware of their surroundings.
Anticipate where the ball is going.
Be aware of teammates' positions.
Close down and mark the opposition players.
Tell dribblers to dribble and shooters to shoot.
Encourage your goalie, don’t criticise - leave that for later.
Make the speech clear and effective. Don’t cover all the points mentioned here, but make two or three points you want to get across. Don’t be tempted with “and another thing”...