At face value, soccer is quite a simple game where two teams try to outscore each other by kicking a round ball into a rectangular goal. At the end of a 90-minute game, whoever has more goals is declared the winner.
Questions for soccer players, coaches, parents; There are some straight forward questions that players should be asking, revolving around improving, learning, and tactics. Other questions can be a little trickier, such as those about playing time on the field or technical advice.
Although simplistic in nature, the reality is that soccer is much more complicated. Soccer systems, tactics, formations, and coaching styles are now at the forefront of the sport. Each position and player has a crucial role in the attack, defense, and any transition in between.
With this in mind, we must acknowledge that it is not that easy to play soccer in today’s game. Communication is essential. Coaches, players, as well as their families and friends, must be capable of understanding each other in this regard. This means being able to ask the right questions in order to fulfill their role effectively.
A coach needs to have seamless communication with his team and its individual players. A coach should ask questions to evoke a response when his/her team is in need. Or to ask questions that enable better understanding during training sessions.
On an individual basis, a coach plays a leadership role and should be asking questions that best solve any problems or benefit the team and its players. A coach must ensure that his/her players know what’s expected of them.
Friends and families are the supporting pillars for people in all professions. Soccer is no different. It’s useful to know what type of questions you should or shouldn’t ask.
Throughout this article, we will be exploring different areas of the soccer world and discussing questions involving the key areas of the sport. Whether you’re a player, a coach, a friend of a player/coach, or you’re simply a fan, you should find something useful below in the questions for soccer players, coaches and parents.
Questions to Ask a Soccer Team
If a coach wants to gain true insight from their players, it’s important that they phrase their questions in an open-ended fashion. This gives the players the opportunity to freely express themselves in their responses.
The word “why” can be essential in some scenarios but it is quite confrontational so it should be avoided where possible. Some of the keys for a coach are to observe, question, evaluate, and learn.
When speaking to his/her team, a coach should ask questions to ensure that the gameplan is understood and that instructions have been effectively communicated.
To evaluate the team’s understanding of the coach’s tactics:
- What are we setting out to do in our next game?
- What formation are we playing?
Certain patterns of play, both defensively and offensively, are specific to a team or coach. A coach may quiz his/her players on their positions for set-pieces, for fast breaks after gaining possession of the ball, or defensive transition tactics. The coach may also target specific position groups with such questions. For example:
- Where do our strikers line up defensively for corner kicks?
- What do our full-backs do after gaining possession inside our own half to join a break?
- What runs do x player / y player / z player make when we take a short corner?
Team Mindset Questions
This type of question is asked during training or in the lead up to a game, not during a game.
- What do we do well as a team?
- What are the most positive aspects of our team?
- Can you name three specific things we can improve as a team?
- What are we hoping to achieve this season/this game/this training session?
Questions for Soccer Players
People can be sensitive beings, and we each have different personalities. Some players need their coach to put an arm around them and give them words of encouragement. Others react much better to direct instruction, whether it’s encouraging or not.
“So many times at half-time I had played well and others in the dressing room hadn’t but he’d come for me. He knew there’d be a shouting match but it’d get a reaction from me. If he did it to another player, for example, Nani – he knew he’d lose the player but he just knew the right thing to do. He’d tell me to stop dribbling, aiming it at Nani!”.Sir Elex Ferguson
This epitomizes the role of a coach and the importance of individual player management. The way a coach speaks to his/her players is crucial. Here are some topics and questions that a coach may ask his/her player. Note that some of the questions targeted toward the team (above) can be asked to an individual also.
Player’s attitude toward the team:
- What’s most important to you as a soccer player?
- How do your personal goals positively influence the team?
- How do view your role in the team?
Player’s personal performance:
- What are the most important factors that you are concentrating on in each training session/game?
- What factors have helped you toward your current goals as a player?
- How would you rate your performances of late?
- What aspect of training or coaching has helped you improve as an individual player?
- What aspect of training or coaching has helped you improve as a team player?
- Do you find our training sessions challenging?
- Do you find our training sessions technically beneficial?
- Do you find our training sessions tactically beneficial?
- What aspects of training or coaching has impeded your progress as an individual and/or team player?
Perhaps one of the most important questions that a coach can ask is, do you have any questions for me? This opens up the dialogue and makes the coach a lot more approachable.
Questions to ask a Soccer Coach
A player has to demonstrate to their coach that they are committed. Certain approaches can display this better than others.
Sometimes a player may be unsure of his/her role or responsibility on the field. Although it can be difficult to speak up, a player’s duty is to ask their coach to help them with their issues. The team performance is more important than the ego of one player. These questions are team and player-specific, but here are some examples:
- What’s my role for defensive corner kicks?
- What position should I take up when we are in possession of the ball?
- When should I time my runs to join the attack?
A player should always be striving to improve their game from a technical or physical standpoint. There’s no better way to achieve this than by seeking the advice and guidance of a coach. This also demonstrates determination and willingness to get better.
As such a technical sport, there are many techniques and areas that a player may want or need to improve. Here are some questions they might ask their coach to help:
- What extra drills can I do to improve my speed and agility?
- What should I practice to improve my weaker foot?
- Can you show me some individual drills to help improve my first touch and ball control?
- Can you assess my striking technique and give me some areas to work on?
- Are there technique changes necessary for me to improve my shooting and finishing?
- What’s the best way for me to get better at heading the ball?
- What should I work on to enhance my dribbling ability?
Questions for Soccer Parents
The main role for family and friends in this instance is to provide support, to be an outlet for the player, and to give advice and encouragement where possible. The support system should avoid “me too” type responses, and should focus on listening.
Here are some questions parents can ask to help support a soccer player:
- What are your goals and plans? How are they coming along?
- How is training going?
- How was your last game?
- Are you enjoying playing soccer at the moment?
- How’s your relationship with your coach?
- How are you feeling mentally?
- Is there anything you want to talk about?
- What can I do to help out with your soccer schedule/career?
These questions may not appear significant, but they show support and care. This is often all a person needs, particularly soccer players.
Finding the right questions
There is no perfect list of questions to ask in soccer. Different situations, players and coaches require unique approaches. Perhaps the most important thing is to ask the question that best serves the goals of the individual or team. The questions should have positive intentions and should be aimed at extracting useful information. As mentioned earlier, use these 4 words as a guide: observe, question, evaluate, and learn.
Ask questions for soccer players, coaches and parents to get the most out of the game.
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