What is it?

Coaching ‘control skills’ centres on optimising a player’s ability to manage his or her emotions before and during performance. The coach is focused on helping players to achieve a desired state of alertness and readiness (either by activation or relaxation), and secondly, on “bouncing back” after challenges and mistakes that occur during the game.

From the Field:
“Every time we made a mistake we had to go out of the grid and we would have to say positive things and I had to tell myself not to worry and to relax and try my best. When I was ready to go back in I would shout “I’m Back!” to the coach and give him a thumbs up.” Under 11 Academy Player

What can I do?

Coaches who value helping players with emotional control will discuss the types of emotions that players can feel and experience before and during games. They will raise the emotional awareness of players and use this to introduce (and get players to suggest) strategies (e.g., breathing, self-talk affirmations, support from teammates, music, imagery) that they can use in practice and matches. They will set-up practice situations to train best responses to a scenario, or situation, and encourage players to value and demonstrate use of these strategies as part of their own personal routines.

Click on the video below to hear one player’s opinion on control.