Fairplay is a Flexible Approach

It would be rather naïve to say that the cause of the mismatch is obvious, and by that we mean one team is better than the other. Coaches need to be aware of the cause of the mismatch and adjust their approach to the game accordingly.

Most teams have an even distribution of children born throughout the year. However, on occasion, a team may have the majority of players born in the winter months, while another is packed with players born in the summer months. This means that the mismatch may be a simple case of physicality, especially at the younger age-groups. In such cases, an obvious approach would be to introduce restrictions on how the ‘bigger’ team play; such as the number of touches each player is allowed before they have to pass the ball on; zonal restrictions on how far a player can run with the ball or maybe certain rules on how a goal can be scored.

More often than not, the mismatch is likely to be down to a few players who due to skill, size or speed are able to run past everyone else and score at will. Often these players have no concept of defense, so this presents a perfect opportunity to start the development of a rounded player, who in later years will not become frustrated as other players catch up in skill, size and speed.

Conversely some teams may have defenders who stop everything from passing. Such players often develop into great ‘stoppers’ but rarely become ‘creators’. A spell in midfield or up front will also encourage these players to explore their full potential.

And we regret that on some occasions, the reason sits a little closer to home; we got it wrong!

Whatever the cause, it won't take too much to turn the day around into one that allows everyone to benefit. All it takes is a little imagination and co-operation.

Posted in Fairplay.