Players look lethargic and lack energy.

I coach an U12 team. They are a really good bunch of lads but by no means a team of hand-picked superstars. We play in the second division of our league and last season we ended with a run of 12 wins in a row,

This season we have had some amazing training sessions. I'm aiming to make every session feel like a game and the lads have really enjoyed that change. They have produced some fast attacking, passing football and they seem comfortable playing out from the back, driving at players etc.

However, we have played two league games and they have looked like they lack energy and they seem very lethargic. The fast passing game has gone and they are lumping the ball forward, dwelling on the ball, losing possession, not tackling and generally making silly mistakes. It's as if they have lost confidence when faced with a match. Nobody has put any pressure on them to achieve a result....we are very much about participation and making it fun.

My thoughts are to pick my best players for the next match and get them playing together to try and build some confidence. 

Has anybody encountered anything like this before? Any tips on what I could do to get them playing like they do in training?



  • Chris

    Thanks for the post and it does seem like a bit of a dilemma. There may be something in the players returning to school and we mustn't underestimate the toll this can place on the young developing body. You may also have some early developing players who might be ready to enter puberty and this can cause all manner of reactions in players. Just continue to be clear about your philosophy and patient and understanding in your dealings with the players and they will be back on track before you know it. Pete

  • morning Chris

    I also think it will have alot to do with school,

    if im right they would of all just started highschool, which could possibly mean a bigger increase in screen time.

    Especially social media, snapchat, tick tock etc as they are meeting new people.

    They will also be doing more exercise in and after school

    Highschool normally coincides with later nights, certainly on a friday regardless of how a parent trys to manage it.

    It could well be there just a bit more tired, but i should think it wont be long till they settle down again and their bodies and minds get used to it

    cheers lee

  • Pete, Lee,

    Thanks for the reply guys. Yes they have just started High school and while my lad has taken to it like a duck to water this may not be the case for some of the lads. 

    We actually had a game yesterday and they were much better. It was a battle but they had so much more energy and they linked up well and won the game. I think that while the result isn't everything it will give them confidence for upcoming games. 

    Thanks again guys.