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?