For a team to improve, it’s fundamental that its players say the right thing at the right time.
“One cannot not communicate”. Pauls Watzlawick’s axioms are also applicable to what happens on the pitch. Regardless of where and how they play, players are constantly communicating with their teammates. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to be actively trying to do so. Players that do nothing at all say a lot with their passive presence on the playing field.
So if communication is inevitable, knowing how to do it properly is essential. What to say, when to say it and to whom. “It’s something we’re working on with everyone but especially with keepers and their closest line of defence. In all, the positions with the widest viewing angle of what happens on the pitch”, explains Pere Tarradellas, manager for the Junior a-team at Marcet’s High Performance Academy.
“Basically, what we’re looking for is that players on a certain positional line have a fluent means of communicating with the line of players directly ahead: keepers with defenders, defenders with midfielders, and midfielders with strikers”, the technician adds. “What they working towards doing isn’t actually that easy, football being quite a complex sport where you’re hardly ever going to come across the same situation twice”.
The start of the season is the hardest part of the process. Players haven’t had the chance to get too close, in fact most of them come from very different places with their respective different languages. Throughout the season, they eventually settle a necessary bond and implicit trust which then makes for more effective communication. Tarradellas’ team looks like they have reached that point with the coming of spring and proved it in their latest match in Valencia against Levante UD. In the video above, we talk to the men of the match about how they got on and how their ability to communicate amongst themselves during the game has been a step up for their team.