Return to play decision-making activities

Got the lungs burning? Now it’s time to get those brains whirring!

Decision-making exercises require your players to think about their options, communicate with each other and discover what works best. The focus is on playing with heads up, looking for the best solutions.

If they do this in match-like situations in training, they will be better prepared to make decisions on the pitch come match day, whenever that is.

Here’s a mix of attacking plays, simple skill judgments and defensive decisions to experiment with.

Use Colour call: Heads up decision-making activity to force the attacking team to look forward. It’s simple in the sense that it’s easy to understand, but it’s a tough one to play!

A good system to help players reset quickly to attack from a breakdown is called “Go with the flow”. Possible heads-up decisions then come in the pass from 10 to one of the forwards – the aim is to attack the weakest point in the defence in front of them. Test this out in the Go with the flow forwards off 10.

One of my favourite exercises for prepping the players before a match, Decision-making warm-up works both passing skills and then adapting to a defender. You can easily develop this by having two defenders on the turn.

Playing heads up is not just about attack. Defenders can read the situation and then decide whether to hold their positions or race in to cut down an attacking play. Develop these scenarios in Jamming decisions practice plan.

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