NWSF coaches understand that a planned matchday is crucial to develop skilful players who know and understand the skills of the game. Therefore, the following information is provided as a recommendation for what coaches should consider within their matchday environment in order to facilitate player development.


  • Set clear arrival times for players
  • Set up changeroom (if available) and warm-up area. You may like to place posters of key information on the walls, if possible (such as set piece responsibilities)
    • This may include announcing the starting line up
  • Deliver a clear, concise & consistent team talk. Try to use language which is familiar to the players, and reinforce information that you have covered in training or previous matches
  • Complete a warm up, including injury prevention 
  • Consider and pre-plan, if appropriate, substitutions. This may be particularly applicable for younger players


  • Assess on and off the ball for DNA outcomes and your style of play
  • Maintain cultural expectations and reflect the values of your environment in how you conduct yourself, and communicate with others
  • Prior to half-time, plan the main message of your team talk
  • Deliver team talk to all players (potentially using whiteboards)
    • Coaches should keep to no more than 2-3 main points
    • Consider ‘signposting’ your team talk by clearly outlining what you are going to say at the start
  • Talk to individual players where appropriate. Give them clear cues that link to your main points.
  • Finish with motivational resilient & ruthless messages to motivate players


  • You may debrief with your team on the main messages of the game.
    • However, this should be concise – no more than 2-3 minutes
  • Leave ground/change room tidy
  • Reflect on:
    • What individual and team outcomes did you achieve?
    • Are there any other DNA outcomes which need attention?
    • What will my focus be for next week’s training sessions?
    • Is there any information that other people need to know?

Example team talks

Below is an example of a team talk delivered by NWSF AYL coach, Connor Lovely. You can see in the video his use of the whiteboard and DNA language to support player understanding.