Whether you’re on the field, the classroom, or the work place, effective communication is a two-way process that helps us to be successful in all aspects of life. Though soccer teams can have up to 11 players on the field at a time, they must function as one cohesive unit during a game; communicating is one of the key aspects in achieving that goal. Reducing errors, making smart passes, and executing defensive strategies all require clear communication among teammates in the height of competition. To demonstrate the importance of communication, try this activity:
- This game will work for 10-16 players. If you have 16 total players create a soccer field 70 by 45 feet. If you have fewer players, you may adjust the size of the field.
- Divide your team into two even teams, and set them up on their sides of the field.
- The two teams will be scrimmaging one another. However, they are not allowed to talk during the scrimmage, there will be no verbal communication on the field. If a team talks play will be stopped, and the ball will be given to the other team.
- After 10 minutes, stop play and discuss with the teams how not being able to verbally communicate affected their play.
- What challenges did they face?
- Did they learn to communicate in a different way?
- What did they learn individually they had to do to be successful in the game?
- For the next 10 minutes, allow them to have normal communication during the scrimmage.
- After the 10 minutes have another discussion.
- How did communication help them in the scrimmage? Was it easier when they could communicate verbally?
- What did they learn from the game about nonverbal and verbal communication? How do they interact?
- What is an example of when they had good or bad communication in a real life situation?
The goal of this game is to teach the players how important communication is, without communication as a team you cannot achieve your goals.
Check out more tips and activities on communication in our Badges for Baseball Coaches Manual, on page 31. You can find this manual and more on the Materials page.