important because it’s the first time in the game that the players have an opportunity toreflect consciously for a sustained period on the game.
The coach’s role at half-time
The main goal of the coach during the half-time interval is to influence positively thesecond-half performance as much as possible. The coach may give the players feedback onhow they are performing individually or collectively as a team, and discuss technical,tactical and physical aspects of the game, including formations, styles of play, changingtempos and pitch conditions.A key element of a successful half-time talk is communication. This is a two-wayprocess that consists of giving and receiving information. Coaches can learn a lot about thedevelopment of the game at half-time by listening and asking the members of the teamquestions to prompt a two-way discussion. However, while coaches are typically good attalking, being in charge and giving instructions, they are often poor listeners.It is also important to note that communication is not only verbal. As early as the late1960s, research in communication had indicated that non-verbal behaviour (ie bodylanguage) plays an important role in communication(1-3). Researchers have determinedthat just 7% of what we communicate is the result of the words that we use or the contentof our communication; 38% of our communication to others is a result of our verbalbehaviour, which includes tone of voice, timbre, tempo and volume; and 55% of ourcommunication to others is a result of our non-verbal communication, our body posture,breathing, skin colour and our movement.
The leadership style also has a major influence on the effectiveness of a half-time teamtalk. There are several types of leadership styles, including ‘authoritarian’, ‘democratic’and ‘laissez-faire’ (see box, page 6). It is possible for coaches to use different methods indifferent situations, and it’s important to note that personality types, cultural behaviourand other factors also contribute to coaching styles.Some coaches display a combination of the different leadership traits, whereas othersfavour one style in particular. A good coach will adapt his or her leadership style toexpectations, knowledge, experience and group members. For example, if a group ishostile, the leader may prefer to adopt an autocratic style. If the group is friendly theleader may choose a more democratic, person-centred style. Problems can arise ifstrategies for preparation used by the leader do not match the group expectations of theteam.
Psychology of half-time substitutions