Guide to Football

Listed below are examples of the various team talks that you can use at each stage of a match. They are categorised into the following types: critical, demanding, encouraging, inspirational, sympathetic, relaxing, praising, continue performing, expect improvement and calming.

The Team Talks guide provides advice on how to decide which of these types of team talk is appropriate in any particular scenario.

1. Pre-Match Overall Team Talk

1.1. Demanding

I expect a win / I expect victory / I expect a result

I’m expecting you to win today boys.

I expect nothing but a win from this match.

A team such as ours should be winning this match without any problem at all.

1.2. Encouraging

Impress me

Come on lads, show me what you can do!

Go out there and impress me.

We are the favourites here, so get out there and impress me.

We've been on a bad run lately so go out there and impress me.

We've been on a bad run lately so go out there and impress me.

1.3. Inspirational

For the fans! / Take revenge

Let’s give the fans something to cheer today.

Let’s give the fans a performance they are expecting of us here.

Go out there and give these fans their money's worth.

We are the favourites here, so go on out there and give the fans a performance to cheer for!

Let's give the fans a good performance despite the odds being against us here.

Go out there and get revenge!

I know a lot of you will be keen to avenge what happened when we last played this team, go out there and express yourselves.

1.4. Sympathetic

Wish luck

Good luck lads!

Good luck out there today.

Good luck lads, go out there and pull off an upset.

Good luck out there, we're going to need it.

1.5. Relaxing

No pressure / The result will come

Go and have some fun today.

Enjoy the match today.

There's no pressure on you to get a result today, go and play with confidence and have some fun, and see what happens.

We're not expected to get a result today, so have some fun out on the pitch.

We’re huge underdogs, so there’s no pressure on you to succeed. Go out there and show everyone what you’ve got.

If we play our game, we’ll win. You’re all very capable of that.

Just go out there, relax and play your natural game. The result will come.

The performance today is much more important than the result.

Go out and enjoy the match, I'm not concerned about the result.

The result is not important at all tonight, just go out there and enjoy yourselves.

1.6. Continue Performing

Pick up where you left off!

Go out there and carry straight on from where you finished last match.

If we carry on today where we finished last time out, we've got a great chance.

This is a massive match and if you can pick up where you left off in the last time out then we've got a great chance today.

1.7. Expect Improvement

Expect to see improvement

I’m expecting to see much better performances today.

You've got to pick up your games today, especially in a match of this magnitude.

2. Pre-Match Individual Talks

2.1. Demanding

Expect a performance!

Show me what you’ve got today, I want to see a good display.

I want to see a good performance from you today.

I’m expecting to see solid defensive work out there.

I’m expecting you to take control of the midfield out there.

I’m expecting to see quality finishing out there.

2.2. Encouraging

You have faith

I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.

I have faith in you, get out there and make a difference.

2.3. Relaxing

No pressure!

There is no pressure on you today.

Pressure’s off today, I want you to go out there and play your natural game.

2.4. Continue Performing

Pick up where you left off!

I want to see more of the same from you today.

2.5. Expect Improvement

Expect better!

I want to see a better performance from you out there today.

3. Half-Time Overall Team Talk

3.1. Critical

Disappointing / Angry / Letting the team down / Where’s the passion, lads?

I am not happy with your performance out there.

I'm far from pleased with what I just saw from this team.

You’re much better than this, but you’re not playing like it. Stop letting yourselves down and sort it out.

Your pride is at stake today. You’re letting yourselves down.

Where is your passion lads? Do you not even want to win this match?

Come on lads, show a bit of desire. You don’t look like a team that wants to win.

3.2. Demanding

Don’t let your performance drop! / Expect better in the second half / Prove a point!

Don’t get complacent out there.

Don’t get complacent, things can turn around very quickly in football, keep focused.

We’ve got to guard against complacency now. Don’t think the job is done.

You might be winning, but that could all still change if your performance levels drop. Don't let that happen.

We might have a solid lead but that can all still change, so keep your performance levels up.

I expect to see a much better showing from you in the second half.

Show me something else in the second half.

Come on boys, I know you can do much better than this and I expect to see it in the second half.

Let's show the world what this team is all about shall we?

3.3. Encouraging

Doing well but room for improvement / We can win this! / Keep going, you can win today / All we need is one goal, you can do it! / I know you can do better than this!

You have played well so far but there is still room for improvement.

Things are going well, but I know you are capable of even better.

Keep going out there and you can still win today.

We can still come out of this match with a win today.

We can still win this. Keep working hard and it will come.

One goal is going to be enough to win this, keep working hard and we'll get it.

Keep going out there, one goal should be enough to win this for us.

3.4. Inspirational

For the fans

Let’s give the fans something to cheer today.

Let’s give the fans a performance they are expecting of us here.

Go out there and give these fans their money's worth.

We are the favourites here, so go on out there and give the fans a performance to cheer for!

Let's give the fans a good performance despite the odds being against us here.

3.5. Sympathetic

Unlucky boys

Unlucky boys, things just haven’t gone right for us so far.

You have been unlucky so far.

3.6. Relaxing

No pressure

There’s no pressure on you to get a result today, go and play with confidence and have some fun, and see what happens.

The way the game is set you can go back out for the second half and play without pressure.

There’s nothing to lose today, so go out there and give it your best shot.

The pressure is off here lads, go out there and play and the result will take care of itself.

You can go out there and play without pressure now.

3.7. Praising

Pleased, keep it up / You’re outplaying them everywhere!

I’m pleased with how things are going, keep it up.

I'm very pleased with your performance, keep it going lads.

You're performing well out there, keep it up and the result will come.

Keep playing the way you have been and the result will come.

4. Half-Time Individual Talks

4.1. Critical

Unhappy

I am not happy with your performance today.

I’m not happy with your defensive work.

I’m disappointed with your efforts to control the midfield.

I’m not happy with your finishing.

4.2. Demanding

Prove a point!

Go out there and show everyone what you’re capable of.

I want you to prove to everybody that you have got what it takes to play for this club.

4.3. Encouraging

You can make the difference! / You have faith

You have the ability to make a real difference for us today, get out there and do it!

I’m looking to you to make the difference for us, I know you’re capable.

You weren’t bad, but I believe you can still improve. I have faith in you.

I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I believe you’ve got what it takes.

4.4. Sympathetic

Unlucky

You have been unlucky so far, good effort.

4.5. Relaxing

No pressure

There is no pressure on you today.

Pressure’s off today, I want you to go out there and play your natural game.

4.6. Praising

Delighted

I’m very happy with your performance today.

I’m very happy with your solid defensive work.

I’m very happy with how you controlled the midfield.

I’m very happy with your effort in the final third.

4.7. Calming

Calm down

I need you to calm down.

You need to calm down.

I need you to watch your step to avoid another booking.

5. Full-Time Overall Team Talk

5.1. Critical

Not good enough / Good first half but poor second half / Disappointing / Embarrassing / Angry / Awful, regardless of victory

That, simply put, was not good enough. We should have won that match.

We got away with that today, you were poor out there. We need to be much better than that when we come up against better sides.

That was a bit of a let-off; we weren’t good enough and have to step thing up against better opposition.

I don't know what happened in the second half but it wasn't acceptable, and was disappointing after the first half display.

That was a real “Jekyll and Hyde" performance from you. You were fantastic in the first-half but that second-half showing was unacceptable.

I’m far from pleased with what I just saw from this team.

I am not happy with your performance out there.

I am not happy with the result.

I’m far from pleased with that result.

You weren’t good enough today, that was the sort of match we should be winning.

That wasn’t good enough I’m afraid, there’s no excuses for not winning that sort of match.

Win or not, that performance was unacceptable and we’re going to have to work on a few things.

5.2. Demanding

Warn against complacency

It’s important to now switch our focus to the next match, and not become complacent.

Don’t let yourselves get complacent for the next match.

Why can’t you play like this every match? (for use when recent form has been inconsistent)

That was a very good performance, which makes me ask why we can't play that way on a consistent basis.

You played very well today, why can’t you perform like that in every match?

5.3. Sympathetic

Unlucky boys

You were unlucky today.

Unlucky boys, it just wasn’t our day.

I’m not too concerned despite the result, we were unlucky out there.

Don’t look back and worry about the result. We were just unlucky there.

5.4. Praising

Well done / Pleased / Great comeback

A very nice victory, well done.

A good win boys, well done.

Well done lads, that was a good win for us.

I'm very pleased with the result and your performance.

I’m very happy with the result and the way you played.

I’m happy with what I saw out there, there were some positives for sure.

Putting the result aside, that was a pleasing performance.

Despite the result, I’m pleased with your performance out there.

I can’t fault you for effort, nobody expected us to win but you gave it everything.

Everybody thought we'd get beaten today, well done for proving them wrong. Great result!

Well done lads, you've just proved a lot of people wrong in avoiding defeat out there.

We were the underdogs out there and you gave it your best. Good effort lads.

You've done brilliantly to come back and win that. I'm proud of you.

What a comeback that was. A superb effort, I’m proud and so should all of you be.

6. Full-Time Individual Talks

6.1. Critical

Unacceptable second half showing / Unhappy

I’m disappointed in your second half performance.

The drop in your second half performance was unacceptable.

I’m not pleased with what I saw from you today.

I am not happy with your performance today.

I’m not happy with your defensive work.

I’m disappointed with your efforts to control the midfield.

I’m not happy with your finishing.

6.2. Sympathetic

Unlucky today

I appreciate your efforts, you were just unlucky today.

You were unlucky today, but it was a good effort.

6.3. Praising

Changed the game / Great second half / Delighted / Did well

You were a decisive factor in an amazing turnaround for us tonight, well done.

You made it happen for us tonight, you changed the game. Well done.

That was the sort of reaction I was after, you were great in the second half.

I’m pleased with how you did today.

I’m very happy with your performance today.

Your performance today was very good.

I’m very happy with your solid defensive work.

I was impressed with how you controlled the midfield.

I’m very happy with your effort in the final third.

You impressed me out there.

You did well out there.

The second half was much better, well done.

Your defensive efforts were crucial in our win.

Your playmaking efforts were crucial in our win.

Your efforts in the final third were crucial in our win.

7. Substitutes Individual Talks

7.1. Demanding

Expect a performance!

Show me what you’ve got today, I want to see a good display.

I want to see a good performance from you today.

7.2. Encouraging

You can make the difference! / You have faith

I’m looking for you to make the difference for us, I know you’re capable.

I think there’s a lot more to come from you and I completely believe you’ve got what it takes.

7.3. Relaxing

No pressure!

Pressure’s off today, I want you to go out there and play your natural game.

7.4. Continue Performing

Pick up where you left off!

I want to see more of the same from you today.

7.5. Expect Improvement

Expect better!

I want to see a better performance from you out there today.

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