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Team Task v Player Task

Updated: May 24, 2021

What is a team task and a player task and how can a coach use these to help players focus on what they should be doing during a game?

As a coach, I find breaking instructions down into Team Task and Player Tasks not only helps every player but it helps me visualise what needs to be done. Then I can then give feedback if players aren't doing what is expected as there was a clear message that was given to the team and players so I can re-enforce it.

What is a player task and team task?

When talking about an upcoming game, whether during the week of the game or in the pre-match talk, as a coach we must be able to articulate to the players what is expected of the team and them as individuals to help achieve certain outcomes during the match.

So an example of this may be:

"Get a back four player into the middle third in controlled possession".

This is a team task. And to make a team task a success, player tasks must be achieved.

So after letting the whole team know (Team Task) that one of the goals for this weeks match is to "Get a back four player into the middle third in controlled possession", you must then give out Player Tasks.

Player Tasks can be position specific or can be general. Some examples of Player Tasks in this situation would be:

A. Goalkeeper to act as an extra field player by supporting the ball when in possession

B. 3 and 4 (centre backs) split to make it hard for one opponent to mark both of you 3.

C. 2 and 5 (full backs) push high and wide so you’re not in line with 3 and 4

D. 6 and 8 (central midfielders) start high to create more space for the back four

E. Pass the ball with good ball speed to move opponents out of position

A,B,C and D are all player specific tasks and E is general task to all players.

I'll leave it at that. When you start thinking of tactics as Team Tasks and Player Tasks it makes it a lot easier to give information to your players and help them understand what is trying to be achieved.

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