European Football Academy

Match Principles of Play

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Match Principles of Play – Part one

by Nuno Coelho – EFA Director


A game is highly unpredictable, as coaches we try to create predictability through preparation, planning and training structure. According to this, every training sessions aim is to achieve the game conception.

Through repetition of match principles the team begins to identify the match situations as a whole.

When this becomes a habit, learning is achieved, behaviours changed, and decision and reaction times are reduced substantially, allowing a player and the team to understand and react quicker to known match situations (creation of a predictable environment).

Like in real life, a successful player is an individual that is able to select the most appropriate action to respond with during different game scenarios.

These actions are always determined by the match principles and his/her previous experiences.

With our focus on teaching these principles of play, we hope our players will make better decisions leading to a greater understanding of the skills required to be successful.


In Part Two – I talk about one of our key areas, Self assessment.[/cs_text][x_button size=”global” block=”false” circle=”false” icon_only=”false” href=”″ title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””]Sign up for a FREE week of training at the Academy[/x_button][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]