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Jamie Carragher: Find your voice on the pitch

“I’m the captain of my team, but my communication skills let me down. I either seem to moan too much or not enough! What can I do?”
Joel Dawson, via email

Jamie Carragher says:

“I’ve been in that situation and you can’t always get things right on the pitch, but it’s better to communicate than to say nothing.

I couldn’t play without talking, but there were times when I might have overstepped the mark or said the wrong thing, which caused problems in the dressing room.

But remember: it’s not just up to you. You need two or three talkers in the team – look to the older heads who have more belief and maturity.

You need to get to know your team-mates and see how they respond to an arm around the shoulder or a right mouthful.

It’s important you get this right because if you don’t you can turn them off and affect their performance negatively.

One thing is certain: you’ve got to keep giving encouragement to your team-mates. Everyone needs a little gee-up in the game and a bit of confidence will push them on until the final whistle.

A lot of goals are scored in the closing minutes and the way you talk to players on the pitch can make a big difference.”

For more football tips see:
Rio: Communicating with your team-mates
Iain Dowie: Building a good vocal unit
Bryan Robson: How to be the ultimate captain
Lead like John Terry