Football Coaching in the Current Youth Game

Football coaching in the UK has seen dramatic changes over the last decade; the introduction of the level 1 course and the failing programme (in some places) of the junior team managers course has only led to more adults becoming involved in a kids game, which had led to an increase in many factors decreasing the quality of performance and experience of many young people. Factors affecting young players:

o Adults telling players how to play constantly from the touchline

o More than just the coaches voice from the touchline – parents screaming instructions, confusing players and increasing pressure – many times if left the player will surprise you with their decision making.

o Coaches getting goalkeepers to kick out of their hands and not playing out from the back

o Coaches shouting things such as, “don’t pass it back,” “don’t play across the back,” “clear it,” “get rid of it,” etc etc etc etc all detrimental to learning. If a player makes a mistake they process that information themselves and will rectify the decision next time – they don’t need adults telling them not to do it as it causes doubt and decreases confidence and the learning aspect. Self empowerment is sadly overlooked in football coaching courses.

o “Don’t be greedy” is another – why not? When asked how he became so good Ronaldo stated, “put it this way I didn’t give the ball to anyone else.” Let kids make their own choices, encourage exciting play and passing will happen naturally anyway.

o “Don’t lose the ball” – another classic – immediately by saying “don’t,” and “lose” the negative words increase the tension on the players forcing mistakes.

o A player runs through 1v1 with the goalkeeper – don’t tell them what to do or when to shoot – he may dribble round the keeper, or square the ball to a team mate – let them decide and learn.

o Remembering they are young people – use language appropriate to their game and their age – “stop chasing lost causes” is a good one – not sure a 5 year old would ยูฟ่าเบท understand that. There are many more statements from adults that simply confuse young people.

o Who taught you to walk? Who taught you how to talk? How did you learn to drive? YOU DID IT – NO ONE ELSE.

o As a parent, do you go into your child’s classroom at school and shout at them for getting a maths question wrong – didn’t think so – so why shout at a kid who gives possession away?