Many of us get into youth football coaching because our own child is in the team but it’s a situation that comes with it`s own challenges. I gained the experience and knowledge coaching my own son’s football team from U6 to U11 and below I have put together my top tips to help you cope.
Don’t favour them…or forget them
Don’t build your time around your child, resist the temptation to make them the main striker, captain, penalty-taker and free kick specialist all rolled into one. If you have taken the time to commit to coaching a team with your child in it, there’s a strong possibility they could be among the better players but while you can favour them don’t go too far the other way and leave them with no responsibilities.
Talk to them…don’t tell them too much
Talk to your child after games and training and focus on the football. Provide positive feedback about performance and tactics. Remind them that you have to be fair to the team as a whole and resist the temptation to turn them into your assistant manager.
Don’t let Football take over…don’t push too hard
Make sure that football doesn’t take over your relationship with your child. Make an effort to separate Football and normal parent/child relationship outside football. Don’t push your child too hard. It is fantastic when everyone can see they’re a good player because their inclusion in the team justifies itself, but if they suffer a bad spell gently encourage them, work on some 1 to 1 coaching or take a short break, be careful not to put them off!
Encourage other sports…make sure they are happy
Encourage your child to play in other teams and other sports. They will benefit form a different coaching perspective and may even come back with a greater appreciation of the job you are doing. Don’t forget why you got involved in the first place, make sure your child is comfortable with your involvement and happy taking part.
Politics & Potential Conflicts with parents….
Gaining the respect from parents in your team is crucial and should be a key objective which is successful through fairness and good communication from the offset. There could be potential politics and conflicts that may arise with parents if managers do not establish impartiality with decision making and player rotation. Try setting objectives for key parents, may be something as simple as helping with match day preparation. They must remember that you are a volunteer!
Always work closely with an assistant so that decisions that may be tough or challenging can be shared together to reach an agreed outcome.
We are passionate and motivated to making a difference, and encouraging children to be the best they can be in their chosen sport. We value the importance of providing opportunities that inspire and motivate both boys and girls, providing both intermediate & advanced learners, pathways into broader participation, club or academy environments and future employability.
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