When starting out in coaching does it matter what age group you start with?

Something I’d like to do with this blog is record and share both the questions I’ve asked and the answers I’ve received so that it might help others who might be asking the same questions.

 I shall use different blog posts to do this, which should make the questions easier to find but will answer the first question below:

Q. When starting out in coaching does it matter what age group you start with?

A.  I asked the question of a couple of people and on various forums and the general consensus is that it would be more beneficial for all concerned to start with younger age groups. Young children are likely to be more forgiving and as a new coach you are (and I expect) likely to make numerous mistakes, which is all part of the learning process. The FA’s courses are also developed with the aim of developing young players from younger ages through to later teens and therefore their ethos matches the view of those I asked.

I think this is a natural question to ask, especially given the complete contrast you’re going to experience when coaching children ranging from U7 to U16. I had a view that older children, or teenagers, are more likely to make use of the practical sessions which I’m expecting to learn through the FA Training courses but it makes complete sense that it would be easier to start out with younger age groups. And what better way to develop, possibly, than maturing as a coach with the same group of players who’re maturing with you?


About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

2 Responses to When starting out in coaching does it matter what age group you start with?

  1. Marla says:

    I remember when I was in high school and both of my basketball coaches was super young. One of them was married, the other was not. I found that the first one was much more successful because he seemed to be more understanding of teenage girls. The unmarried one wanted to treat us like teenage boys and it just didn’t work. I think an individuals understanding of how they are coaches is extremely important.

    Marla @ http://www.asthefarmturns.wordpress.com

  2. Simon says:

    Thanks Marla, you’ve reminded me of what my next Q&A will be. “If you’re not a parent, does that affect your ability to coach children?”.

    It sounds like I’ve already got the answer…


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