Coaching Day 10: Boisterous Boys


Despite a lower than normal turnout tonight we still had the full range of coaching emotions and skillset required – we’ve coached, we’ve been physios, we’ve been comforters and we’ve been parents/teachers. So another eventful 60 minutes in the world of youth coaching 🙂

My first aim tonight was to spend some time working with the boy who I’d mentioned in my previous post and so I used our warm up routine to help him develop his dribbling. He responded quite well to the fact that he had all my attention and I managed to improve his dribbling from kick & rush to something more controlled. However, he later lost interest in the games / matches but I think the extra attention had at least helped keep him engaged for longer than I’ve seen before.

It’s worth mentioning that I love to use the dribbling warm-up routine to encourage the players to experiment with tricks and it’s something I’m always repeating, “try a trick”. I find if you ask any of the boys to show you a new trick they’ve learnt then you’ll generally find they’ve got something to show you and I believe it’s important to encourage them to show you the trick, praise it and get them to try it during the session. This can then give them the confidence to try it in a match situation.

Before we moved in to groups tonight we had to have a word with the boys because for some reason they were even more boisterous than usual and this had led to over zealous tackling, hacking, kicking and punching – so we stamped on that pretty quickly. However, it was something we needed to pull one or two of the boys up on a couple of times across the evening. Hard to know if it was just them being overly excited or not and I guess you expect it from them at that age but we had to let them know that their behaviour wasn’t acceptable.

Once I had my small group together we worked on dribbling, passing and shooting within a couple of short games and this also allowed me to continue to work on their communication (calling for the ball). During the games I had a couple of boys in my group who are already looking like promising players so it was key that I ensured they were challenged during the shooting game because otherwise they’d find it too easy and get bored. Then, on the contrary, I had a couple of boys who were struggling to score so I had to make sure I offered them praise for hitting the target, dribbling well etc. Ultimately, ensuring that each player felt he was succeeding in what he was doing and that each boy was being challenged – something which I believe the FA are keen on ensuring coaches do.

Tonight was one of those sessions where it feels fairly low key but when you think about it and digest it you realise that a) there’s never a dull moment in youth coaching and b) if you’ve helped at least one child improve a little bit then you’ve done your job.

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About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

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