Coaching Day 13: Decision making

Our coaching session tonight was much better and I think it’s fair to say that if you as coach have enjoyed the session then it’s fairly likely that the kids have enjoyed it as well. The manager & I worked together on the games (rather than splitting in to groups) but I had to make a decision during the session tonight and I’m happy to say I feel it was the right one.

I’d spoken in a previous blog post about a child who tended to sit on the outside of the group and lose interest in the football which meant he’d walk or sit on the side of the training area for long periods. This happens regularly and as I’ve said before I’m working to try and integrate this child, although it isn’t easy because the other kids notice he’s different and treat him like so.

The child in question didn’t have the best of starts to the session tonight because we hadn’t even started the training properly when he had a ball kicked in his face and this led to lots of tears which meant he didn’t want to take part in the session and so chose to lay on the floor in the corner (we’re in  a fenced astro-pitch).

I’d been working with the other players whilst this child lay in the corner but after 5-10 minutes I decided to make a conscious decision – I went to talk to the boy and tried to get him involved in the game. He wasn’t interested so I asked him if he wanted to just do some passing with me, which he did – excellent. I told the manager I was going to step away from the main session and work with this child 1-on-1 and it proved a success. We started with passing, then turned it in to a little game (thatI let him win) which had him running around, controlling the ball, passing, catching and most importantly – laughing. I’ve rarely seen this boy smile, let alone laugh, so I was delighted to get him involved, active and having fun.

We then managed to get him involved with the bigger group of players during the final game we played and he then took an active part in the match, something I haven’t often seen.

I thoroughly expect that next week we’ll be back to square one, but I feel I’ve got a way of engaging with him now and I can continue to try and help him enjoy coming to training and integrated in our games. It’s a very small thing but it felt great to see him having fun – even if that came at the expense of helping others tonight.


About Simon
Grassroots Football Coach

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