A league table changes everything

Our under 9s are playing their first season in “league football” and I’ve observed an interesting switch in behaviour by others in and around the team over the course of the season.

At U7 & U8 you just play friendly games so there’s no table and results don’t mean a great deal. Now we are in a league there is suddenly focus on position, how other teams are doing and more importantly (see worryingly) results.

The kids obviously want to be in a good position in the table but I feel that as adults, and as a coach, we should keep their focus on enjoyment of their football and not get caught up in results and winning as these come at a cost; player development.

I’m not able to make every training session (I make 8/10) or every game (similar ratio) due to work and playing commitments but when I’m there I’m trying very hard to get across points about enjoyment, development and coaching through fun sessions or SSGs, not results or drills.

Whilst we are made to play in a league structure it’s always going to be difficult to avoid this focus on results and its no surprise that people have now become focussed on results but I shall continue to ensure that focus is on football being fun, learning and enjoyment of the game.