In my 12 years as a youth football coach, I have experimented with many methods to help improve my coaching ability. In that time I have seen how a player can rapidly improve by just going away and working on their game at home either on their own, with parents or a hired personal coach. This is why after each session I set my players football homework for them to practice at home because 1 or 2 sessions with me just aren’t enough to see the results I want from their development.
I find consistency is important when developing youth football players. Whatever you teach, you should have a specific aim that you focus on until there is evidence of improvement. there is no point moving forward if they are not ready, many coaches change topics too frequently, not allowing the player time to grasp what you want from the session. Each session should be a gradual progression from the previous one, meaning there has to be a link between your sessions. This doesn’t mean you teach the exact same session for 3-4 weeks, it means they should have a familiar theme and pick up from where the previous one left off.
Here is an example of 4 sessions that are gradually progressive.
Topic: Staying with the ball
|Session 1||Session 2||Session 3||Session 4|
|Dribbling the ball with both feet.||Recap last session. Dribbling whilst using tricks.||Recap previous session. Dribbling whilst using turns.||Recap previous session. Dribbling whilst screening the ball.|
For more information on how to prepare a football coaching session click here to read a previous post.
Now you might be thinking how can we increase the consistency with our players when we train only once or twice a week? well, this is where we utilise the parents of the players. I mentioned earlier how I set my players football homework every week, to help continue their development whilst they are at home. Parents can help by working with the player, on whichever task the coach has set. Now you might be thinking that there are some parents who have little knowledge of coaching young players, but the type of 1 to 1 coaching sessions I’m talking about are relatively easy to set up so anybody can give them a go.
I wrote this article with parents and coaches in mind, to help give them some insight on how they can be an excellent asset to their child’s development. Here you will find some tips that will not only benefit parents but also coaches who want to empower their parents with ideas to help rapidly increase the ability of their players.
Let’s Get Coaching!
A key skill I felt every parent and coach should be aware of is how to effectively communicate with your children. This is is an important aspect not only for parents but also coaches to learn too.
First, you must think of the best way you can portray your message to the player. This is where having variation in the tone of voice can help engage the player and portray your message. speaking in a monotone voice throughout will still get your message across but it won’t do much to help paint that picture for the player.
You need to challenge your youth football players to make decisions for themselves, which is normally done with effective questioning. This will help the player understand where, when, why & how to apply their actions in the game.
Here’s an example;
How to Use Effective Questioning in Youth Football!
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Try to ensure you add progressions when teaching your child. To really push their development, the difficulty of the session needs to be gradually increased. An example would be either adding pressure from the coach/parent, reducing the space or encouraging them to play quicker.
There will also be times where the player finds the session too difficult and you need to think of ways to decrease the difficulty of the session. An example of this would be making the area bigger, simplifying the skill or taking away the added pressure (coach/parent).
For more tips on coaching, demonstrations read my previous post on 5 tips for effective coaching demonstrations!Using effective communication in youth football
Communicate With The Coach!
Parents and coaches should always be communicating with each other. The parent should be asking about the development of their child and what they can do to help with this. Not all youth football coaches have regular communication with their parents about the player’s development, so sometimes it will be down to the parents to ask for feedback and advice.
If you happen to be in a situation where your coach is a parent too, who also has little experience in coaching then you will have to do your own research on different ways to up-skill your child.
WATCH MY FREE TUTORIAL ON 3 WAYS TO TEACH YOUR CHILD TO MASTER THE BALL (FOR BEGINNERS)
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Your Football Calendar!
When you start to put something down on paper it’s more likely to get done. I recommend that you aim to work with your child for at least 3o minutes a day 4 times a week, doing some 1 to 1 football coaching sessions. Like I said before don’t worry if you’re not the next Pep Guardiola, you doing something with your child is better than doing nothing at all.
Produce your very own football calendar to help you and your child commit to working on your game. When you have prepared your calendar put it somewhere you and your child can always see it, so it reminds you of what must be done and when you are going to do it.
For any player to show real progression in their development there must be a clear plan put in place. This shouldn’t be just any plan, but one with gradual progressions that take the player through a consistent training program that will link previous sessions with the current one.
Parents can play an important role in the development of players. As a coach, we can help empower them to take on (or encourage the player to work on their own) the development of their child and help further the development of the player.
Every player should have an idea of where their training program is trying to take them. involving the player in their own development gives them ownership and awareness of what they must do to succeed.
As much as we don’t like to admit it but the era of the street footballer is in decline, and we must find ways of encouraging our young players to train in their own time. This shouldn’t be random sessions but purposeful training with a clear goal at the end.
If you require some expert personal football coaching Let’s Play the Game Ltd is a provider of excellent 1 to 1 and team football coaching in Birmingham, Walsall, Dudley, and Sandwell. For those who would like to try our services don’t hesitate to contact us. Don’t forget to subscribe below to never miss any of our posts. You can also like our Facebook page or subscribe to our You Tube channel for more football coaching tips.
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