18 Sep 2013
Temper the Touchline Tutoring
Coaches love what they do, whether grassroots or professional, we share a passion to improve our players.
Sure we want to win every match, but in youth football results come second to player development. Success in youth football is if your child is still playing the game they love at 16.
When working with young players’ improvement takes perseverance, mistakes provide an opportunity to learn and a positive environment builds confidence.
Unfortunately grassroots football has developed a unique set of social mores unacceptable in any other walk of life, making learning all but impossible for large numbers of children.
Visit any youth match on a Sunday morning and you’ll see children as young as 7 being subjected to a barrage of conflicting instructions throughout a game.
Whilst well meant, touchline tutoring inhibits a players’ performance. Where else would we tolerate adults hollering at children in public?
When a child plays a musical instrument we wouldn’t dream of embarrassing and distracting them by shouting instructions from the stalls during a concert.
“But that’s football, they just have to get used to it!” is what I’m often told when I discuss this with parents.
Maybe so, but it doesn’t make it right. The game loses huge numbers of players between the ages of 13-15, a time in life when our children become less tolerant of parental pressure and more in need of peer group support.
The sort of support team mates provide in abundance.
The great thing about football is that a group of players learn and grow in their own way and at their own pace while keeping fit and taking part in an activity they love.
A relaxed touchline encourages the creativity that is needed for a player to flourish and means a devoted parent is more likely to enjoy seeing their child play til their 18.