Throughout The FA’s 21 Days of Positivity campaign, a number of top-tips, tasks and take-home messages have been delivered to coaches to ensure their football environment is a positive one.
To ensure coaches in the AFA region don’t miss out on any of these messages, we’ve put together a full round-up of the 21-day campaign below. For further information about each topic, please follow the blue hyperlinks.
Enjoyment and positivity
A positive experience of football can help inspire the lives of young people and begin a life-long love of the game.
How well do you know your players?
Relationships are key to a positive coaching environment – therefore it is crucial you spend time getting to know your players.
This is a safe place
Making mistakes is all part of learning how to play the game. Because of this, it is crucial that you let players know your football environment is a safe place for creativity and experimentation.
What do your players want from training?
Young players play football because they like to “try their hardest”, “because it’s fun” and because they “love it” - but does your coaching allow players to feel these things?
Arrival activities: Get the players moving
When coaching in winter weather it is crucial to keep the players active and engaged. As soon as the players arrive, get them moving. Tag, small-sided games or movement activities are all fun, engaging and active ways to start your session.
Routines and boundaries
Having consistent coaching routines can help create a safe place for young players to learn.
“When are we playing a game?”
One of the main reasons young players go to training is to a play a game. So, give the players what they want.
How to include your goalkeeper in coaching sessions
During training sessions goalkeepers are often left to stand in goal whilst everyone else blasts balls at them. Your goalkeeper shouldn’t be the forgotten player in your training session. Think about how you can include your goalkeeper in all activities and create individual challenges to increase their enjoyment.
One size doesn’t fit all
Football players come in all different sizes and strengths with varied skills and abilities. To get the most out of each individual try tailoring your training tasks for specific players.
How to work as a coaching pair
If you are fortunate to work as part of a coaching pair, you have a fantastic opportunity to support individual players in your group. Defining coaching roles is crucial. If one coach ‘leads’ the session, the other coach is free to focus on individuals.
At your next training session, challenge yourself to stand back, in silence, and watch the players play. Adopting a less direct and vocal role can help you see the players in a new light and make your feedback more specific.
Young players all learn in different ways and at different rates. How you communicate your football ideas to the group is key to this process. Using a variety of communication methods is one way you can cater for the different needs in your group. Sometimes your voice isn’t enough.
Join in the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #WeOnlyDoPositive