How to keep the Coach sweet

jnr soccer coach

You played really well tonight, little bro.’

I was driving sons no.1 and 2 back from the latter’s development centre training session. No.1 son and I had kicked a ball around together, then settled down to watch the younger boys’ football and to chat. No.1 son talked about his younger brother’s style of play, how it contrasted with his own and what sort of player he might become (like Kolo Touré). While we watched, we both noted the frequency with which the coach shouted praise at no.2 son.

In the car, the boys’ conversation continued:

“Did you do what I told you to do?”

“I did”.

“Did you do exactly what the coach told you to do?”


“The coaches like that and that helps you get picked,” no.1 son explained.

There’s talk, which I’m not encouraging, that no.2 son could be moved from the development centre to the academy. This must have been their agenda.

“So why don’t all kids do that – do what the coach tells them to?” I enquired of no.1 son.

“We’ll, they do during drills, but when they are in a match after they’ve been practising passing, they might prefer to dribble the ball, even though that’s not what the coach has been working on with them. But if you remember to do what the coach has told you to do he will praise you, you get more confident, you became better and he’s happy that his coaching is working. Everyone’s a winner.”

Now, we know that not everyone will be a winner. But I think I know someone who will be.



Filed under coach says.., young shoulders

4 responses to “How to keep the Coach sweet

  1. sarahmo3w

    Very wise words indeed! And far too many kids do as they’re told in training, then hog the ball in a game because they want to be the ones to score.

    • It was interesting to hear no.1 son speak as though he had cracked the system. I suspect he’ll end up working in a large organisation with a good understanding of how to ‘play the game’.

  2. Interesting that it’s no different at development centres as it is to sunday league teams. Kids just want to get a ball and play at a young age. The advise from coaches sinks in and they will use it in their game, just not all the time.

  3. There’s one definitely with his head screwed on.

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