Irish Grassroots Football The Coach Diary

Kids just want to have FUN…

Kids just want to have fun and if they’re not having fun, they may not come back. At the end of the day it’s just a game…a kids game and in years to come when you look back at the results they will mean nothing…..

Someone asked me the other day what would I say to a coach starting out? I remember reading something in an article about that very question and it went something like this,  “If this is your 1st game to coach or your 1000th, take an occasional peek toward the end. Winning is a by-product of doing all things the correct way. What matters the most is the effort you made to make a difference in those kids lifes.”

How many sport organisations ask the kids what they want from sport. How many take a child centre approach to coaching the game. Children have a very different view about their game to what the adults actually think they do.

With regard to soccer even during the early teenage years, we cannot predict who is going to be the best. Many things start to happen and it is not until after 20 years of age do we find out who has survived the journey to elite level. That is ten years, plus the glorious years of child football! – Johan Fallby Sport Psychologist at premier Danish soccer club F.C. Copenhagen

What are the kids after?

Why do they get into the game? Well, they get into because their introduction to any sport was generally through play and play to children = FUN.

You will have more successful athletes if you coach the process, effort, and the pursuit of excellence and then the outcome happens by itself.

Believe it or not children don’t actually think they are going to be professional sports players. It’s only a very small percentage that actually believe this. For most the kids the idea of imitating one of their idols is good enough. That is play. It’s adult that actually dream more about their kids becoming a professional player.

Kids play sport because its fun. They get a chance to hang out with their mats and play outside. They get a chance to put on the club colours at the weekend. They get a chance to play their game for real and all because it’s FUN!

….and what makes it FUN? Organised training sessions where they get a chance to improve their ability, skills and game intelligence in a child centre environment. When the game is fun then the kids will keep coming back.

Kids don’t value winning as much as adults do. They love to win but they prefer to play. So even if the team is winning every week, the kids who don’t play don’t feel part of the success. Kids would rather lose and play than win and not play.

They do not play to win. They like to win, they enjoy competing, but they do not play to win. They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to feel good about themselves, and because it is exciting.

“Be strong and work to eliminate this culture and ignorance from your club. Be curious and find out more about how a sports environment should look like for your child” – Johan Fallby

No kid wants to train two or three times a week to only get 5 or 10 minutes of a game at the weekend. When kids sign up to play a sport or when their parents sign them up, the kids go into this process with their eye on playing the game at the weekend. Training is not the fun part of the week, the game is.


  • Is to make sure the kids are having fun and learning in an age specific environment.
  • We have a culture that’s has come from pro sports where people pay to get entertained “Entertainment Zone” this feeds the win at all costs mentality on kids sport. Grassroots is not that, grassroots is the “development zone”
  • Research has shown that when you focus on development of the game, creating a mastery culture rather than the winning one, everything being equal, you do better in the long run and you end up winning anyway.

Social Neuroscience, of undergrads at Case Western Reserve University : “The No. 1 change any coach can make, on any level, is to focus more on the positive. A recent study, published in Social Neuroscience, of undergrads at Case Western Reserve University, found that young people who are coached using a positive approach — envisioning future success, in particular — were more likely to be compassionate and open to ideas for improvement. They were also more likely to make lasting behavioural changes than those coached by people who focused on their weaknesses”.

In the end of the day the kids that stay in sport for longer are the ones who really benefit. If you see sports as being fun the chances are so will the kids you coach.

Give kids quality coaching in a fun environment with meaningful competition and they will keep coming back for…. So yes, occasionally take a peek into the future, even just a year later and see how many of the kids you coach keep coming back. How many of them have you retained and improved from last year? Your job is to continue to provide an environment that allows them to get better and keep coming back for more.


I have taken lost of references from this interview and If you care about youth sport then I highly recommend you read: Johan Fallby talks to footblogball

Also read Per Göran Fahlström also on footblogball

Changing The Game Project


I always like to hear your opinions and views. If you feel you have something to say, please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. As always, thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary and @LetTheKidPlay

The Coach Diary

Lessons from 2015 & some of the best learning resources for 2016

Most of the content on this blog and FB page is aimed at the recreational paren/coach, who might be working with his or her team 2/3 times per week with a game at the weekend. However even if you are an academy coach working full-time there is plenty for you also. I like to thing there is something for everyone no matter what level your coaching at.

With 2015 coming to a close I’m looking back on this year and writing down the things i’ve learnt. As a student of the game, a parent and business owner 2015 has been a challenging year. I won’t go into the things I’ve learnt in business or the things I’ve learnt being a parent to a 8 year old girl going on 15. I’ll stick to the some of things that have made me a better coach this year and include some of the best resources for learning…..i.e. blogs, groups, twitter accounts, facebook pages etc

I’ll start with the quote ‘Children are not mini-adults” this quote was carved into my brain and I continually reverted back to it if I became frustrated. Working with 14 yo boys who at this particular age have mostly reached puberty is a challenge. They might look like men but they are still very much boys. Their personalities change and fluctuate drastically throughout the year. As a coach I must be aware of this and take it into account when speaking to players on an individual basis – these lads are still kids!

Working with teenagers is challenging but also very rewarding especially when you see them transfer what I have coached into the game. It can be difficult to get through to some of them during the game, so this year I asked the players just to give me the thumbs up when I give direction. That way they can still concentrate on the game and I know they’ve heard me without having to turn and look at me. So thumbs up is a qucik and easy way to communicate.

What else? 

I love all of the content from Footblogball and I advice you to sign up to Mark O’Sullivans blog. I have picked out this question and reply from Johan Fallby is Sport Psychologist at premier Danish soccer club F.C. Copenhagen.

Footblogball: The biopsychosocial differences between children as they grow have a major influence on their readiness to learn and develop. Development is very delicate and sensitive in the sense of how vulnerable and fragile performance, confidence and self-image can be for the growing and developing young learner. Let’s not forget that this all takes place in what is fast becoming an increasingly prestigious area of sport. Children do not develop in a linear fashion-we need to SUPPORT this. How would you suggest that a parent supports and communicates with the child with regard to this?

Johan Fallby: You should make it as easy and as practical as possible. There are five points that I consider to be crucial for parents in relation to children’s sport and development.

  1. It has been shown that the importance of parents as to how children in general come into contact with sports is relatively large. Therefore parents should ensure that their child comes in contact with a sporting environment that is also actively a playful one so that the child gets to experience how much fun it is to use their body through various physical activities.
  2. Once they are in contact with the sport, I think it is important that they are involved in creating a pleasant and positive environment along with the other parents. Make contact and create a network around the kids. If kids see that their parents feel comfortable in the environment this will increase their sense of security and in all likelihood help spread a feeling of joy. When the child is gripped by the sport and think it is fun you can start placing reasonable demands on the child.
  3. So the third point is that the child should be encouraged to always try to do their best (in relation to their age, maturity etc). For example, to “fight” well and fairly, try new things and experiment while playing the sport. Listening to the coach and collaborating with teammates are also an important part of the sport and their development. Sometimes it may be appropriate to tell the child to go to training even though they feel a bit tired. Depending on the age it can also be about getting them to pack their own bag for training, get them to learn to take responsibility.

I would like to point out that the “demands” I refer to are not about being better than others, making the most goals or winning, nor is it that the child should practice constant, or exercise more than others.

  1. I would like to stress that there should not be a focus on results. In fact the opposite. For the purpose of developmental it is best if parents do not engage in comparing their child with others. Each child has their own individual development curve and the most important thing is that as early as possible we help create a climate that can develop the child’s self-determination and motivation.
  2. The fifth point is about observing the club that the child is in. If it’s an unhealthy environment should you as parents try to influence the environment in a better direction or just leave the environment? It may, in serious cases involve physical or mental abuse but more than often it is down to bad leadership where the environment may be built on early specialisation or exclusion policies. Parents should avoid being caught up in the frenzy. There is very little to suggest that it would be of benefit to your child. Be strong and work to eliminate this culture and ignorance from your club. Be curious and find out more about how a sports environment should look like for your child.

Remarkably often I think parents who have themselves been really good (now I’m talking about the finest elite athletes in sport) understand that they should take it easy and support their child in a relaxed sensible and correct manner. It is probably because they themselves often experienced their parents in a similar way.

—You can read the rest of this interview by going direct to Mark’s blog.

ISOLATED EXERCISES: Discussed so much on the Facebook page this year, the pro and cones. one thing is for sure purposeful practice, quality over quantity came out on top.

Only the dynamic warm-up is performed with out the ball. For the most part 100% of my session is done with the ball and 75% of that session is possession based rondos. I have been doing this since these kids were u11s and if I was to start again I would do the same for u9s and up. The problem with isolated drills is that they are very static and can be unrealistic to game as they generally don’t involve a defending player. Also a lot of coaches don’t actually know how to coach these exercises and generally do them without actually moving around and mostly unopposed. One thing we lack in Ireland and the UK is smart technically proficient players and Isolated exercises will benefit young kids if they are worked on at an early stage.

“Technique is not being able juggle the ball 1000 times. Anyone can do that by practicing. Technique is passing the ball with one touch, with the right speed, at the right foot of your teammate” – Cryuff

How do we coach this you might ask? This is where isolated exercises have a value, however they must be coached and performed in the right manner with speed and relative to the game. They also must be started at an early age not just for technical reasons as I mention above. Isolated exercises are excellent for for particularly u8s,u9s/u1os etc and below as they will assist with balance, coordination, agility and speed. Plus they’re fun and everyone generally gets a ball. As the kids get older they must be more relative to the game by incorporating opposition, they must be challenging. After all we want to develop intelligent and capable players who can think and act quickly in a very fast game. The aim of any skill should be for the player to be able to execute not only properly but quickly and then there has to be an effective transfer from the training environment (The Practice) to the reality (The Game). We have to remember that when children play by themselves they don’t set-up line drills and take it in turn. They might have the odd peno comp but generally they go straight into the game and play for hours and hours altering the rules as they day drifts by. Your training should be more like this.

For 2016 move away from isolated drills and into more game based exercises. However, don’t abandon the Coerver (Coerver coaching) like ball mastery altogether…..they’re a great way to teach and break down a skill. Movement skills challenge the brain. In fact the more unnatural the better. A lot of the Coerver exercises are challenging and fun. Instead maybe add an extra session to work on ball mastery skills and technique.

Message for 2016, focus more on the real game, more possession type games with overloads i.e. 3v1’s, 5v3, 6+6v6, 8v8+2(Jokers) etc etc and increasing and decreasing the size of the area depending on the ability of the players (Go to Coach Zone above for some ideas)… so, more purposeful and self motivated play combined with training that relates to the game. I believe that with these elements in place, a player’s technical qualities should develop naturally, along with other dimensions of the game including fitness. 

Check out this Possession post I highly recommend the book @Susen_31 also this presentation on rondospresentation- by @KieranSmith1 There is enough in these two links to help develop any coach and team. 

Blueprint for Football

Also in 2015 I loved reading interviews from Paul Grech Blueprint for Football  so much to learn from so many excellent coaches. Don’t miss more from him in 2016.

Coaching Science 

Everything you need to know about everything to do with child/player development (and so much more) and it comes with evidence based learning. Become a member today (Coaching Science) and change the way you think about coaching. All the experts hang-out here.

The Functional Footballer

Probably the best soccer specific training I’ve come across online. The content and videos are second to known. The Functional Footballer

Keep It On The Deck

A great place to find free game related exercises and Derek has also just launched his website > regular updates on a daily basis.

Changing The Game

John O’Sullivans Changing The Game project  has some top top articles for coaches and parents. 

Inside Soccer 

Still the best game related exercises from the very best clubs in the world. Some are free but you will have to register even for the free ones. Inside 

Player Development Project

Another great resource for coaches bringing the very best coaches together promoting player development. Check them out on twitter PlayerDP

See also  The Coaching Family  and The Coaching Badges 

and finally it’s hard to find FC Barcelona exercises well here are 12 great ones with the late Tito Vilanova.

Please share some of the best resources you use or people you follow on Facebook or Twitter and I apologise in advance if I have missed anybody (Too many to mention), which I’m sure I have but please feel free to tell me below.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE – See you in 2016 and thanks for supporting the blog


I always like to hear your opinions and views. If you feel you have something to say, please comment below or email me If, you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend. As always, thanks for reading.

I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

Child Protection The Coach Diary

Making contact via social media!

We live in a world where people talk (face-to-face and by phone) less but interact more online. Social skills are declining.  As a coach you need to know what is appropriate and what’s not. For those of you on Facebook, getting a friend request from students/players you coach/teach (or interact with) is more than likely a regular occurrence. My advice to you is DO NOT accept and if you have already I suggest you de-friend or if that’s not an option then edit privacy settings.

You’re probably asking, ‘What’s the big deal?’

…..well let me start by saying there could be a child welfare issue and you may not even know it. Also your club may have rules around social media in the same way lots of schools do.

I’ve noticed a lot of teams setting up their own private groups and some with kids as young as u12s. Firstly kids need to be 13 before they are legally allowed use social networking sites like Facebook and secondly the private pages with kids (and I have thought of doing one for our team) that parents don’t have access to might actually seem suspicious to some, even thought the group page is perfectly normal to you. With Children gaining access to social media sites at a younger age (and they may have only set-up their profile to be part of your group), could expose them to content, people or situations that are out of their depth and which they’re not emotionally prepared for and you don’t want this falling back on your shoulders. Plus most teenagers will not enter into a group that their parents are also part of, however this will certainly vary with age. 

What’s the alternative…?

A like page might be another option and this way others will be able to see what your discussing but you may not want to give away some of your tactics…… but hey – if Ajax can share, then so can you!!!

Setting up ‘pages’ for classes, schools, clubs might be the better way to go. Students/Players can ‘like’ the page to get updates from it and interact with its wall in the same way they might with a teachers personal profile. You get all the benefits, with much less of the risk involved (personally and professionally) of ‘friending’ students. Pages are also a better way to share digital content.

From a club’s perspective it is easier to write policies and manage the risks if they allow ‘pages’, but disallow coaches to connect via their profiles. There certainly are many benefits to pages and groups with your team but there are also many reasons why not to start one, particularly for some of the younger ages, this might differ for kids aged 15+.

I’ll finish by saying personally I feel NO contact via social media (especially for under 15s) with students/players is probably the safe options. If you like to keep your private life private then don’t enter into contact with players via personal FB page and there is no harm in letting them know that you’d prefer not to be ‘friend requested’ for this very reason. At the same time if you’re working with a older group of teenagers there is certainly good reasons to make contact this way as this might be the only way you can reach them. Most 16 year olds I know, never have credit!!

Let me know how you feel about this and if you have set up a group of any sort or a page for your team?

Do you think it’s ok for coaches to interact with players via social media and what age do you think it’s acceptable?

As you have read I’m not totally against the idea as there are benefits.


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me, if you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend.

Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

Irish Grassroots Football Soccer Parents The Coach Diary

Things Coaches Do That Drive Parents Crazy

We all have the things that parents do that drive us crazy but here are somethings that coaches do that make parents a little annoyed about how we go about coaching their child (ren). Over the years I have received many emails and phone calls in relation to coaching children or not coaching children.

“Players should be seen as children first, students second and players last

Here are 10 things that are regularly brought up by parents:

  1. Coaches don’t communicate: Communication is the number way to get you message across to the players but also the parents. When you don’t communicate with the parents they start to make assumptions and talk behind your back. Lesson number one communicate with the parents regularly. Organise a team meeting at the start and end of the season.
  2. Not having a coaching philosophy: Now, your club may have one so it’s always best to let the parents know what it is. Your way is the only way is not the way to go about this. There are many ways to develop kids and they all need something different. What works for one, may not work for the other.
  3. Your goals may not be the same as the players: Your motivation to succeed may not be the same as the players or parents. From day one set out your goals and aspirations by communicating them. There must be a complete buy-in otherwise you will have problems further down the line. Match your wants with those of the players. Remember most kids get into sports for fun, fitness reasons, be with friends etc.
  4. Having Favourites: We all want to have a successful team but the most successful teams are the ones that give all kids a chance to develop. Every child deserves the same level of attention from you.  Do not focus on the better players. Look to try and get the best out of the weaker ones also.
  5. Not taking other commitments into consideration: The kids and families have other commitments. Be considerate to other sports, school and family commitments. if a child is playing other sports, he is still training and trying to improve. Communication is key here.
  6. Letting your standards drop for certain kids:  Don’t be inconsistent  with the players, this really annoys parents. Being late, not showing up, messing about, not listening are common team rules that apply to everyone. Enforce the rules on everyone in the squad.
  7. Not knowing how to discipline: Another area where coaches can get it so wrong. It takes the same energy to shout and get annoyed as it does to be respectful and calm. Shouting and using a dictatorial style of coaching will only get you so far. Coaches need to have clear, consistent ways of dealing with difficult, destructive and distracting players so that as little time as possible is wasted on words and actions that don’t directly contribute to improving the kids.
  8. Not showing up:  If you prepared to take on this difficult task of coaching. Then you must show up prepared to show up. And what I mean by that is you must be prepared to improve the players. If your team aren’t performing and you’re constantly to the same things in training you will get the same results. You must arrive at training prepared, focused and ready to improve your team. Any team can grow but the growth starts with you. Using your mobile phone, talking to other parents or coaches and not being 100% focused is also regarded as Not Showing Up!
  9. Time: Our time is our most important asset and you should never underestimate the value of it. After all most of you give your time for FREE. The most important things to parents are 1. Children, 2. Time and 3. Money. Parents pay coaches and/or clubs for their kids to play and be coached in a specific sport. Most are rushing home from work and taxing the entire weekend to get kids to and from training & games. I’m sure there are plenty of other things parents could be doing. As coaches we need to be mindful of parents time. Not sticking to when training finishes can be very frustrating for parents. Also the time you give each player can be another area of concern. Certain kids may need more of your time and it’s important to give it equally.
  10. Not making it fun:  Most of us are working with kids from age 4 up. Players should be seen as children first, students second and players last. Follow this simple rule and things will be a lot easier for you. Look to make things fun first and then shape you session around the ability of the players. Every child wants to improve and get better but they won’t all improve at the same time. Always focus on what’s best for the child.

Coaches, especially volunteer don’t get a lot of thanks for the time and effort they put in. Many have their own families but devote their own time to other peoples kids. Many of you who read this blog have given up 10s of years doing just that. However if you decide to get involved in coaching then you must be prepared to put in the time. Self development is the one way you can improve your team. If you want to better them then you must be prepared to better yourself.

The number one thing you must consider when coaching is communicating with the parents and players in your squad. The more you do this the less problems you will have and I’m not talking about team dynamics or player performances after a game (although important). I’m talking about communicating what needs to be understood in relation to team rules, respect, training times, your philosophy, beliefs or areas the child needs to work on.

One thing I’ve learnt is that when you are demanding more from a player (in training etc), make sure you also communicate this to his/her parent, that way if for any reason you have to release a player at least you had had some sort of dialogue leading up to your decision. This is the one area that a lot coaches never seem to get right!

Please feel free to comment below on the things you would add to the above list!

– End

I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me, if you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend.

Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

The Coach Diary

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Wishing all our subscribers a very Merry Christmas and more Success & Happiness for 2015. Thank you for all your contributions in 2014. I personally have learnt so much from you and I hope you have learnt from the content on The Coach Diary.

I have more plans for 2015 and will certainly continue my education in the field of Children and how they learn, play & develop. This will allow me to provide you with some more amazing content for your own development.

Things to look forward in 2015: 


  • Podcasts with coaches from around Ireland and the world;
  • More Video content: game related exercises;
  • and much more……

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, enjoy the break and see you all in 2015!!!

– End

I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me, if you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend.

Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

The Coach Diary

What’s really important is getting better, NOT WINNING!

Let’s be honest a child would rather get better at what they are doing, than focus on winning all the time. Winning is not really that important. Here are some of the things that aren’t really important and winning is one of them:

  • Being “better” then someone else on your team, is NOT REALLY IMPORTANT;.
  • Playing with the A from a young age is NOT REALLY IMPORTANT;
  • Being the starter or the best player on the team is NOT REALLY IMPORTANT;
  • Trying to score all the goals is NOT REALLY IMPORTANT;
  • Making sure you play in the same position every week is NOT REALLY IMPORTANT.

So you might ask, if all those things aren’t REALLY important.

What is REALLY important?

Psychologist like Dr. Goldberg say it’s WHO you are and HOW you are in the process of the competition. That is the most important thing about playing sports.

Things like:

  • Having CHARACTER;
  • Being a TEAM PLAYER;
  • LIFTING the level of your teammates’ play;
  • Playing FAIR;
  • Pursuing EXCELLENCE and WORKING HARD in everything you do;
  • Being a LEADER, regardless of whether you are the captain or not;
  • Meeting both VICTORY & DEFEAT with dignity and grace;
  • Being a great ROLE MODEL;
  • Interacting with all others with RESPECT.

I would also say:

  • Being POSITIVE towards your teammates;
  • Working HARD to HELP out;
  • PREPARING properly for training and the game;
  • Being ON TIME;
  • Eating the right FOODS;
  • Getting the right amount of SLEEP;
  • Being HYDRATED;
  • DOING YOUR BEST for the team regardless of what position you are asked to play in.
  • NEVER GIVE UP, even when you’re losing;
  • Every-time you play is an opportunity to GET BETTER;
  • PLAYING on your own;
  • and playing with a SMILE!

This is what is REALLY IMPORTANT in sports!


I always like to hear your opinions. Please comment below or email me, if you don’t have anything to add then please forward this on to a friend.

Thanks for reading. I’m also on twitter @Coachdiary

Irish Grassroots Football The Coach Diary

Don’t ruin your season over a very basic decision….

It’s called the business time of the year as many teams are fighting relegation, or on the brinks of a first league championship or for some it’s a cup semi or even a cup final. Many coaches/managers can’t put their entire season and coach reputation on the line by not being true to their beliefs, players and responsibilities. Let’s not forget, I’m taking about kids football here.

What are you on about, you might ask? Earlier today I received a call from a lady who’s friends son plays for an SSG side. Yesterday they played their semi final cup game but for 3 of the players who had got the team this to this point, it was heartbreak when they arrived at the ground. Dropped and for one reason only, to win the game.

They soon found out why when 3 players showed up from the clubs’s year below team. This might seem trivial enough to some but to anyone who has played the game will know that being dropped for an important game (not having a part to play) like a cup semi, can be a life long disappointment for any child. For sure the kids who were dropped won’t forget this game and they certainly won’t forget the coach who dropped them. After all, kids just want to play.

‘Most kids would rather play on a losing team than sit on the bench of a winning one. That doesn’t mean that kids don’t value winning, just that they prefer playing’

For every player each game is as important as the next one but cup games bring with them a tradition, they bring a slightly different feeling compared to other fixtures. Every child dreams of playing in a cup final, every parents dreams of watching their child perform in one.

For many coaches these games can bring with them unrecognised pressure. The pressure not to lose, not to be deemed as a failure and this is were so many become self obsessed. They think it’s about them, they thinks it’s about this one game; but it’s never about them, it’s always about the kids.

It’s these types of moments that will separate the best from the rest and I’m not talking about tactics. What I’m taking about is being fair to each and every player in your squad. Being fair to the players who have shown up to training week after week. Being fair to the players who have done their best for the team. Being fair to the players who have stuck by each other in the good times and the bad times, but most of all, – being a coach with integrity, with honesty, with loyalty and respect for his players.

‘A good coach supports, rewards, teaches, and makes it fun’

Children understand that their might be better players than them on the team. However they won’t accept you being unfair to them and they certainly won’t forget. After all, the role of a coach is to reward hard work, discipline and commitment. When a player does everything that is required, works on his/her weaknesses and never cut corners. That is supposed to count isn’t it?

Shouldn’t a child’s playing time and a starting position come down to hard work, commitment to the team and showing up for training?  For all the wrong reasons Children will remember the coach who tells them one thing about what he expects but then when you meet those expectations, he goes ahead and does the opposite of what he’s told you. You show up for training, do your best, perform well  and then when it comes down to game time, you find yourself sitting on the bench or even worse, you find kids from the age below brought in to take your place in order to win the game.  For sure this is the one thing that the kids will remember from a coach. It might be the one thing that removes them from the game for ever. Come June, everyone will have forgotten about the cup final but they won’t forget how you made them feel. Not being true to your word and being dishonest and/or disloyal is what you will be remembered for.

“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

To any coach who doesn’t want to fall into this category and be branded for life. Don’t get caught up in the winning of a single game. Be true to yourself, be true to your players (team), give them the opportunity to experience the chance of playing in such important games. Although you may never get to another final, the players will remember how fair you were and not how you won it. For sure, they will never forget these moments and they will certainly never forget how you made them feel.

To the players, if you truly love your game, then try not to let any coach’s unfair decisions get to you. Absolutely, this is easier said than done.  It can be very upsetting and frustrating to have to “play” or “not play” for this kind of coach. The trick however is to try not let any adult steal your joy and love for the game (I know I don’t always get it right but I will always apologise if i get it wrong). Just like in adult life you won’t always have to work with that person, so just like your coach, you won’t always have to play him/her and not all coaches are unfair, many are a great inspiration to hundreds of kids.  Keep doing your best and focus on performance, you can control that. One thing you can do is keep work hard in training regardless if you like the coach or not. Don’t let any coach stop you from working hard!


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Thanks for reading.

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