Irish Grassroots Football

Just “let the kids play”

Some weeks back I posted this and i felt the need to re-post.

Remember football at under age should be about development, kids having fun, being spontaneous, taking risks and not winning; if there is no pressure on winning, then there is no pressure at all.

All kids naturally want to win anyway and they certainly don’t need their Parents and Coaches telling them how important it is to win because its not, whats important is that they all get playing time and they are encouraged to play football they way is should be played. Football at under age is not about winning but about playing, development, teaching the kids the fundamental of the game and having fun is a major part of that!

So things I always today and try not to forget.

  1. Arrive with a smile on your face, if your smiling then they will too.
  2. Don’t be pressurised by any parent on making team selections or making decisions.
  3. Make sure every player gets and equal amount of time – I know it can be hard, especially if your playing in a very competitive league and there is a lot of pressure to get a result; but its important that all kids get enough playing time to develop, the more they play the better they get and the better they get, the more they will enjoy playing.
  4. Get your team to play out from the back; this will encourage playing football and allows your players more touches of the ball; after a while of constantly doing the right things, eventually you will see progression in how your team plays. Goalkeepers are a big part of the game and not only for shot stopping.
  5. Don’t be too worried if you lose, once the kids are having fun and are able to learn by there mistakes and most importantly you can see the things you need to work on in training. Losing and winning is all part of the game and kids usually forget soon after the game has finished.
  6. Remember the best form of defence is having the ball and by having the ball you need to be good at holding onto to the ball and kids can only get better by being on the ball and training with it as much as possible.
  7. Don’t shout at the kids, encourage, but do not ridicule them when they take risks and try new things. Kids like to take risks and be spontaneous and we should not take this away from them. Dribbling, tricks this is all part of the game and should be encouraged.
  8. Coaches in Ireland are doing some great things as under age, but the system of the leagues is not helping us do our jobs and the pressure to win every week by parents and screaming line prowlers is not good for the game, in fact its ruining this beautiful sport!

Enjoy the weekend football lovers and lets hear the kids voices for a change!

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