Kids Play, because it’s FUN!
This is an email that was sent to me by a coach of an u11s team. Here it goes:
I have a group on Facebook for my under 11 team where we posted match reports and photos etc. They were beaten at the weekend so I did a little Q & A with them at training on Tuesday. Here’s what I posted in the group. I’d be interested to hear what you think?
Everyone knows I’m fortunate to look after one of the best kid’s football teams around. A nicer bunch you wouldn’t get anywhere. On Saturday lost their first league game since they were under 7 (almost 3 years). Obviously the lads were disappointed but they’ll learn more about themselves from games like that. We spoke briefly after the game about how they were feeling but never analysed the match or what had gone wrong – if indeed anything had gone wrong. In fact, the opposition played superbly and took the chances they created very well. We agreed nothing more was to be mentioned about the game and we’d train again during the week.
As I was planning out the session, I started thinking what drives these kids to be as good as they are? What do they like about the game and match days and what do they not like. The SILENT SIDELINE weekend is also coming up at the end of March. So I wrote down a few questions and asked them before training.
Here’s what they said:
(10 of the squad of 12 were present)
- Why do you play football, to have fun, to exercise or to win? A. 10 said have fun
- What matters most, having fun or winning? A.10 said having fun. 2 also said its nice winning but it’s not important
- Would you play football if we didn’t keep the score? A. 10 said yes
- Do parents & supporters shout too much at matches? A. 10 said yes
- Does it confuse you when parents & supporters shout during a match and tell you what to do? A. 9 said yes, 1 said no
- Do you get nervous when parents & supporters tell you to do something during a match and your manager has told you to do something different? A. 5 said yes, (because we hear them moan about it on the sideline). 5 said no, (we listen to our coach says. He’s in charge)
- Do you play better when lots of people are shouting instructions at you? A. 10 said no
- Would you try a new trick in a match? A. 5 said yes, 5 said no. The 5 who said yes were all midfield/forwards – “because it could create a chance for us to score a goal or make a goal”. The 5 who said no mainly play as defenders, because they felt that “if we make a mistake it could cost the team”. They also said they were afraid to “mess up” because they hear people give out on the sideline.
- Do you think you play better when your parents are watching or not? A. 5 said when they’re watching, 5 said when they’re not watching.
- Do you enjoy playing for this team? A. 10 said yes (phew)
- Would you play for this team if we lost every week? A. 10 said yes
- What’s the best thing about playing for this team? A. They said; “it’s fun, we’re with our friends, we learn stuff, training is fun and different every week, because the coaches don’t scream at us”. (They mentioned 2 games we’ve played this season where opposition managers had been screaming at their teams before, during & after the game)
A team that’s as good as this is rare. There’s a couple of things that show up clearly in the above and it’s the most important one to me and is making me reconsider how we do things – None of them said winning is what matters.
Interesting results and ones that don’t surprise me. You could conduct this exercise with thousands of kids and 99% of the time get similar replies. Adults just seem to forget that. I conducted a similar exercise when I asked 12 years old 3 questions, here are their answers 3 Questions I asked our u13s.
Thanks for Sharing PK
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