Coaching younger children throws up a completely different set of challenges to coaching adults or older children. Trying to keep the attention of young children is a major challenge and encouraging teamwork is vital, but the main thing is instilling the desire to play in the first place. From choosing the right football and field hockey drills to thinking about encouraging children to love the sport in question. Once you have them dressed in their Junior Football Kits that you can source from companies such as www.kitking.co.uk/ you want to make sure that you have followed some of the top tips for coaching a successful and happy team of under-sevens.
Desire to play
Wanting to play the game itself is the first hurdle. If a child has no desire to play a certain sport, then they simply won’t put any effort into training for it. According to the Scottish FA, the ‘desire to play’ for young players can be capitalized upon by using fun games and increasing their confidence by improving their basic physical skills.
The drills and training that you provide for a group of older children or adults will be entirely different from those for under-sevens. Young children are easily bored and distracted, and they may simply give up on a drill that seems too hard.
Before you start coaching a team of under-sevens or even under-fives or under-sixes, research your drills carefully and formulate a solid plan that puts fun at the center of everything you do. Young children don’t play sport to win instead, they play to have fun.
At this age, it is more important to instill a sense of team spirit than a sense of competitiveness. Encouraging the team to get on well rather than focussing solely on winning will lead to a more successful team in the long run. Organize social events for the children so they can bond off the pitch and find drills that encourage sportsmanship.
Another reason youngster wants to engage in sports is to make friends, so make sure this is something they get out of it. Drills that constantly pit them against each other may have a negative result, especially with emotional children.
Thinking about why children play sport is the easiest way to coach them. If they want to have fun and make friends, then this is the fastest route to engaging them.