Coaches Corner

James Wilson blog – Nov 2013

It's interesting how youth football development has come to the fore recently with the new FA's commission on the future of English football. Having been involved in youth football for a number of years I really do think the English FA have been moving in the right direction for some time now, and a real positive is the Youth Development Age appropriate modules they have introduced. The first module is called 'Developing the Environment'. As the title suggests the objective is to ensure that coaches provide a Football coaching environment that allows children to have fun, are able to express themselves without fear of failure and at the same time give all players the opportunity to be the best they can be. It splits practice in to 4 corners, Technical, Physiological, Social and Psychological. Next time you watch a coaching session I recommend you think about which corner is being covered, sometimes it might be just one, but it could also cover all four.

A few of us recently received an email from the parent of a U8 player we have been coaching since he was 4 years old. His parents were in the UK with work and they have now moved to pastures new in Holland. The boy has joined a well established large Dutch football club and by all accounts he is their star player at his age group already. Below is a quote from the email

"I would like to thank you all for the good training he has received. He seems to be doing really well in his new team, being by far the most technical, quickest, strongest player in the team. I would say the competition in Clifton United was tougher than it is here.."

This is great evidence of the Environment all those associated with Clifton United help create. As with every player he was welcomed with open arms by our club. We helped his technical development, gave him the opportunity to be the best he could be and, I hope and expect, we have given him some memories to cherish for ever. And this is thanks to everyone - players and parents, not just us coaches

The fact he is now playing in Holland - renowned for their technical ability - where he is technically more advanced is certainly something we coaches are very proud of. But it is the Club's belief in creating the best Environment possible that we attribute to his and every player's success.

James Wilson blog – Nov 2012

So the football season is now well truly upon us and what a fantastic start all our teams have had. Speaking to all the coaches and team managers on a regular basis it’s great to hear that not only are our teams playing fantastic football but that that we are also building really good camaraderie and team spirit throughout.

I was recently reading the FA book ‘The Psychology of Football’ and I read a great quote as follows: “Winning doesn’t always mean being first, Winning means you’re doing better than you have ever done before”

Coaches need to identify the things not only the team can improve on but also ensure that each and every child has measurable and attainable goals. If players are then encouraged to; be the best they can be then targets and goals can be regularly met and even surpassed, and a sense of ‘winning’ will be attained.

This season Henry Burns has volunteered his help to the club every Saturday morning. This will help Henry work towards his Duke of Edinburgh award. Henry is 14 years old and was in my original Clifton United team when he was 6 years old. It’s great to welcome him back and he has not only been a real help but also a role model and inspiration to the current U7 team. Having Henry on board has also got me thinking that long term not only can we help children develop as footballers but also give them a platform that helps them develop as Football coaches in what will be an ever competitive market.