This week I thought that I would spend time evaluating the session that I helped to deliver to the U8/9’s. The club that I volunteer at, at the moment is The Sir Tom Finney Soccer Centre who offer football for almost anyone to be perfectly honest. I give up my time on a Saturday morning to help offer football for players who want to play. By doing this participants have fun doing something they enjoy while improving as a player at the same time.
Again, like the disability session that I was involved in on the Friday It was something new again therefore I didn’t exactly know what to expect which retrospectively made me quite nervous. In addition to this U8’9’s aren’t usually the age group that I tend to coach/assist with consequently it was a skill development session that would improve me as a coach. Anyway, a friend of mine was the head coach for the U8/9’s this week therefore as it was my first week I decided to help him out with the delivery and organisation of the session. In my own personal opinion I believe that the session that was delivered by the coach was big success as the players enjoyed it and improved their skills which was clear to see in some of the drills/matches towards the end of the session.
One problem that did face us from the very start was that we didn’t feel that the warm up would be suitable anymore for one reason or another. After discussing with the head coach we felt that a new warm up was needed and one thing that surprised me was the head coaches’ ability to think on his feet and come up with a new drill that was not only fun but worthwhile too. I believe that the reason for this is because he has had more experience than me so has a wider range of knowledge when it comes to drills and exercises. As a result I am going to research various drills and watch more coaching videos to further improve my coaching knowledge. When doing this I am going to keep a detailed file of drills that work on various aspects of the game. This way I will have an up to date record of sessions that can be tweaked and used for the future.
Another aspect I feel is very important when coaching young players is positive feedback and motivation for the players. This is essential when trying to keep the players engaged within the session, as not only does it make your job as a coach easier but it also increases the participants’ self-esteem. Rosenzweig (2012) states that “Overall, positive feedback will get you results– faster! Reinforce the behaviour you want to increase: that is how you get results”. This sums up the effect of positive feedback and discusses how important it actually is in getting the results you want from your participants. From the session that I assisted in, I believe that the players did benefit from the feedback that I was giving as it made them think and change the way that they acted next time they were in a similar situation. Also by using small keywords it motivated them to try their hardest to engage in the drill and get the best out of it, which in my eyes is a big success.
To conclude the blog post for this week I feel that the session that was delivered was an achievement, due to the fact that the kids not only enjoyed what they were doing but they also learnt a lot from it too. From watching the head coach I discovered that junior coaching is a lot about the way you speak to the participants. For example if you overload them with information then it will not be received and go in one ear and out the other. I have coached various ages before but not really U8/9’s in all honesty. Consequently as a coach I must try to explain things in as little detail as possible so that they take it in without getting confused. In my opinion the best way to do this is by incorporating demonstrations so that the kids know exactly how things run and what their role is. Therefore next week when I am coaching I will ensure that all of the factors I have talked about are included in my session. When coaching this model sums up the basics that need to be followed for the participants to improve themselves and the skills they have:
FA (2014) Coaching Disabled Footballers Manual. Available at: http://www.disabilitysportworcester.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Coaching-Disabled-Footballers-Manual.pdf (Accessed: 4 October 2015).
Rosenzweig, P. (2012) The Power of Positive Feedback: Lessons From The Olympics. Available at: http://www.impactlearning.com/the-power-of-positive-feedback-lessons-from-the-olympics/ (Accessed: 5 October 2015).