Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: coaching, confidence, scared, shy, skills
Instead, I’ll be thinking about the boy who joined us halfway through the season; a boy who had never played in a team before or attended a training session. He joined us because he loved playing football in the playground at school and some of his friends were in my team.
His mum brought him along to training one night and asked if he could join in – “he doesn’t want to join the team or play in matches,” she said. “He just wants to feel part of it”. Of course, I let him come along. “He’s not much good,” she whispered to me, as he went and joined the other boys. But who’s to know when he has never played or been coached seriously?
He worked hard in exercises but hid during the game at the end. He liked learning the skills like hook turns and step-overs, and would always watch and listen when I was showing the players how the skills work.
As he became more confident around the squad he came out of his shell more and began to talk and ask questions about what we were doing during training. He took part in some games but was still shy, and it wasn’t until last week that he really made his mark.
One of the opposition players was running towards goal with the ball and our new lad suddenly moved to block the run. He won the ball, then executed a perfect hook turn before passing to a team mate, who ran on and scored. The look on his face was a picture – you could see how thrilled he was.
He grew about 10ft in that game and I’m looking forward to seeing him at training this week.
Coaching gives you the ability to change the lives of children. Never mind winning or losing, we all do that. But to give a child the skill that helps them become more confident in the game they love is something I will always cherish.
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