Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Why football coaching at Adult Sunday League is still so important

Hi, my name is Ashley and I have been given the opportunity to post an article here on the blog. I’d like to thank Dwyer for the invite!

I am 26 years old and play Sunday football in a local Essex (England) league. A couple of seasons ago I made the decision to drop down a couple of leagues to join up with my friends and play for a different team. I don’t regret the decision but over this period I’ve noticed clear differences in the standard, football player behaviour and general attitude towards football on a Sunday morning.

This football season has been a disaster to put it bluntly. Bad habits have crept into the team and although we cannot expect Premier League status fitness, wages or TV coverage the simplest things were missing from our team. Our inability to do the simple things on the pitch let us down badly. To coach a football group of adults to do some simple drills, stretches and sprints before the game falls on deaf ears if you do not have a committed coaching structure in place. As the captain of the team I have found it hard to influence others to be as committed throughout the season.

Some of the other teams in the Sunday league include established local footballers who have played and now coach with passion. They organise the team properly, they have planned and structured training sessions, they know about fitness and hydration, they communicate positively from the touchline and they have enough support week in week out to get the team playing.

It’s no surprise that these football teams have hauled in the points this season. I can only think of a couple of occasions where we have matched them for fight and passion. But not having a proper football coaching structure and team discipline has let us down badly. On a number of occasions we haven’t even had enough players or subs to run the line.

I’ve now taken the decision to play for a new team in a different district and what I have seen watching two games with my new team confirms to me that organisation is the key. Although the ability of the players may not be hugely different, it’s the way that they perform as a team which makes the biggest difference. There have a considerable amount of respect for each other and the coaches and this is shown throughout the team.

I’m looking forward to a new challenge but I will miss the social side of meeting up with old school friends on a Sunday. But this football season has taught me that even at adult amateur level basic coaching needs to be applied to get the best results.



2 Comments so far
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Hi Ashley

You are absolutely correct… adults in my experience are usually the worst case scenario especially “men” I’m 41-years-young now but I look after myself healthwise and as such I am still playing sunday league football here in Lincolnshire. I’m now also assistant coach for my daughter’s U 11s team so I have experience from both ends of the playing spectrum. Weekend football is lacking in many basic fundementals most of all: postive attitude, respect and fitness.People just don’t have the mindset that prctice can make perfect or go a long way towards it! Common sense prevails in the end and it’s mainly up to individual players to realise this focus and use some basic common awareness skills if they wish to get some real benefits and enjoyment from our beautiful game.

thanks for your post

good luck and all the best fo summer training


Comment by MikE Pearson

Thanks Mike, Yes I agree that Sunday league is lacking positive attitude, respect and fitness. I have seen lots of coverage on Sky Sports over the last couple of days of the plight of 11-a-side in recent seasons. I feel this is a great shame and although I have only been playing Adult Sunday league for 7 years I couldn’t imagine my Sundays without it.

The main reason for 11-a-side teams folding is due to 5-a-side weekday competitions apparently. If Sunday league had the same organization, commitment and management I am sure it will rescue itself. I do have confidence the FA will filter down to each region representative and make changes. Apparently next year if a player swears at the referee it is a straight red card, all we need is the referee’s to stand by this and make the decision – this will help improve respect. Last season I saw at least 3 punches thrown and the players remained on the pitch each time!

Comment by soccercoachblog

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