Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Father and son – take my advice

The majority of youth sides are coached by one of the player’s parents – it’s how a lot of coaches get involved in the game, after all, when taking over the reins from another Dad.

This can kick-start a massive learning curve as many parents’ boots were probably hung up several years before. More importantly though, while rookie coaches might have some technical knowledge, their understanding of youngsters’ learning processes is probably limited.

And part of that learning is making sure that players (and their own parents) aren’t reacting negatively to the potentially awkward aspect of father and son operating side-by-side. If you find yourself in such a situation, here’s a quick checklist of dos and don’ts that should help you out, because coaching your own child should be a pleasure, not a headache!

Five Dos

  • Do keep football separate from any disagreements at home.
  • Do treat everyone in the squad the same way.
  • Do ask other coaches to spend time with your child rather than you always coaching them.
  • Do listen to your child’s feelings about you coaching them. Respect what they say, whether you like it or not.
  • Do get feedback from other coaches, players and parents on how your child is doing. Sometimes it’s hard to stand back and make a fair and honest judgement on your own child.

Five Don’ts

  • Don’t accept gossip and criticism from your child about other players.
  • Don’t favour your child when selecting or coaching.
  • Don’t be harder on your child because he/ she is your child.
  • Don’t always pick them to demonstrate a technique or skill.
  • Don’t embarrass your child in front of the other players and coaches.

As your child gets older, you will find they want more space and independence, especially in their teenage years. It is important you don’t outstay your time. The ideal thing to do at this point is help another team. Too many coaches stop just when they are getting good.


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