Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Filling the emotional tank of young players

By David Clarke
davidscwnewAs coaches we need to recognise that every young person has an “emotional tank” that fills up and drains.

  • A young player with a low emotional tank is irritable, less coachable, and unable to deal well with tough situations.
  • A young player whose tank is filled is cheerful, more coachable, and better able to deal with tough situations.

Research has also shown that a plus/minus ratio of praise to criticism of 5:1 or better is ideal for children’s learning. When the ratio drops below 5:1, children become discouraged (their tanks become drained!).

So it’s a simple fact. More praise, less criticism.

When fans are cheering for a team, those players experience their tanks filling up. We want to coach in a way that will fill the tanks of our players so they can play their best at all times – we want to cheer our teams on not shout at them and drain them.

And, we want our teams to learn to fill each other’s emotional tanks by supporting each other on and off the pitch.

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