Hello everyone and its good to be back writing again. As promised in the last article, this week in Psychological Corner (Part-II), I will share about player characteristics for each age group and the coaching styles that you can use for them specifically.
PSYCHOLOGICAL CORNER (Part-II)
The principles of teaching and learning which apply in education are also applicable in the coaching and development of the player. It is, therefore, important that as coaches, we recognize the characteristics that children display at various times in their development. Please note that age groups are given as a guide, but individuals may develop at differing times.
Characteristics of Players Under 8:
Excitable – You can expect lots of energy.
Selfish – Don’t expect lots of passes from them.
Enthusiastic – Try to build it, not destroy it.
Talkative – Encourage them to ask questions.
Short concentration span – Organize lots of short games.
Limited understanding of space – Expect them all to chase the ball.
Sensitive – Be aware that children are very sensitive to failure.
Decision making – Split them into 3v3 or 4v4 games as few options make decision-making easier for them.
Characteristics of Players Under 10:
Golden age of learning – Encourage learning and invite questions.
More aware of others – Increased decision-making options mean you can move to 6v6 and 7v7 games.
Enthusiastic – Don’t stifle this enthusiasm but encourage and develop it.
More attentive – You can explain and explore things in more depth.
Enjoy a challenge – Try to stretch their minds and set new games.
Begin to lose flexibility – Be aware that the warm-up is vital.
Characteristics of Players Under 14:
Team play – Help to develop their understanding of team play.
Problem solving – Don’t provide all the answers, encourage the players to solve the problems.
Peer pressure – Be aware of this growing influence and how can you use this to assist you.
Identify others strengths and weaknesses – Encourage your players to assess displays in a positive way.
Competitive – Facilitate the development of a more physical aspect.
Physical change – Be aware and sensitive of the impact puberty may have on the individual.
Characteristics of Players Over 15:
Growing stronger – Players are reaching adulthood.
Greater mental strength – Players have a greater ability to cope with tough situations.
Physical challenge – As the body becomes stronger, so does the ability to meet the physical challenge.
More tactical awareness – Players are more aware of their own role and those around them.
More analytical – Players are able to review their own and others performance (including yours) which should be encouraged.
More competitive – The challenge to compete and be successful becomes greater.
Change – Lot of changes on moving from school to college or work. Relationships with parents are changing and new relationships are being developed.
It is important to recognize that every player is an individual and will learn and develop in different ways, and at different times and speeds. That is why the player is always central in coaching.
‘Five Pillars’ Coaching Methods
Each coach, whether it is Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Sir Alex Ferguson or Bob Houghton will have their own distinguished style of coaching. In the below table 5 coaching methods are described which you can integrate into your coaching sessions. The skill of the coach is to know which method to use when and where.
|Coaching Methodology||COMMAND||QUESTION & ANSWER||OBSERVATION & FEEDBACK||GUIDED DISCOVERY||TRIAL & ERROR|
|Player / Coach Interventions||Coach tells and shows required solution.||Coach leads with question to gain response from players||Coach and players observe||Coach asks a question or issues a challenge||Player and / or coach decide on the challenge|
|Example||“I want you to…”||“What do you think?”||“Let’s watch this…”||“Can you show me…?”||“Try this for yourself…”|
|Description||Coach tells and explains how to do something||Coach poses question and players offer verbal solution to the challenge||Coach and players observe and discuss the feedback||Coach challenges and players offer visual demonstration of possible solution||Players are encouraged to find solutions with minimal support from coach|
I hope this information will help you in your coaching and in better handling of your players. The Player characteristics and ‘Five Pillars’ coaching method is courtesy of the English FA Coaching License.
Next week in Social Corner of the LTPD system, I will describe about the social aspects of the game such as planning an enjoyable session for both player & coach, supporting & challenging your players, respect, fair play, etc. which you need to introduce into youth football.
You can look forward next week for some very interesting downloadable coaching content on “Developing Balance and Core Muscle Strength” in young players which you can easily add in your training session during the warm-up routine. Till then enjoy coaching!!!
The continuing support from you readers has been amazing and would like to say thank you to all. Please leave your feedback and suggestions in the comments section.
Justin Jose writes for FootballKerala.com