Have you ever wondered what a child thinks before, during and after a game? With experience as both a player and a coach, I have noticed that a positive attitude goes a long way both on and off the pitch. I’m a strong believer that success depends on more than just a player’s physical capability, that both passion and a positive mind set leads to an all-round better performance.
During my sessions, I aim to bring this attitude out in each player. I’m a supporter of positive reinforcement, that if hard work is commended by myself, the kid would feel more confident in themselves and want to succeed more often. For example, specific shooting drills can often go one way or another. If the player was off target, noticing what was also done well will pick up kid’s attitude before they feel disheartened.
A positive mind-set is just as important for the individual as it is for the rest of the team. If one player has a constant negative attitude and isn’t putting in the effort to try and do well, the whole team is affected and a session isn’t as successful as it could be. I believe team talks are effective before each session to set an uplifting tone to try and encourage the kid’s to believe in themselves and perform to the best of their combined ability. Making sure each kid learns as much as they can in each session and makes use of their time in training.
It’s very important to give the players positive feedback as it leads to the player feeling more confident, leading to increased success. In this case it’s not just giving the individual confidence but the belief that what they put into the session they will get out of it. This positive mind-set will hopefully bounce between each individual in the group resulting in the most productive session possible.
To summarise, I believe that at any age a positive mind-set is key for an individual’s progression in football. Observing as a coach, if a player is constantly listening and gives their all in every session, there will be a very noticeable progression in the child’s performance and development as an aspiring football player.