Kiveton Park Football Club’s aim is to provide a good standard of football coaching that helps children learn to play, improve, enjoy and continuing playing football into their adult life. As a club we take great pride in providing young players for the senior team.
This has dropped off in recent years with the lack of U16 teams we have had but hopefully in 3 years when the current U13s get to appropriate age, we will have a natural progression from 5 year old to first team.
The players are the most important part of the Football club and therefore coaches should aim to provide a fun, friendly environment in which to learn how to play competitive football.
Football should be enjoyable and this should be emphasised by the coaches, making training sessions enjoyable and age appropriate, while striving to improve the players individual skills, Coaches should also encourage fair play and teamwork whilst keeping discipline within the squad.
The long term aim of the club is to produce teams who can eventually compete at a good standard in leagues and cup competitions, this means that the long term development of the players should be valued higher than immediate success in leagues, sometimes both can be achieved. The club defines success as improving players and teams over time, by rewarding performance and effort rather than just the result. Learning to accept defeat is just as important.
Players will benefit from playing a variety of positions, this will help them learn to play the game more effectively. Small sided games (SSG’s) in training allow more touches on the ball and can be used to coach many different skills and tactics by using conditioned rules – they are also far more fun than standing in lines waiting or running without a ball.
Coaches should be able to give praise and offer constructive criticism when required, and set a good example to the players in their behaviour at matches and training.
As much as coaches become aware, the club also recognises that children are aware of each other’s ability. This is true from an early age because the club realises that much football is played by the children outside the influence of the club. Therefore the coaches should not be expected to offer equal playing time at all age groups but should adopt a selection which allows fair playing time, taking into account players ability, confidence and fitness (not all kids have the same energy or it may be more beneficial to some players to have spells on and off during matches, to recover or to be given advice from the coach).
Coaches should not take substitutes to matches just to present an image of a “full bench” to the opposition or to cover the eventuality of nonattendance by unreliable players. Unreliable players should not be selected and the coach’s intent should be to play every squad player at some time during each game they’re selected for.
A team will benefit in the long term from a rotation of players while keeping a nucleus of currently more confident players, which helps the less confident players the chance to develop and also offers a reasonable challenge to the opposition without delivering or receiving a landslide scoreline.
From under 12’s upwards the coach may choose to begin selecting the team to become more competitive, by this age the players are aware of their own abilities compared to others and this can cause problems between the children.
This means competition for team places and the coach should balance this competition with the player’s development needs and the interests of keeping squad together.
Where a very large number of players are training with an individual age-group, the coach(es) may decide to run two teams. These teams will be evenly balanced; there will be no forming of an “A” and “B” team where there is an obvious difference in standard. The idea behind this is that all players have had a fair chance to compete in matches
The club recognises that other sports and distractions play a part in young players lives but, to be able to take players through to Under 18 level (and to be able to feed further to the open-age team), a core team and squad need to be developed.
The club coaches need to recognise that other teams do not need to be roundly beaten. Otherwise this means that they are less likely to survive as their players drop out and at later age-groups the leagues will become smaller and the competition less enjoyable.
On no account should the club coaches “poach” other players from existing teams. If a team is disbanding or struggling and likely to disband, an approach through their club at the appropriate adult/official level is acceptable.
All of the above is what Kiveton Park Football Club coaches should be aiming to provide within reason but please remember that our coaches can make mistakes, have their own family life to juggle like everyone and their role within the club is voluntary.