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What's it like to be coached by you? | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) | ConnectedCoaches

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Home » Groups » Coaching Children (Ages 5-12) » blogs » david clarke » What's it like to be coached by you?
Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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What's it like to be coached by you?

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As a coach I know I have a lot of responsibilities, so how I coach and how I get my points across are vital to the progression of my players. It is not just about progression on the pitch either – my coaching should also help them learn how to achieve their life goals away from the pitch.

I try to imagine what it must feel like to be coached by me. Do I take enough interest in every one of my players and make them feel special? When they arrive at training or for a match I try to recall a key fact or occasion that will make each one of them think: “he remembered”.

What do you think it feels like to be coached by you? When your players arrive what goes through their mind when they see you? Do you inspire them? Are they afraid of you?

An inspirational coach will find players respond better – they will listen more intently when you are explaining what you want them to do in a particular exercise. A coach that breathes fire should realise players are just doing what they have to because they are frightened.

I want to inspire my players, not scare them. When I think about my coaching I want to base it on best practice rather than just controlling a group of kids. Best practice comes from the activities I create, how I use them and the enjoyment the group gets from them.

At a recent coaching event I watched a top class coach run a session – unfortunately the youth team he used didn’t understand what he wanted from them. He got exasperated and his coaching style became very commanding. Afterwards he moaned that his session didn’t work because the players were not up to the standard he demanded. A good coach should recognise when the players he is coaching are not up to the level of the session and quickly change the exercise, making it easier to understand.

A coach who smiles and praises his players will get much more out of players than one who snarls and shouts. So take five minutes to sit down and imagine what it’s like turning up to your sessions. Are players having fun? Have you coached them in the fundamental skills – touch, passing, receiving, and communication? Do they know the rules? Have you explained tactics and sportsmanship?

There is a lot there, but think about how you coach, what you coach and try to get to know a little bit more about each player – you will build a solid foundation and with that comes a better understanding between you and your team.

If you enjoyed this you can find all my other ConnectedCoaches blogs here.


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Comments (3)


This is something similar to that which I have been thinking about myself recently. In our sport - like many others - we film players in training sessions and games with the aim to breakdown their play and critique their actions. But how many of us watch the same film with an eye on our conduct during the game/session?

I have a similar view to what I think you have, in that I believe a team will take on the personality of its coach. Many is the time that I have been at a game and it has started to get a bit chippy and I look to the other side and the other coach is striding up and down, shouting and screaming at players and refs. You kinda think "ah yeah. I get it now".

It also relates to your actions when something doesn't go right - a dropped pass, missed tackle, whatever. Do you throw your hands up in the air in disgust/annoyance? Do you encourage? It is something that I try to consciously work on - not that Im saying I don't do it occasionally.

for sessions I think that sometimes we need to remember that a session is just one step on a journey, and people are at different points on it. No-one consciously makes mistakes. No-one deliberately goes out to do it wrong. Some people just take a bit longer to take the journey. As you rightly say, a coach needs to identify where they are and adapt accordingly. Shouting all the time aint going to accelerate them.

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Yes I agree Simon. You put it very well in your last paragraph it sums up what I was trying to get across

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A good question - as coaches we forget how much influence we have over our young players and how we can affect their lifelong connection with the sport.

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