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What help is there for coaches in clubs? | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Posted in: All other coaching children topics

What help is there for coaches in clubs?

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  • pippaglen

    I have not had a very good start to the year and hoping that I will have a positive end. January this year I became very Ill to the point where I was hospitalized after months of scans and x-rays In May I was advised I needed an emergency operation within a week I was operated on, I asked the club I coached, if they could help out with the under 7s team as I would be unavailable for a few weeks and would return when I recovered, I was advised that nobody was available, I had already lost many of the players in January when I was off Ill.  I  struggled to get players back because again there was no help available. I returned to coaching football 2 weeks after my operation as I felt guilty for leaving the players without a coach and knew that I would lose players again, I returned to 2 - 3 players and just before the start of the 6 weeks holiday when I knew that I wouldn't get many players. I still continued to coach with 2 -3 players in the hope that I would get players back. I asked coaches and club committee what could I do to get more players? I was advised to advertise "it's your team you can do what you want!" I started advertising on facebook and was quite amazed by the amount of interest I had, I went from 3 to 18 players attending I was over the moon, 2 weeks into the start of football season all was going well until last week whilst at work (I'm a youth support worker) I was outside playing football tripped over and broke the bones in the palm of my hand, unable to drive due to the cast I again  asked coaches from the club if they are able to help again no help available deflated with the added guilt started to set in and knowing that again I would lose players because football was canceled. I feel that I'm on my own, I'm unable to attend all the committee meetings due to work commitments. I'm now losing heart for the sport after I have just taken my level 1 FA license, I'm aware if I leave I will need to pay the club back for the course which at the moment I'm off work with a broken hand I'm not earning any money.  I have spent 1 half years coaching for the club on my multiskills license and feel all my voluntary time should go towards the cost of the license.

    What would you do in my position?

    What advice would you give me?

    What help have you given to help other coaches out?

    I feel I keep letting the team down and really hate the fact there's no help. 

  • anfy

    I think you have two problems here: (1) do the other coaches actually want to be involved with coaching youngsters? Not everyone does. Many coaches have their preferred specialty, whether it be young, elite, disabled, etc. You cannot expect them to come out of their comfort zone for something you have set up without ensuring you had support in the first place. Sorry to sound tough, but it is the reality. We have the same situation at our Club. I will admit I personally have a problem with the Juniors - it is not the children - it's their parents!

    We have a team of coaches that support each other and stand in when necessary, but it sounds like (2) you are looking for long-term help? But you say "I'm unable to attend all the committee meetings due to work commitments". Maybe the other coaches don't look at you as part of the team yet? Surely you can get to the coaching sessions? I coached for weeks in an ankle cast (and actually did 2 hours' coaching after I broke my ankle before I went for the confirmation Xray! It was painful!)

    I would suggest:

    You contribute to the efforts of the rest of the coaching team, then they will be more prepared to help you out. In your enthusiasm, you have probably neglected what the other coaches have been doing and they may be feeling you are being independent and not wanting their advice/help since you qualified? It is revealing that you say they refer to it as "your" team. They don't feel any sense of ownership.

    Sorry to sound like it is all your fault, but our coaching team have learnt over the years that you need to get people on side first BEFORE you make commitments. If you go ahead without back-up, you need to be prepared for the problems.

    Try and find a coach who has similar interest in coaching youngsters and get them to join you in designing the sessions, etc.

  • pippaglen

    Hi Anthea,

    Thank you for your feedback, Your right some coaches don't want to coach the younger players and yes it is out of their comfort zone. When I first started with the club all coaches welcomed me with open arms and advised there was help whenever I needed it, I wasn't even a qualified football coach I was coaching using my multi skills license and wasn't really confident coaching football but was confident coaching games that involved the football skills needed for this age group.  Like you say it is reality and this is what happens in most clubs, but can I ask What has happened to helping coaches out in a club environment? fair enough I'm currently an independent coach in athletics because I choose to be but now I'm part of a football club I thought that is what a club was there for, help, Support, and guidance or maybe I'm wrong and naive to think this.

    When I fell ill in January this wasn't something that was planned or expected, I'm normally a physically fit individual and exercises quite regular I just wasn't expecting an emergency operation to pop up, at that point I was only asking for help for 2 weeks until I was able to drive again and because I felt guilty that I had 6 weeks off at the beginning of the year because of illness I didn't want the players to miss any more training days because of me being off again.  I don't think anyone can prepare you for an emergency situation, illness or breaking body parts.  The problem with not being able to coach this time was because I have broken the bones in the palm of my right hand, the cast covers all my fingers to my elbow, I'm a right-handed driver and drive a manual car, insurance and consultant have told me I'm not allowed to drive and have also given me paperwork that states this, if you drive with a cast on your insurance is void and if you cause an accident you potentially could have your license taken from you, this is something we really don't want to risk as my partner and I own our own MOT business and need our licenses  to drive customers cars.

    I only wanted someone to cover 3 to 4 weeks until I could drive again this isn't long term. I live 20 miles from where I coach and have to catch 2 buses, the buses run every 2 hrs from where I live, I live in the sticks.  We do have a village taxi that would cost me £25 to get to the training venue and that's just 1 way. Carrying the football equipment, balls and cones would be impossible on the bus but I suppose I could borrow a tescos trolley and walk. These are not excuses this is the actual reality of the situation, would you payout £50 to get to and from training sessions when you do it voluntarily?  

    I have asked for help and advice as and when required before and since I have passed my football qualification, I have attended about 90% of committee meetings but I have also had to take extra work on in the evenings which has landed on the committee meeting days, we have tried to make it for other nights but this also makes issues for other coaches too.  If I have been unable to make the meetings I have informed the club of any issues and given positive feedback in an email.  I have a good relationship with coaches in the club as they come to watch my sessions to get gaming ideas which they use in their own sessions. I actually thought I had backup obviously I was wrong and nieve again or just like you stated nobody wants to come out of there comfort zone of coaching the younger players. 

  • Coach_Browning

    Its difficult with this one. I think that there are several issues here.

    1) the voluntary nature. 

    I dont know days and I dont know timings here but is there a difference in the training days? I.e. are you asking someone to cover you on a day they wouldn't normally coach? For me, even if I really wanted to I couldnt cover you. With my own kids clubs, wifes job I have specific times I can volunteer. 

    Therefore, if they are different days could you merge. This might ease the situation slightly. If one team has two coaches, one might go with your group. 

    If you are the same day as other age groups within the club then...

    2) I woudl look at the structure and mentality of the club.

    Again picking up on the "your team" thing, do they (as an overall club) see all the different elements as individual units in their own right? So rather than a club, you have lots of different teams under an umbrella name. 

    I am guessing - based on what you say - that it might be the latter. Coaches get locked in to "their" group. They identify with that group rather than the overall club as a whole and the developmental pathway. 

    If they see themselves as a continuum, then the coach of the age up should have a vested interest in what you are doing as you are feeding them. Therefore, they should (subject to point 1) want to come in and help out as it ultimately helps them in the long run. 

    As I say, I am speculating here and this might be wrong but these are the areas I woudl look at first

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