Two clear examples of how a ‘well done’ beats a ‘why didn’t you?’ every time.

Coaching Youth Football

On Sunday, I heard a coach shout out to one of his seven year old players “why didn’t you just pass it to Johnny, he was wide open!?” The coaches’ voice was steeped in disappointment and frustration. I dare say that kids motivation sank much like my heart at hearing this.

I have for a while understood academically that kids respond far better to praise than criticism, and the FA Youth Award courses I’ve attended really highlighted this. However I think that to really learn a concept like this you need to experience it, and I have experienced it twice recently.

I am assistant manager of the team that my 7-year-old lad plays in, and a few weeks ago he was playing in a match when the ball flew towards him. He brought the ball down, and dispatched a lovely strike into the bottom far corner. Parents and coaches cheered…

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