Growing up is hard: you’re in the process of developing self-esteem, motivation and emotional control. Then we throw football into the mix.
Whilst sport has many psychological benefits, it also has its own demands (e.g. decision-making and concentration). This means that young players have a lot to deal with.As a Foundation Phase coach, you need to prepare for tears, triumph and tantrums – to name a few. Helping your players to manage these situations will aid their development. This is because a person's psychological traits influence their ability to deal with experiences, both good and bad.
Providing this type of support may feel daunting, but it has a simple starting point. When communicating with your team, make sure that you're kind, caring, understanding and patient. Try to:
- identify any challenges
- be empathetic
- manage difficult situations effectively.
Your aim is to help your players to recognise and regulate their emotions. This will prepare them for the demands of both football and everyday life. To find out more, scroll down now.
Step one: players aged 5-8
Any player who makes it to 'the top’ will have demonstrated incredible resilience, confidence and commitment to learning. Whilst few children will become professional footballers, it’s important to recognise that this type of psychological strength is something we all need – and supporting its development is a key aim of the Foundation Phase.
At this age, we want every child to: