How to make a positive impact in the Foundation Phase

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It can be difficult to know whether players like or dislike certain things that you do, so to have the greatest impact on your players, it's important to adopt a child-centred approach when coaching in the Foundation Phase.

In the video below, the players describe some very strong emotions and reactions to limited playing time on matchday. We must remember that it’s their development and time on the pitch is a very important part of that.

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When I don't get enough time on the pitch

If we restrict time on the pitch because we focus on the result, or worry about the players making mistakes, we’re missing the point. Every player is an equal member of the team, even though they may be operating at different levels. 

Equal playing time in the Foundation Phase is important and should certainly be a consideration during your matchday management. Think about their development long-term, instead of short-term results.

Next up, players are talking about what they like and don’t like about their coaches. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the session that we forget some really basic things that would help make our relationship with the players effective and enjoyable.

Watch the videos below and think about your coaching approach. Does it reflect the things they liked? Were you surprised by any of their responses? What do you do to ensure your players get the game time they want and need?

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What players like about their coach
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What players don't like about their coach

It’s important to remember that:

  • time on the pitch is a vital part of player development
  • equal playing time in the Foundation Phase is important 
  • every player is an equal member of the team 
  • you need to deal sensitively with each player and the experience they get on matchday 
  • it’s about their development, not your result.


To learn more about Foundation Phase DNA, click here.


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