We have just started week 1 of the COMMUNICATION learning block. Over the next 8 weeks, we will focus on developing communication skills in football and life. Through playing carefully designed games such as Silent Match and Blind Football the players will practice and improve their communication skills both verbal and nonverbal. Parents also have the opportunity to engage in the Communication learning block by reading this blog series that provides some tips on what to say and do; Before, During, and After football training.
BEFORE Football Class: Helping your child prepare!
We understand that being a parent is the toughest job around; endless reminding, supporting, and checking to help your children stay on track and learn! Preparing for football class is no exception, and here are a few tips to help parents help their kids get the most out of football training.
PREPARE the night before:
Help the children find their football kit the day before training; including their shirt, shorts, socks, shin guards, a sweat towel and water bottle. Ask the child to fold or place them nicely on a chair or next to their bed so they can easily get ready the following day.
REVIEW their last football training session:
Get into the habit of asking your child the what, who, why, and how questions about their previous football class. Questions such as; What games did you play last week? Who was on your team? Are you excited about today’s football class? What do you want to try and do or learn today?
PRAISE and keep conversation strength-focused:
If you can remember some positive moments from the previous football session use them to praise the child again and help lift their motivation. Take a look at the 4 Corner player development model for some guidance. Perhaps you noticed their attitude and confidence levels were high or their ability to communicate with teammates stood out.
PLAN to be punctual:
We all know that traffic can be a massive headache in the city, so be sure to set off early so that your child can arrive 10 minutes before training. During these 10 minutes, your child can catch up with friends and coaches and loosen up their bodies and minds before training starts. We find that the children who regularly use these 10 minutes are usually more concentrated and ready at the start of the session. Furthermore, over the long season, it actually contributes to a significant amount of time. In these 'free play' periods before training, children are often observed practicing their technical skills or chatting with friends.
TRUST the child to lead:
On arrival at the field, the child should take the lead and responsibility for meeting and greeting friends and coaches and preparing to play. Here it is the attention to the details that make a difference, for instance; allowing them to carry their own bag and place it in the player area, and also letting them learn how to correctly insert shin guards into socks and tie laces. A DIY approach will be slow at first but very empowering once they feel more independent and trusted.
Try these tips out for BEFORE training yourself and let us know if they help your child to become more organized, independent and motivated. In the next blog, we'll be talking about what to do and what to say when you are on the sidelines observing your child play. Leave a comment if you have any questions or concerns about communication. We'll try our best to answer them. After all, isn't that communication too?