Young players will always copy their heroes on the pitch but sometimes they copy the bad things as well as the good MORE
My Under-8s side has players at very different skill levels. Some criticise others when things aren’t going well – how can I make them appreciate that it’s a team game and they’re all as important as one another?
Make sure you don’t single out individuals for praise at the end of a match. If your team did well, praise everyone. If they didn’t do so well, praise everyone!
Tell your players that your team is like a jigsaw – it needs all of its pieces (players) to be in the right place and no single piece is more important than any other.
Don’t allow cliques to develop at training sessions. If the ‘best’ players always seem to be standing together, split them up and play games that require children to work together.
And don’t ignore the situation. If you do you’ll have a lot of unhappy players!