EXPERT SESSIONS AND ADVICE FOR GRASSROOTS SOCCER COACHES

My young players won’t listen to me when I’m trying to explain the plan for our training session. What can I do to hold their attention?

Ask Dave

Dave says

Getting players to listen to what you say when they are gathered as a group at training sessions is so important, but it’s something you’ll probably need to perfect over the course of a few weeks.

Firstly, you will need to ensure there are no distractions around you when you’re speaking to them.

Also, you must never coach so that players are staring directly into the sun, and if there are other kids playing around you when you are trying to speak, move the chat to a quieter area of the training ground.

My young players won’t listen to me when I’m trying to explain the plan for our training session. What can I do to hold their attention?

Ben Bartlett has the players’ attention at Fulham

Complete silence

It’s very important that you only begin talking when you have complete silence from your players. No one else should be speaking when you are – it’s a key ground rule that you must stick to.

Just say nothing until everyone is quiet and the chatter will soon die down.

Also keep your instructions brief – young children will switch off if they are spoken to continuously for more than about 60 seconds.

Try to get positive feedback on instructions and make sure you ask plenty of questions, so that kids know they need to listen carefully in order to be able to respond.

And bring some practical demonstration into what you do, as that way players can visualise your coaching rather than just listening to it.

You can build these techniques over a period of time and your players will soon learn the routine.

They’ll also have more respect for your coaching if it is given the proper platform it deserves.

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