DAN ABRAHAMS on how time-poor coaches can weave in psychology elements MORE
Disruptive players can make coaching sessions very difficult and the amount of time you spend with those players means other players are missing out on prime coaching time.
Talk to coaches from every level of the game and they will have a story about disruptive players and the best way to handle them. I have found various techniques that work for some players – dropping them for a game works for some players but giving extra responsibility works for others.
Sometimes whatever you do the disruptive child ruins your coaching session.
In grassroots teams there is often a problem with best friends joining a club because one of them has done so. Often I hear that it is a good idea to take on a friend because it helps keep another player happy.
Not only that but best friends help each other with lifts to training and games. I know a number of my Under 12s give each other lifts and help each other out on match days, but best friends can also cause problems for a coach.
In my early days of coaching I had a couple of best friends who were like chalk and cheese. One was a good player and very keen to help the team, but the other was argumentative if he was substituted or warned over his behaviour.
The problem was that if I allowed one to leave – or, in the case of the argumentative player, if I asked him to go – then the other would have to go with him.
It was a situation that had to be handled carefully.
At training once, the two of them started walking away five minutes before the session had finished, without explaining why. When I stopped them, the more vocal player argued about their right to leave whenever they wanted.
I told them not to bother coming back if they walked out so they came back and stayed until the end. When the pair turned up at the next session I spoke to the parents and said that I didn’t want it to happen again.
They were not happy with that so I asked them to take the boys home. It was a shame it had to happen and that one of the boys was penalised for having a best friend who behaved so badly, but sometimes for the sake of the club and for the coach’s sanity, players like that have to go.