Is Football Training at School Enough?

After the past couple of years, it’s been fantastic for all of us to see children back at school and sports. One question parents ask us frequently is – “Will football coaching at school be enough?”

And our answer to that question is – it depends. It depends on what your child is looking to achieve at football. Is he a beginner wanting to improve his skills? Does she want to play for the school team? Does he see himself taking football a little more seriously? Overall, here are some factors you should consider when deciding whether school football training is ‘enough’.

1. Child’s Proficiency & Goals: This is THE fundamental factor is deciding if school football coaching is enough. This first bit is understanding your children’s footballing abilities. Are they beginners or ahead of their peers or somewhere in-between? Further, is the objective just to play for school or to genuinely improve and play competitively?

2. Coach’s Competence: Among the most critical factors is having a coach who is equipped to help your child progress. Competency doesn’t just mean being good technically. It also means being someone who can bring out the best in your child. Is the coach spending time correcting errors and suggesting improvements? Or is she just screaming out random instructions to the group without regard to position, ability or context?

3. Development or Results? This is a tricky one. At grassroots or youth level, it is well documented that the coaching focus should be on improving players and the team’s performance. And sometimes this comes at the cost of the result. For example, if your child does not get enough match time, is s/he really going to get better at playing matches? Or does it really mean much if your children win a trophy without really playing good football? Are we interested in the optics or really developing a smart and technically competent young footballer? Unfortunately, school coaches often find themselves in a position where they are judged by results rather than performances or style of play. In such circumstances, the coach is often forced to give only the best players game time. This sometimes comes at the cost of establishing an attractive, positive style of play or developing the children’s skills.

4. Training Ground: Do your child’s school football sessions take place on a suitable and safe training ground? Ideally, you need a training ground that will mirror pitches on which matches are played – in terms of size and surface type. It’s also nice to have a usable washroom around!

5. Coach to Child Ratio: Are there enough coaches to give attention to your child’s progress? Or are the ones not ‘good enough’ for the school team asked to have a kick about by themselves? This is typically a function of the coach to child ratio. If there are too many children to observe, how will coaches be able to diagnose technical errors and make improvements?

6. Year Round Training? Are the kids going to train all year round or do they train only in the build up to a tournament? You and your child need to decide if the training frequency and volume is enough to meet his/her objectives.

A good way to find answers to these questions is to observe your school’s training sessions. Take some time out to actually see what they do at training and you might get a sense of what your child specifically is getting out of every session. That’s where the answer to this question about school football coaching lies.

Either way, if you’re looking to help your children become better footballers, book a free trial at any of our training centres by calling 9819337766 or 9819227766. Have a smashing day!