Our Coach Education group is set-up to share ideas and best practice among football coaches. We look forward to connecting with you.
At MoF, we don't deliver a parent-child class for toddlers. We consider that this age group would be better off playing together at home or in the park. Parents of young children can usefully explore our Movement Skills section for activities they can enjoy at home. Read more here.
Sometimes during sessions with our youngest children, we will ask each child to get their adult and we deliver an activity for the parent and child to explore together. We do this as it means each child gets the help of an adult, and we are able therefore to introduce more complex activities. (We acknowledge that not all children at sessions will have a parent, so coaches need to know the group, and identify children which they may need to include and work with in a different way).
When using parent-child activities, the main teachers will be the parents. The coach’s role is to show the parents what to teach their children. The coach needs to set-up activities which will encourage learning, but address the parents when demonstrating and explaining how these activities work. (This is also a good age-group for getting parent-child couples to demonstrate something they are doing well – it encourages them to work together, gives a sense of reward and gets them used to performing in front of others).
The Parent-Child class gives us an excellent opportunity to show parents how they can support their children as they learn to play and grow-up in football. Some of the key points that coaches can try to get across are:
- Enjoy spending time together, and play with a ball regularly.
- Don’t be too prescriptive in how the child solves a problem; allow them freedom to experiment.
- Don’t just teach children how to kick the ball away! Teach children how to control the ball, move with a ball, enjoy having and keeping the ball.
- Praise children for doing something well or for trying to do something well.
- Help children to learn from each other (‘Did you see how Jack and his dad did that? I wonder if we can do that too!’).
- Have high expectations of a learning environment. Expect excellence.
Recieving and Shooting
In this activity, parents supply thrown passes to the child, who attempts to kick the ball into a goal. The parents can make this more challenging by varying the service.
Dribbling and moving with the ball
Children and parents have a ball each in the activity below. The activity starts with two passes against the wall, then a turn, and dribble through any two gates. Shoot and score in one of the goals to finish. This can be progressed by making the parent a defender and goalkeeper instead.
ABC (Agility, Balance and Co-ordination) Circuit
Parents and Children move around a range of activities, spending two or three minutes at each station.
Follow the leader
Follow the leader should be a staple diet for this age group. The game can be introduced by a parent working with their child. The activity is perfect for ball control, and requires the follower to ensure they are looking where they are going - they have to get their head up to see where the leader is going. Make the game more interesting by adding in some cones, gates and other equipment. We sometimes have a ladder in there so the leader can pick their ball up and jump through, and this adds in a wider range of movements.
Rob the Nest
This can be an enjoyable activity in which pairs or small teams compete together to see who can get most 'eggs' (balls) into their nest. You can add in the opportunity to steal eggs from each other's nests - although not to guard them. Tackling is not allowed, certainly not to begin with, although at older ages it can provide useful 1v1 battles.
The nest can be a goal, as in the graphic, in which case the children are practising kicking for accuracy. Or it can be a marked area on the floor in which the ball must be stopped, in which case the children are practising control and stopping of the ball.