HOW IT WORKS
Complete the form
First, complete the 55 questions below as accurately as you can
Choose a topic area
View your results and choose an area to study
Identify two aims
Use video tasks to identify two specific things to work on
Practice to improve
Let your coach know what you are working on
This webpage has been especially designed to help you get more involved in your football games, and help you find more enjoyment from them. Some of the tips and advice on this page may also help you get more involvement and more enjoyment from other aspects of your life, such as at school. Your mission is to complete all the homework tasks below and identify two key specific things that you want to work on and try to improve in your practice sessions, team training or on your own.
HOMEWORK TASK 1
Why do you play football? Think about your ideal football experience, the football in your dreams.
Write a list of the top three reasons why you play football. (Think about what makes football exciting for you, what makes you look forward to it, what gives you a buzz during or after).
Playing for the right reasons, and finding the right opportunity to play
Now let's look at your actual football experience, and whether your reasons for playing football actually happen for you.
For example, if one of your reasons for playing football was "to play with friends", then ask yourself whether you actually get to play with your friends or not. Or if one of your reasons for playing football was "to score goals", then ask yourself whether you actually get to score goals or not. This task is about comparing your ideal football experience with your actual football experience.
HOMEWORK TASK 2
Next to each of the reasons in Homework Task 1, write down whether you actually get to experience this. If you don't, then write down why not.
Winning and losing
Some children don't enjoy sport because they put too much emphasis on the result of a game. It is important to remember that Winning and Losing is often out of your control. You can play brilliantly but still lose a game if the other team is a bit better than you.
Rather than focusing on the result of a game, try to focus on how well you can play. Your own performance is completely within your control. Watch the video, and let these children be your inspiration!
Tip: Don't worry or stress about the score of the game. Enjoy playing and trying your best instead.
Being more involved in your football games will help you enjoy the game more. Involvement could mean that you get the ball more often, it could mean that you have more control over where or how you play, or it could mean you have more freedom to decide what to do in games.
HOMEWORK TASK 3
- What stops you being more involved in football games?
Write a list of up to three things that you feel stop you from becoming more involved in your football games.
Flow - a beginner's guide
In this section, we are going to look at something called Flow. Flow is a state of mind and body that can occur when you play sport. It can also occur for some people when you are playing music, or dancing, or even doing maths!
Have you ever heard the expression "in the zone" in sport? For example, a player might be described as being "in the zone" if they are completely focused on the game they are playing and all the things they try seem to work.
Flow can be different for different people. Flow is when you are doing something, and you are completely immersed in it. You stop thinking about other things, and you are not easily distracted. Sometimes it might feel like five minutes have gone by but actually it's been one hour. You have a feeling of nothing else matters. For some people, the little voice in their heads has shut up, and they are no longer talking to themselves.
Flow can happen in football, but only if we are playing in certain conditions. Flow can happen when you are playing games that are the correct level for your ability. The games need to be challenging but not so difficult that they cause you stress or anxiety.
HOMEWORK TASK 4
Which of these best describes your experience of playing football games?
- (a) The football games I play in are too easy so I get bored
- (b) The football games I play in are too difficult so I get stressed or anxious
- (c) I lose focus in the football games I play in, or I get distracted
- (d) I don't feel confident in the football games I play in
- (e) I feel scared of trying new things, or worried about making mistakes
Depending on your answer to Homework Task 4, there is more work for you to do:
If you answered (a) then you are playing at a level that is too easy for you. To find more enjoyment from your football, it may be worth challenging yourself with trickier games. Or you could set yourself more challenging tasks within the games you play, such as trying to use your weaker foot more. You could do this by setting yourself a goal, and to find out how to do this please visit the Goal-Setting page.
If you answered (b) then you may be playing at a level that is too difficult for you. To find more enjoyment from your football, it may be worth finding easier games to play in. If you are struggling to deal with pressure, stress or anxiety, then please visit the Pressure, Anxiety & Performance page. Or you could rise to the challenge, get some practice in and see if you can improve your game so you are better able to deal with the stress or anxiety. If you'd like help making time to practice, please visit the Practice Time page.
If you answered (c) then please work through the exercises on the Concentration and Focus page. This will help you to become more involved in the games you play, and to enjoy football more.
If you answered (d) or (e) then please work through the exercises on the Confidence and Trying New Things page. This will help you to become more involved in the games you play, and to enjoy football more. If you struggle because you feel pressured or because performance makes you stressed, then visit the Pressure, Anxiety & Performance page.
As some final inspiration, here is Brazil's Ronaldinho, a player who played with pure Joy. His mission was to entertain and to make people happy. Enjoy!
Welcome to your HOMEWORK page! Here you will learn about your chosen topic. It is a good idea to save the URL for this page to your favourites so you can easily return to it when you need to.
You need to work through the tasks on the page, one at a time. This might mean watching videos, it might mean doing other tasks and activities. It may be a good idea to take notes also. Remember that the more work and effort you put into the tasks, the more you will learn and the better you will become.
For most topics, there will be a PRINT OUT at the bottom of the page. You need to print this, complete the questions, and take to your coach. You need to do this so the coaches know what you are working on and are able to help you.
If any of the links on this page are broken, or you have other ideas or suggestions, please get in touch at: