This webpage has been especially designed to help you improve your ability to listen to your coach. We will try to improve your listening skills, and show you the importance of having good communication. 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.
The ideas, advice and exercises on this webpage may help you improve the way you listen to your school teachers or parents as well as the way you listen to your football coaches - so pay attention! We will seek the help of Arsene Wenger, Emma Hayes and Jurgen Klopp later - but let's begin by looking at what it means to be 'coachable'...
Watch the video on the right which gives some great advice on how to improve and learn as a young footballer.
As the second speaker on the video says, it is really important that we listen to coaches. In order to learn and get better at football, it helps us to be "coachable". This means that we have an open-mind to new ideas and advice from people who are more experienced than us. Listening to coaches at practice sessions and games is a vital part of being coachable.
Listening during practice sessions or games
Here are some tips for how to listen better in practice sessions:
- When the coach is talking to the group, find a space where you can see and hear everything they see and do. (Even if some of what they say is directed at other people, make sure you listen as you could learn more).
- Watch and listen carefully.
- Don't get distracted, it's ok to ask a friend to be quiet so you can listen.
- Ask questions if you are not sure what they mean.
HOMEWORK TASK 1
Find a notebook which you can use as your Coaches Notes book. Write "Coaches Notes" on the front, and your name also.
After your practice session or game, make a note of the key things that the coach taught you. Write these in your Coaches Notes notebook. This will help you to make a habit of listening to the coaches messages.
For example, the coach may have taught you about the importance of looking up before you receive the ball - to see who is around you and where team-mates, opponents, spaces and movements are. Note this down in your notepad. Later, you can have a read through and remind yourself of all the things you have been taught.
Responding to New Coaches
How many different coaches do you have at football? Maybe you do more than one different football session or game each game. Or perhaps, next year you will have a different coach. Most young footballers will experience learning from several different coaches during their football learning.
It is really important that you learn to be comfortable and positive when learning from someone new. Here are some tips and advice to follow:
- Respect your new coach, they have new things to teach
- Don't prejudge a new coach. In other words, don't switch off from them because of what they look like or sound like, or because they are different from what you are used to. Try to be open-minded.
Learning from Professional Coaches
Do you have a favourite footballer? Most young footballers have professional players who they follow and admire. This is good because there is lots you can learn from watching and studying professional players. But it is also true that you can learn a lot from following a professional coach.
HOMEWORK TASK 2
Choose one of the three coaches below, and click on the links provided.
- What does the coach think is important in developing as a footballer?
The ex-Arsenal manager talks about the different abilities that children need to learn at different stages - using midfielder Fabregas as an example.
Klopp talks about the importance of talent, skills and character.
The Chelsea Manager talks about "no excuses" culture, which has helped her to develop players who take responsibility.
HOMEWORK TASK 3
Finally, choose one of the areas below to study further. Each link will open a new page on an important aspect of learning:
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: