Top tips for parents on being coaches

With schools being closed, many parents and guardians are having to fill the role of teacher with their children.

However, sometimes it can be difficult for your child to stay active and get their PE fix during this period – and even more difficult for parents and guardians to suddenly become sport coaches!

FA Affiliate Tutor and Foundation Head of Sport, Dave Lawrence, has put together his top tips for parents who will be coaching their children at home.

Make it Fun

The way we can keep kids trying skills and consequently move more is by making the activities fun! As much as we want to produce ideas which are fun and enjoyable in nature, remember how you communicate the activity may affect ‘buy in’ from your child. Think about not telling them they ‘have’ to do something, which suggests a task based on what you want from them, but use words like ‘try’ or ‘have a go’ or even ‘show me how you would…’ This should result in them wanting to become autonomous in trying the skill, maintain motivation and have more fun!

Make it New

Dribble like Messi, step over like Ronaldo… Give the activities a name because kids love a role model. If they know they are practising a skill that Messi is good at, they are more likely to keep trying it. Maybe even watch some video footage and find examples of where this specific skill has been used well by that player. Watch, practice, watch, practice… Until that practice becomes permanent!

Make it Safe

Now more than ever, kids deserve to be kept safe. Think about things in the area to where you practice which may be an obstacle, eg. walls, glass, rocks in the garden, the dog! The last thing we want in a period of trying to stay at home is an unnecessary trip to to the hospital.

Make it Progressive

Once your child can complete one of the skills, test them more. Think about making it more difficult for them by using a weaker foot, less touches, more touches, maybe put a time limit on the skill if it allows. This keeps that motivation high, maintains engagement and maybe one of the factors where eventually they don’t need you to coach them, they are doing it for themselves!

The Foundation is here to support parents and their children, and we will be offering more support in the coming days.

Keep an eye out for how we can help you with your home coaching during these difficult times.