Those at the top of the game know what it takes to get over mistakes, as they understand that they are part of life, however children will often find it more difficult to ignore errors in which they make. Youth footballers will regularly become upset, even angry, when things do not go their way, which can potentially have a negative effect upon their game and development. As a result, it is important to ensure that children do not feel like they have let either themselves or their teammates down, allowing them to remain confident when on the pitch.
Coaches must also reinforce the fact that making mistakes is part of the learning process, allowing players to have a better understanding of what to do when in the same situation next time around. Everyone makes mistakes, players, coaches and, of course, referees. However, some players are likely to be effected more than others when it comes to making mistakes, with all having different personalities and needs.
Those with a high skill set are likely to put pressure on themselves to deliver on the pitch, however they will often set unrealistic goals, which can potentially lead to low self-confidence when things do not pan out as planned. For these individuals, missing the goal from close range or mishitting a pass back to the goalkeeper is their worst nightmare, with such actions leaving them questioning their ability. However, players who have learnt from past mistakes are likely to be more resilient and have more self-confidence.
So, let’s take a look at the measure’s coaches can take to aid players in this area:
The way in which a coach reacts to a player’s mistake will be a good indication of how they should respond themselves to such situations. Should your star striker see you lamenting them for missing a chance in front of goal, they are likely to be in two minds as to what they should do when shooting next time. As a result, it is important to maintain your composure on the sidelines, whether it be training or matches. If players are trying their best, then this is all that you can ask, so be sure to constantly deliver resolutions rather than criticism, even when things are not going well.
Set Realistic Expectations
Coaches can also help players by setting realistic objectives and expectations, whether it be asking a striker to hit the target three times or a winger to deliver five cross in the first half, rather than demanding that they score a goal or provide an assist. Players who are placed under too much pressure are ultimately setting themselves up for failure. Be sure that players know what you expect of them on the pitch, however steer clear of unrealistic objectives.
Compare Mistakes to Those of Famous Players
As previously mentioned, even the very best players make mistakes, meaning that there are likely to be high-profile examples of errors that occur on a weekly basis in the amateur and youth game. Showing clips of mistakes made by world-class players can help to both amuse players and take the attention away from individuals.
The Bottom Line
While it is not always easy to stay composed as a coach, this is crucial when it comes to aiding the development of players, especially when setbacks are encountered. Recovering from mistakes is a lesson for not only football, but for life in general, so be sure that players bounce back in a positive manner, with the very best players being the ones who respond in the best way.