How to improve my child’s football skills…
One question we get a lot from parents of the kids I coach is “how do I help my kid get better?” So apart from attending Skillz Skool, here are some helpful tips for parents who would like to see their child improve.
- Two training sessions/week will not make your child a top player in the future. You need to understand this.
- Kids like what their parents like. So, the first thing I do when I am asked this question is I ask the parent: “how much football do you watch on TV?” Almost without exception, it is little to none. This is a problem. So, you need to improve your passion for the game. Watch it. I mean all of it – not just the goals. Learn why defending is so important. Learn how goalkeepers manage a game. Learn how teams play through the back and middle. Listen to the fans, when they applaud the defence for winning the ball and playing simply through the middle, and ask “why are they clapping now – there was no goal?”
- Talk to your child about professional football, not just about their game. This will increase their passion for the sport. Discuss league standings (Premier League), tactics coaches used, formations, etc., at the dinner table. Follow the national teams (maybe not England), but the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, Spain — they are the top of the world!
- Go to a match when you can, take your child to a professional game. For the players to see, up close, what top football looks like is inspiring. In some ways, I would recommend your local non league team first as your son/daughter will have more access to the players and get closer to the game. Your son / daughters team may even get to collect the balls on the sidelines.
- Play Fifa with them. I know this is a big ask for many parents – but, if you want your child to understand and love the game more, (a) let them play Fifa (PS4 or Xbox) and, (b) better yet, play with them. (Don’t get upset when you lose!) 🙂
- Knock the ball around with them in the backyard, on the field. Don’t lecture them or try to make it “a session.” Just go out and play. Pass and receive – do a aim challenge (if you don’t have a goal, use a fence post), design a set piece with ghost defenders. If you have 4 people, make a game. Play 2v2, 3v3, with weird rules (the little kids’ goals count x3, only score with _______, volleys only, etc.).
All of these ideas are things you can do and you are spending time with your child. And remember to make it fun. If you are too serious about it, it won’t come off.