Person First ? Player Second


We?re always looking to improve as coaches and this season we?re furthering our education in the psychological corner of the FA four corner player development model.


Next Sunday we have registered on a Future Coach Seminar lead by Tom Bates, who is the author of ?The Future Coach? which is an excellent book.

Joining Tom is UEFA Pro Coaches; Lee Carsley & Stephen Reid, so we will get plenty of pointers that can help us improve our training sessions at Star.

We would like to share a couple of personal scenarios that highlight putting the person first and player second.

Story Of Player A

Over a number of weeks we?d be watching Player A in game environments and we observed that he was reluctant to make a tackle.  Many times he would run alongside the other player and to us it looked as though he was frightened to make a tackle, maybe the fear of being hurt?

At first we pointed out to Player A that he needed to be more physical and focused on the technique of tackling with him.  This seemed to make the situation worst and we could see that he was becoming uncomfortable when in a tackling situation.

The last thing we wanted was Player A playing with fear and not enjoying the beautiful game. So we grabbed the opportunity to talk through the situation with his parents. They had a completely different opinion to ours, suggesting it was more down to him waiting for the perfect time to make the tackle rather than getting stuck in.

Since that day we have never mentioned tackling to Player A and have left him to work things out for himself. A few months on he is one of the strongest tacklers in the team as he?s worked out the best times to tackle at his own pace.

Story Of Player B

Player B is a young person who like many in today?s society struggle with anxiety! He?s always wanted to play football, however did not have the confidence to play anywhere other than in his back garden. We remember our opening night of the LFE Centre, which Player B attended. It was only when he became upset and confused about the session that we found out what a big deal it was for him to be involved in the session in the first place.

At the end of the session we gave him player of the week and that was the start of Player B trusting us as coaches. Over the next few weeks you could see Player B growing in confidence and showing what a talented player he was.

We fast forward a couple of months and player B is now enjoying playing in grassroots football for a team and really enjoying the social element that football brings.

From a coaching point of view, he is pleasure to coach, fully engaged in the training sessions and eager to impress and show what he can do. Basically; he has found a safe environment for his football journey.


What we have learned over the past couple of seasons as coaches is to try and get know the little person behind the player.

Every session we aim to try and find a bit more about the person, especially if we see differences in their behaviour from previous weeks.

Don?t get us wrong, we still have a lot to learn in the Psychological Corner and how that can improve our training sessions.

The important thing we?re understanding each child is an individual and it?s not one recipe suits all!

The Star Soccer Academy Coaching Team.

We offer a FREE taster session at both of our Centres

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