Let Them Play

We love the phrase and hashtag #LetThemPlay but what does it actually mean?

It probably shouldn’t need an explanation but it never hurts to educate and/or remind everyone surely?

The basic aim of a coaching session should be to:
• encourage the players to recognize and solve challenges on their own, in other words, encourage their problem-solving skills

Imagine you’re a coach (or you are a coach) – your main work with the players is done in your coaching sessions. At the weekend when the players take to the field for their matches you should be able to stand back and observe the hard work that the players and you have put in during these sessions.

Players are not perfect and will make mistakes (as will all of us) but the mistake is often the best learning opportunity, so don’t make them afraid to make these mistakes by shouting at them if they do; this will make them afraid to try things and therefore they won’t have those learning opportunities.

So what do we want from the sidelines, whether from a coach or supporter?

No Shouting Instructions.
No Shouting at the ref.
No Shouting at the opposition.
Absolutely No shouting when a player is about to receive to ball or pass it.
Kids voices heard everywhere.

And most importantly loads and loads of positive encouragement – cheer both sides, be enthusiastic and most of all don’t stress about the result.

Let’s create an environment that allows the players to thrive and have fun.

And if all of the above doesn’t convince you, then please read below:

A Player’s Message To Parents

Thanks for coming to support our team today; I want you to
remember a few things that will help with our performance:

• I play the game because it’s fun, I want to Learn and Improve.
You can help all the players, and I by encouraging us.
• You are here representing our family and I; please don’t
embarrass me by being negative, by shouting or swearing.
• Praise me for trying a skill, good discipline, sportsmanship and my
effort. These are the things that make me a real winner.
• Don’t criticise my mistakes or talk about me on the sideline, I will
be scared to try things again. Mistakes are what make me better,
I will learn from them.
• Please don’t stand to close to the pitch, as this will distract the
players and me from concentrating on the things we should be doing
during the game.
• Please respect the referee, don’t question the decisions. They
may not always get it right, like us they are trying.
• Sometimes, there are no referees, please don’t question any
decisions. Our Coaches will help if we need it.
• Please don’t coach me from the side or walk up and down the line.
My coach is here to help if we need it.
• You don’t shout over my teacher in school, so please don’t shout
over my coach. He/she has given us a set of instructions to follow.
• Please do not challenge any spectators who behave in the wrong
way. Just tell them that we don’t allow negative behaviour like
that here.
• Doing my best and learning how to play is an important part of my
development. We all (the kids) want to win but having fun is much
more important to us.
• There are no scores recorded and even when they are, don’t ask
me about the result. Ask me, ‘how I played and if I had fun’.