8 top football coaching tips for coaches

Football coaching is one of the most rewarding activities out there, but it can be difficult to keep everyone happy. Here are eight tips to help everything run smoothly.

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1. Lead by example and give feedback

The best way to teach is to show, so before you ask your players to do something, demonstrate it. At the end of the activity, give short and simple feedback to the players.

2. Give everyone a chance

Parents won’t be happy if their child is on the bench every week and neither will the player. However, you won’t be as likely to win if you play your weaker players as much as you play your strongest ones. This means you have to decide whether to go for wins or keep everyone happy.

3. Keep a match log

Note down who started each match, subs, minutes played, where people played, who scored and so on. These stats will give you ammunition if anyone complains and help you decide who deserves a prize on presentation night.

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4. Communicate regularly

Talk to your players to find out if they’re happy and if they have any ideas for improvements.

5. Parent representatives

Talking to every parent at every training session is unrealistic and time-consuming. A good way around this is to ask the parents to appoint a representative to act as a conduit between coaches and parents. Parents with their own businesses are often keen to sponsor the team in exchange for a badge on the team football kits. Bespoke football kits can be bought online from sites such as

6. Show respect

As a coach, you’re a figure of respect, so always act respectfully toward referees and opposition coaches and parents. Learn more here about the FA’s Respect initiative.

7. Be positive

There will be times when you need to criticise your players, but always start and end on a positive note. Try to be as uplifting as possible and offer praise regularly.

8. Learn to stand back

Once the game starts, sit back and let the players get on with it. Barking instructions from the sidelines will only distract and confuse players. At half-time, make two or three points in a concise manner. Most people can’t take in too much information in one go, so prioritise the most important points.

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