As mentioned in the previous post the increase in concentration that football provides to individuals especially at a young age carries over to their school environment too. Students who play football are generally speaking less aggressive and experience fewer behavioral problems. One of the reasons for this is that football provides an outlet for kids to expend their seemingly endless amounts of energy. Without a release for these kids they may start play fights as a way to expend this energy, if left unchecked this may lead to aggression. Football provides a perfect activity for kids to do, its physical, outdoors and a contact sport.
With less aggression and increased levels of concentration kids enrolled in football also experience less behavioral problems. Seems obvious, although it is important to note that not all behavioral problems are related to fighting. Not willing to work with others, overreacting when losing or failing at something and selfishness are all behavioral problems that can arise in childhood. Football addresses all of these and in some cases I will go into deeper detail on them in the upcoming post but here is just a little summary. Football is a team sport and in order to have sustained success you need to able to work together as a team.
In football eventually kids are going to lose, or not accomplish something straight away, that’s the way it is. But, what I try to install in the kids that I coach is that failing is just an opportunity to learn something. Similarly the more you fail or the more you lose, although not desirable does mean that you get used to it and understand that failing a 3rd grade math test just like losing an U8 soccer game is not that important.
Selfishness tends to be stamped out by a combination of the two above. If a player is selfish for example a player is simply “hogging” the ball and not passing it to anyone else. Everyone else on the team will undoubtedly get frustrated and start complaining to “the hog” about him not passing the ball. This may trigger “the hog” to pass the ball more often or it may make the coach aware and they may wish to ask the player “why they are not passing the ball and then suggest that in some situations it may be good to pass the ball to someone in a better position. “the hog” will also likely continued to get tackled, leading to the player failing repeatedly. This could lead to frustration as a result of losing the ball and in some circumstances the game and this is where the coach needs to step in with the same points as above. However if the player is successfully dribbling through entire teams and scoring 3+ goals a game then the coach has the difficult task of trying to challenge that player further by setting them individual based tasks or playing them out of position, not that they should have positions before 12 anyway.