What I am proposing is that coaches be taught how to value other aspects of football not just the scoreboard. You cannot simply change the way you win games by the amount of pass, shots or time possession for example. It would be to hard to manage, teach and would certainly cause more problems than it solves … if it even solves any.
What I think needs to happen is a greater emphasis of the players development throughout the game itself. Rather than just going out there and saying let’s win this or I want to get a result today. Change the dialogue to okay guys/girls lets try our hardest to win today but don’t forget to try and keep the ball on the ground and pass to our teammates to go forward. By adding the last part which is just a reminder of what they may have been working on throughout the week it reminds the kids of how the coach wants the game to be played. No-one is going to remember that your son won his 12 div 1 league. So, get over yourself. At that age it is not just about winning but its making sure they are still enjoying the game and are developing their skills to have a successful career in senior football.
So what I think needs to happen is that there is a greater emphasis placed on what the coach is trying to develop in the players. This can also be achieved through individual and position based player tasks. So, for me at 12 and below the players are rotating position every week. So telling them all at once I want you to do this, I want you to do this, and so 12 times a week for 20+ weeks is not the way to go. You will get bored, the kids will get sick of it and then you have more problems. So what I do is simply say that the wingers for example, there goal is to take on players 5 times in a match and get 5 crosses into the box. The striker might be to get 10 shots at goal and 5 passes. Something like that. This then creates an emphasis on what you want those players to do in those positions. You do not really want your defender worrying about scoring, or your attacker about how many tackles they can make. As a reward you can give the kids a treat or have an internal points system whereby players accumulate points and at the end of the season they get a prize or trophy of some kind. It might be a little hard to keep track of but it is 100% worth it.