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During my coaching career I have found that there are players who know how to impress a coach, even at a young age. There are players I really think impress me because of what they do after practice, just by coming up to me and saying thank you coach, gets a smile on my face and I know that one day they are going to impress their boss or if they have their own business they most certainly will impress many clients.

I have found that playing football teaches so much to the young players and even the adults that are involved.  Kids learn from their coach, parents, their teammates and even their opponents.  Having a good character in football, working hard and respecting everyone on the team is part of sports.

Sitting on the bench during a football game is not fun, besides being boring and not being able to help your team win is hard.  As a youngster I remember sitting on the bench in a game that I really wanted to be part of, and I really hated it.  Luckily, I did not sit on the bench often, but at some stage everyone has done it.  Sitting on the bench is also part of football life, whether it is coming off an injury or maybe even a slump we all seem to get a chance.

Often kids feel that life is not fair, but it is also about how you choose to react.  Sitting on the bench during a football game you do not need to act and show people that you are unhappy.  When people are watching you, you need to be positive even in a negative situation. 

I found that every game is different, and coaches need different skills or personalities, So I learnt the following while sitting on the bench:

  • Good body language and show your support for the team.
  • Watch the game and do not talk or complain about the other players.

Always remember just because you are on the bench it does not mean that the other players are better than you, it could be your body language or your complaining that is keeping you on the bench and not your skills.  Something to remember is that it is more than being a good football player and you must give respect to everyone to keep your personal brand strong.  I also learned that it is good making eye contact with the coach when he looks over at the bench to make a sub.

As a coach I feel that if a player has bad body language on the bench he will probably continue doing so.  A piece of advice that I learned is to sit up straight, be interested in the game, do not complain about the players on the field and do not sulk.  By being eager to help your team out the coach will see it and hopefully call your name.

If you wish to improve your skills try practicing on your own or maybe even have a few private sessions, this will impress your coach and you will be improving while other players are staying the same.  One thing to remember is that there is always someone behind us who are better so make sure that you are working harder than what they are. 

In football hard work is contagious and the more players that work hard the more motivated the team will be.  By doing this at the end of the day you can look back and be proud of yourself for working harder and it creates good habits that you will carry on forever.

Show up on time for your practice or game as you do not want to be late as it is disrespectful towards your whole team.  It also shows the coach that you are not interested in the game and you might end up sitting the bench for the game. 

It is important to have a good attitude so that you are teachable in practice and games.  Built good habits on the field as it is the right thing to do and it sets you up in life. 

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