I honestly believe that being a football coach stays one of the most inspiring careers to have, not only because football is my passion, but the wonderful opportunity to train young children and being part of their dreams in becoming a profession football star one day.

Standing at the pitches watching the young children coming along for their weekend football session is amazing, I can actually feel the anticipation, anxiety, and excitement in the air.

One can spot the children that has been coming to our sessions for a long time, as they show so much confidence as they walk onto the pitches, and then you spot the newbies having the first rookie session, a first pass, first goal and the first-time being part of a team. 

At the start of our new term, I noticed a group of first timers standing with a boy that has been playing football for some time.  I decided to go closer to hear what the conversation was about, one of the new children said that all he wants to do is score goals, to which the older boy replied,  “Even if you score a goal, it does not mean that you will win the game, you have to first learn how to play the game”.  The young boy said, “what do you mean learn the game, all I have to do is run and kick the ball into the goals.” I had to wait to hear what the older boy was going to reply, before I step in and start explaining from a coach’s point.

Well, to my surprise, the older boy rolled his eyes and said “I know that it’s pure joy to score a goal and that is the most fun part of football, but how you kick the ball is a skill that you have to learn.  When you start kicking a ball you normally kick with you toe, but the coach will teach you to kick with your laces”.  The younger boy looked at him and started laughing saying “you know nothing about football, as laces are what you tie your shoes with”, to which the older boy explained that the coaches will teach him all the rules, tactic, and techniques of football, then he will understand what is meant by kicking for your laces.

The older boy carried on explaining that kicking with your laces requires coordination and strength and you need to learn correctly as it is a hard skill to master, but sometimes kicking leads to the best part of scoring.

I was surprised and honestly felt very proud of what we as coaches are achieving by coaching children to learn all about football.  There are many fun things about playing football, kicking the ball, and scoring goals are essential parts of the sport, but not the only reasons for playing the game.  For some children it is getting a new jersey and bonding with their teammates.

I thought back on my football playing as a child and remembered the wonderful feeling of running fast and scoring a goal, my friends on my street that were in my team, making new friends and also playing goalie because I got to hold the ball and then came the half-time snack. The reason I love football is because I had a lot of great children on my team and working as a team helped me get better and better at football.

At First Touch we strive to improve children’s football skills weekend after weekend to help them stay fit, make new friends, learn about teamwork, and most of all to have loads of fun.

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