Our aim has been set on playing sports in a fun and engaging way for kids to learn important lessons about life. It gives kids the opportunity to foster responsible social behaviour, academic success as well as fitness and health, and the important sense of belonging.
As a sports club it is important to set a “happy” atmosphere as a “win at all costs” atmosphere could create a negative feeling and kids might not enjoy their football sessions. Over the years of running a football club we have found that a few kids possess the talent to play competitive sports at the highest level and some of our children have gone into professional competitive sports. Therefore, we take the perspective that our primary goals are to foster the development of general physical competence, promote physical activity, life skills, sportsmanship, good health, and fun.
Sports gives kids the opportunity to learn and they provide a practice field for life. Learning to work as a team teaches kids social skills and helps them to grow as adults, not just as athletes. Kids playing football may develop leadership, teamwork, self-discipline, coping skills and self-confidence. They also learn about sportsman behaviour and how to respect authority.
At First Touch we are aware that participation in football could have a negative experience for kids, depending on the program’s atmosphere. The atmosphere has nothing to do with losing or winning, it depends how the coaches handle themselves. A kid who has been exposed to repeated failures and only receives criticism without useful feedback is not likely to thrive within the sports environment.
Fortunately, at First Touch we have found the correct ways to avoid these risks and have created a positive atmosphere in our football program, that have clear positive goals, emphasizing in fair play and sportsmanship as well as teaching skills.
Parents and coaches are important teachers and role models and the atmosphere they create will determine whether a kid’s sports experience is positive or negative. Often coaches and parent have different goals for the kid as those of the kid themselves, it is critical for coaches and parents to nurture the kid’s ambitions. It is important for both coaches and parents to continuously communicate with the kids to assist them and support their dreams.
For kids ages 3-5 the emphasis should be on fun and not competition as at these ages kids are not yet prepared to understand winning and losing. Parents and coaches need to provide encouragement and praise for the effort that the kids have put in and not for winning.
Ages 5-11 kids are able to develop different skills and to play a sport they really enjoy. Parents needs to educate themselves about the sports their kids are expressing interest in, and it is important that parents encourage their kids to give a sport a fair chance before they decide to drop out.
At First Touch we believe that our club will assist kids with the following:
- To focus more on skill mastery and cooperation and less on winning.
- Play football because he/she enjoys it and not because it may get them a scholarship.
- Lifelong commitment to physical fitness.
- Allow kids in decision making.
- Get to make new friends.
It is very important to remember that football is supposed to be fun, learning experience and rewarding.