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Last night was my second football coaching session with under 8 cadets, I was really surprised to see more athletes arrive compared to last week only having 9 players to yesterdays session 15 player which was great to see, the session was fun I used many Multi skills which they really enjoyed. The last 30 minuets I placed the children into small teams and had small football matches making sure the team left out was practicing football skills whilst waiting for the there turn to play. This was really good session until a couple of player decided during the game to start pushing and punching each other. I stopped the match took the 2 boys to one side asked them why they was fighting to which they said because he wouldn't give me the ball, I advised the boys that if this was to happen again they would both sit aside until there parents came to pick them up and they wouldn't be allowed to play for this session, they both apologised to each other when I was happy with the apology we continued with the game. About 5 minuets later the parent of one of the children decided to come onto pitch and started shouting at her son, I advised the parent that I had already discussed with both of the boys that if this happened again the consequence would be they wouldn't be allowed to play for the rest of the session and that they had both apologised. I felt a little awful after the training session due to the mother shouting at her child in the middle of a training session embarrassing the child as well as herself. In theory I would have liked it so that the parent would have come and discussed with me at the end of the session so this wouldn't be in next weeks training session but she was nowhere to be seen
Always a tricky situation Emma, but it seems you handled it well - unlike the parent!!
So your 4 questions (imho);
No, you weren't wrong. You'd handled the situation and an apology had been offered - with clear consequences for further infringements.
No, the parent was bang out of order! There is no excuse for shouting at the kids! It also shows a complete lack of respect from the parent to you, the coach!
Don't think I'd have done much differently, at least as far as the punch up, apology and threat of further punishment is concerned. For the parent marching on and shouting, it's difficult to comment without actually seeing it, but it sounds like you did the right thing. I've had issues with parents in other groups and previous years, but a calm explanation that you'd handled the situation and you would appreciate them not doing that as it disrupts the session and undermines your authority - and that they were free to talk to you privately after the session about any questions or concerns they may have etc. A cool, calm, professional approach wins every time. It sounds like this parent might not accept that approach very well, but if you're calmly talking and they're shouting and bawling, the other parents are going to give you massive respect and support! Be interesting to see their attitude next session (parent and child).
From what you've said, an apology seems sufficient. You'd stopped it, told them what was not acceptable and they'd apologised - and it was clear they would sit out if it happened again. I've sat kids out before - but I never remember having to sit the same kid out twice; they want to play and they can't do that sat on the touchline!!
While you seem to be questioning yourself, there are some very positive points here for you. Numbers almost double week on week, and the kids enjoying themselves. That's what it's all about after all so you're obviously running good sessions.
Thanks for your response Andy, I think it is always good to get another opinion on the situation, I felt a little awkward due to the fact I had only been coaching the young players for 2 weeks, I really didn't want parent's or children to think they could walk all other me because I was a new coach and I didn't want parents and children to think I was too hard on the young players, Sometimes I think coaches can be placed in difficult situations to test the waters especially when parent's feel the need to contribute so I just put my (Coaching head on) to what I thought was reasonable at that time.
I was questioning myself although I have coached football throughout schools and have no formal football qualification I offered the club my Multi skills coaching qualification which Im currently using as I feel most of the young players need this and aren't quite ready for the more complexed football skills. I'm not a qualified football coach and I'm quite happy to attend a football qualification to enable me to learn the sport in more detail but I don't want to go into football in great depth I just want to help out a local club that was asking for help and as a coach I felt I could help the club with the younger players and since I have many years experience with 3 to 11 year old I felt I could help out. ( maybe I'm just too soft at heart).
I believe you handled the situation correctly. It is a great that you are reflecting on what happened and unfortunately like most coaches you feel a little uncomfortable about how the situation played out despite dealing it with it immediately. What I have noticed when coaching young children is the parents are only watching or interested in what their child is doing and not in the bigger picture of what the coach is doing throughout the session. In this situation and in most cases you should focus on the controllables and unfortunately some parents will never fall into this bracket. I agree with Andy, it shows a total lack of respect or perhaps a total lack of understanding of the role of the coach and the positive impact you are having on all these children.
Keep the faith
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