UEFA Introduce Grassroots Tips for Coaching Children

The question of how to coach kids football has long been a talking point, with opinions differing throughout the game. However, UEFA have recently looked to lend coaches a helping hand by introducing rules that should be followed.

At a recent conference held in Minsk, UEFA outlined ten important tips when it comes to coaching children football. So, do you agree with such rules and how can they be incorporated into the game today?


The following tips have been introduced in an attempt to maximise the health benefits and pleasure in which children get from playing football, and other sports for that matter, with the rules being developed by the those who have lifelong experience and involvement in sport. The tips are also designed to help with long-term involvement in sport, with drop-out figures having increased to worrying levels over recent years.


  1. Be Child-Centered

Coaches should have the best interest of youngsters at all times, meaning that those in charge must listen to their needs, as well as think through the eyes of the children, rather than an adult.


  1. Be Holistic

Treat kids as people, rather than simply players or athletes. In doing so, coaches will challenge them to think about what they are doing, aiding development in all areas.


  1. Be Inclusive

Coaches must take into consideration the different skill and motivation levels within the team, paying close attention to all. This will require coaches to get to know players on a personal basis, as well as removing any barriers to participation.


  1. Maximise Enjoyment and Safety

While learning is important, children must enjoy themselves while doing so, as well as feeling safe at all time too. As such, coaches must create an environment in which fun is maximised and youngsters are allowed to thrive.


  1. Prioritise Love of Sport Above Learning

With only a small number of children having the necessary ability to become a professional athlete, it is important that coaches promote the need to be a healthy and active adult, thus creating a legacy in which youngsters can be part of.


  1. Focus on Foundational Skills

When it comes to children, sports coaches should not be too concerned about specific skills, with the focus instead being on key motor skills and the basics of different disciplines. Doing so will aid lifelong participation and potentially even higher performance levels.


  1. Engage with Parents

Despite sometimes appearing to be, parents should not be viewed by coaches as the enemy, as they are often a major resource. With both parents and coaches wanting the best for kids, communication between the two parties is key.


  1. Plan Progressive Programmes

Any coaching plan must take into account the age of players, as well as their particular stage of development. Doing so will allow coaches to help them progress as much as possible.


  1. Use Different Methods to Aid Development

There is no one best method of coaching, with different strategies suiting different situations. Taking this into account, one of the most important points when it comes to coaching is understanding the needs of children.


  1. Use Competition in a Developmental Way

While competition is sometimes viewed as a negative for youngsters, it doesn’t have to be. Organised and well-managed competition can teach children key skills and attitudes, including teamwork, respect and fairness.