My my My my
Commentator Coaching  
photo of whistle

During the Fall season, we noticed that during games some coaches would tend to commentate on the game rather than coach the game. This Spring, Tom and I have continued to notice this.

Parents will always support and cheer for the children from the sidelines, but to have the coaches doing the same, and often contradicting what the parents are saying, has an adverse affect on the children.


What we mean by commentating, is that coaches will shout, "kick it," "chase it," "boot it," "good shot," etc. While trying to encourage the kids to do this, there is some point when the kids have to take responsibility for their own actions on the field. Yes, praise good play, but at the same time let the kids find out for themselves. Guided Discovery is one of the best approaches to coaching.

Children will know when they make a mistake, and it does not take a coach to shout, "why didn't you pass it to him/her?" If a child does make a mistake, just give them the opportunity to do it again, and explain to they what they can do to improve it next time.

Children will, after about 5 minutes, block out any outside noise (coaches, parents, players) if constantly told what to do from the sidelines and switch off, which is the worse thing possible to happen when trying to coach within a game. We can both vouch from this as we were like this when we played youth soccer in England!

Here are some possible solutions to bear in mind to combat commentator coaching and increase the quality of play and responsiveness from players on your team:


K.I.S.S. — Keep it short and simple. Give clear, concise and productive comments to children.


Question Them — How can you improve on that next time?


Reinforce Good Play — Rather than say "shoot it" ask the child to next time get their head over the ball and aim for the corner. Rather than say "punt it" tell the child to control it, get their head up and look for a pass. Rather than say "chase it" tell the child to jockey and hold up the player so they do no have to turn and chase the player.


From Every Negative, Make a Positive — From a weak shot on goal, praise the player for taking a shot, praise the buildup play and say that next time strike through the ball and follow up on the shot!


Guided Discovery — Give the children a task or skill to do, demonstrate it and then let them discover it for themselves.


This is intended as a guide and one which Windham's coaches will hopefully benefit from and begin to see results on the field.

Please feel free to email or with any questions if you are unsure or have any points you would like to discuss.

Jamie and Tom