Skip to main content
Three young players stand on the halfway line with a football at their feet during a training session.

Whatever your experience, you now find yourself in charge of a team with your child playing in it. But don't worry. You're already used to guiding your child as a parent, it's just a case of transferring these skills to the pitch, but now as their coach. 

The challenge is treating your child like all the other players. Here's some general advice:   

  • Pay attention to your body language and how you talk to your child (and about them) in front of others.
  • Treat your child as an individual and be consistent with the treatment of all players. Don't favour your child, but there's also no need to be 'harder' on them – be fair and impartial.   
  • Don't define your child by their ability on the pitch; let them know that everything is possible.   
  • Call on support from other parents. Having a break and being 'mum' or 'dad' for a week can benefit you and your child.

Working with your child

While there are many challenges, working with your child has benefits. Sharon Muxworthy, FA coach development officer, explains why this is the case.

As a parent and a coach, it's important to stop worrying about how fast you can improve players. Instead concentrate on their enjoyment and how far they can go. 

Remember to:    

  • celebrate where each child is 

  • understand them better 

  • work to develop them further.  

And don’t forget that coaching young children focuses on social development, too. So, ensure your sessions are fun and creative to bring them together. This will help them get a greater understanding of each other, which will ultimately help when they're on the pitch.