Youth prefer to be stimulated instead of being instructed.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The coach-educator’s interest centres on the child. The coach-educator’s main, essential mission is to ensure the child’s development in sporting, social, psychological and educational terms.
The coach-educator knows the game and knows the players. Of course, a coach-educator will not know everything, even in his/her own subject. However, the coach-educator must have a very good understanding of the messages to be communicated. Victories and defeats are nothing compared with what football can promote in terms of human and social values. Football is a vital aid in training future citizens and encouraging young people’s inclusion in society. Football can be a marvellous tool in conveying such values as respect, solidarity, mutual support, sharing, etc.
The coach-educator’s mission, or indeed vocation, means sharing, giving, communicating and interacting with others and taking enjoyment in this.
A coach-educator’s educational mission is essentially to convey knowledge and social skills. To achieve this, the coach-educator must know the child, understand his/her characteristics and take into account age and skills. In short, the coach-educator must teach through encouragement and achievement.
Play is children’s main activity. Play is an essential need, innate in all children. Thus, the main objectives of grassroots football are to introduce children to football and initiate them in the practice of football through play.
Football in small-sided games, on small pitches, addresses both of these needs. On small pitches, which are better suited to their physiological capacities, young footballers get more touches of the ball and learn to control and use the ball.
The coach-educator’s mission is to promote learning through play. Play is an enjoyable way for children to learn. Play is an excellent way of developing psychomotor skills and allowing children to relax and overcome anxiety. It encourages children to take initiatives and risks and also encourages invention. Simply enjoying football together and sharing the moment.
Nature decrees that children should be children before they become adults. If we try to alter this natural order, they will reach adulthood prematurely but with neither substance nor strength.