By Michael Kachitsa
Getting the criticism-praise ratio right when coaching young football players is a vital skill and will make a big difference to your team’s success.
A good tip in football coaching is to recognise that every person has an “emotional tank” that fills up and drains.
A young football player with a low emotional tank is irritable, less coachable and unable to deal well with tough situations. A football player whose tank is filled will be more cheerful, more coachable and better able to deal with tough situations.
Research has also shown that a plus/minus ratio of praise to criticism of 5:1 or better is ideal for children’s learning. When the ratio drops below 5:1, children become discouraged (their tanks become drained).
When fans are cheering for a team, those players experience their tanks filling up. We want to coach in a way that will fill the tanks of our players so they can play their best at all times.