I have seen the new FA proposed rule changes for youth football (up to U13s). It has caused lots of argument and debate among junior clubs coaches.
I find it difficult to understand the rationale behind the proposals that are being tested in Manchester.
Just a few of the changes they want to implement!
No slide tackling
Coaches cannot shout instructions
When goalkeeper has ball all opponents must go back to halfway line
All squad members must be given game time playing in all positions including goalkeeper.
No A or B teams allowed all teams must be of even ability.
If a team is losing by 4 goals they can bring on an extra player-however when the deficit is reduced to 3 goals he or she has to leave the field.
Like most of us I played football all my life through school and non-league and realise that it was character building. To be left out of the team made you want to improve to get in it. When you were in the reserves you worked hard to get in the first team? Again it made you determined, gave you a target, and inspired you to work hard at improving.
When you were losing heavily you worked harder and got stuck in because your pride was hurt and wanted to make the game as close as you could. It would have been embarrassing to be given an extra player and that would have hurt my self-esteem and I am sure that of my team mates too. However if you did lose heavily it made the team regroup and want to put it right in the next game.
It taught me discipline and the importance of team work and relying on my team mates to achieve an end result.
If a coach doesn’t shout instructions and correct you after you have made a mistake surely you will continue to make the same mistakes. The new law says the coach can ask questions during the game? e.g. he might ask a player “do you think you did the right thing?” of course the player will say yes but more than likely he will be confused-I would think just telling him what he should be doing would be more helpful.
The law where opponents are forced back to the half way line is because they want defenders to play out from the back. I can see that but the minute they play over 14s football and the keeper gives them the ball they will be put under pressure from the opposing strikers and won’t know how to deal with it!
Some of the proposed new changes I like. Especially the one where parents can only applaud both teams but cannot should or call out.
It appears that they are sanitizing the game with a one size fits all attitude. Whether its school or junior football there is nothing like winning. Winning is a natural drug-once you have experienced it you want to experience it again. Losing brings you down and with the right team spirit and attitude it can serve to inspire you to do better next time you play.
In life there are players better than you and players worse than you that is life- The better ones play in the first team and the rest are in the second with an incentive to improve and get in the first team.
From the outside it looks like they want everything to be equal and fair with technical skill being the barometer. Talking to a number of former professionals who coach youngsters they believe that when youngsters move out of this age group (up to U13s) they would virtually have to start again teaching them the game from scratch.
Skill is not enough and only becomes relevant when sitting alongside hard work, desire, enthusiasm and an appreciation of teamwork.
Be it football or anything else in life there are no short cuts to success. Check out the laws/rule proposals in full at http://www.respectleague.com/rules.html