Sideline Coaching

The proliferation of shouting coaches – good or bad

90% of the time when you shout your players are not even listening.

Here are 2 big learnings & some advice:

Learning: Are they ready to listen?

  1. Think back to when you were playing.
  2. Could you hear what people were shouting?
  3. Probably not. they are too focused on everything else that’s going on.

Your shouts aren’t going to be heard, let alone understood.Instead, wait until your players are ready to listen:

  1. At half-time
  2. During breaks in play
  3. Pulling them over to the side to have a quick chat during the game.

Learning: Don’t create robots

  1. Instructing players throughout the game stops their ability to make decisions for themselves.
  2. It also deprives them of a learning opportunity:
  3. Getting something wrong and finding the resolve to put it right.

Kids need to learn from their own mistakes by making mistakes, not by being told what to do.

Constant instruction isn’t going to help.

  1. It will teach them to follow instruction, rather than make their own decisions.
  2. They’re not going to fully understand why their being told to do a certain thing.
  3. They’ll just do it, because they’re being shouted at and become robots following instruction.

Advice: Write it down, wait, reconsider

Feel you need to shout instructions?

Do this:

  1. Take a notepad to the game. When you feel the need to shout instructions – write your thoughts down on your notepad.
  2. Wait and see if that thing pops up again.
  3. If it does, you may be surprised to find the kids have worked it out for themselves, without your instruction.
  4. Reconsider your notes when the players are ready to listen. Is your point still relevant?


  1. Wait until your players are ready to listen
  2. Allow them the opportunity to learn from mistakes
  3. Write it down, wait and then reconsider