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This content is taken from the University of Birmingham & The Football Association (The FA)'s online course, Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players . Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds SPEAKER 1: In the following video, you will see young players views on mistakes and what they think a coach’s role should be when managing mistakes. You will also see parts of an interview with Tony Carr, the ex academy director at West Ham United who oversaw the development of a number of England players, including Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand, and Michael Carey. Tony talks about how he managed mistakes with young players, which is then followed by a clip of FA national coach Aidy Boothroyd managing a mistake in practise.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 seconds SPEAKER 2: If you make a mistake, they don’t really tend to tell you off. They just tell you what you need to do next.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds SPEAKER 3: I don’t want them to shout at me in the first place, but then I try and correct it the next time.

Skip to 0 minutes and 51 seconds SPEAKER 4: They’re always saying that you’re not working hard enough and then your football friends will be laughing at you.

Skip to 0 minutes and 59 seconds SPEAKER 5: To encourage you and support you so next time do this and that instead of shouting at you.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 seconds SPEAKER 6: The coaches, if they’re kind and they don’t shout a lot, it’s easier to take instructions. And when there’s criticism it’s constructive. So it’s always helping. You always give something to improve on.

Skip to 1 minute and 21 seconds SPEAKER 7: Don’t put pressure on them if they’re losing and say that’s not good enough. Be quite soft but not too soft on them so they know where the line is.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 seconds SPEAKER 5: They’re calm, and they won’t shout at you if you make a mistake. They’ll just tell you to start over.

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds SPEAKER 8: If a player messes up a little bit or just– make them feel more confident instead of putting them down about it because some players do get quite upset if they’re making a mistake. They’ll feel as if they’re doing something wrong. But I’d just try and build their confidence and just say, no, it’s fine. Just carry on, you can do it better next time.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 seconds TONY CARR: Obviously, you’re dealing with mistakes is a challenge for coaches across all levels. Yeah.

Skip to 2 minutes and 4 seconds TONY CARR: Did you deal with mistakes differently if say Rio was coming out with the ball and lost it in his own– or Joe did at the top end of the pitch, did that change the way that you went about it or did you–

Skip to 2 minutes and 15 seconds SPEAKER 10: I think obviously you’d say to them, I don’t think you should’ve done that there. I don’t think you’d go in with an aggressive attitude. I think you need to say, what are you– or you ask the player. You say to the player, what do you think you could have done better there? And he goes, yeah, I had one touch too many running into the defender, running into the attacking player and lost it. OK. Well, next time make sure your head’s up quicker and you see the pitches earlier. So it’s about asking them and getting a– rather than a [INAUDIBLE] being you shouldn’t be doing this and being a bit too dictatorial about it.

Skip to 2 minutes and 48 seconds Because I think he’ll a bit then be afraid to ever do it, ever to break out with a ball because he’d be frightened to make the same mistake. And at youth level, we shouldn’t be– we shouldn’t be frightening to allow them to make mistakes. That’s how you learn.

Skip to 3 minutes and 7 seconds AIDY BOOTHROYD: Good. OK. Good. Well played. That’s all right. Danny, can you get a bit tighter there to him, kid? Danny? Danny? What could you have done differently there? What would you have done differently? You could have stopped that one there going in.

Skip to 3 minutes and 16 seconds SPEAKER 9: I could have dropped off on the ball a bit.

Skip to 3 minutes and 17 seconds AIDY BOOTHROYD: Could have dropped off? OK. All [INAUDIBLE].

Skip to 3 minutes and 20 seconds SPEAKER 9: [INAUDIBLE].

Skip to 3 minutes and 21 seconds AIDY BOOTHROYD: Good luck. Well done. Terrific. Good.

Creating the creative environment

The environment in which coaches and players operate is a precious resource for promoting creativity. Working in spaces which encourage innovation, inspiration, and imagination are the drivers for engaging (or inhibiting!) the creative process.

“You can’t just give someone a creativity injection. You have to create an environment for curiosity and a way to encourage people and get the best out of them.” — Ken Robinson

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This video is from the free online course:

Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players

University of Birmingham