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How to tackle overcompetitiveness in under 10's grass roots football | Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Coaching Children (Ages 5-12)

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Posted in: All other coaching children topics

How to tackle overcompetitiveness in under 10's grass roots football

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  • Maverick1977

    Hi everyone ...

    just recently I have found that a few of my players weather they are defenders or forwards they seem to be more competitive towards each other in training than they was at the end of the season. Is this just them getting there heads ready for the start of the season and showing me that they are there and ready to push themselves harder for the start of the season. 

    Has anyone else come across this in the their coaching. Or are the players just pushing to be top dog... As such. 



  • David_T

    Hi Dan,

    I can't account for the rise in intensity, other than perhaps the heat of summer and the pre-season reasons you mention.


    Other than children understanding that their team mates are indeed team mates and not the compeition, I don't think them being competitive is a bad thing.  For me i'm more concerned about what the messages they are getting at home...  Are the parents pushing them to be competetive beyond what is needed at that age?



  • Ralph

    Never liked the term over-competitive, as soon as you’ve “lost it” you’ve stopped being competitive, even for a 10year old.

    Competitive means “opening the door to potential ability”, there is no optimal competitiveness, you’re finding your peak or you’re not. It’s not an inverted U it’s a mountain peak or ladder, where you don’t want to fall back down. Arousal is a different thing, that is inverted U, if the kids are over aroused, they go into aggression or nervousness; under aroused, and they loose focus.

    This happens even in Premiership football, those that train hard over summer, do well but burn out by December, those that build becoming strong finishers and those that develop consistency throughout, and to which is best, is up to the managers.

    In terms of them competing with each other, this should be stopped immediately in team sports, no question. If they are doing this at the beginning then it’s pecking order (top-dog) which settles once they get it’s a team game.

    I’d strongly suggest, you coach them stuff that shows they are being competitive, that doesn’t involve, showing it against their team mates.

    There’s no (i) in team, to use a horrible American expression.

    David’s right, 35y of coaching has taught me, it’s all about what the parents mess up.

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