Should my child be participating in more football than they get to at school?
Sun 16 May 2021
Tips For Parents
Many great footballing careers begin with an inspirational school teacher or through matches on a school play ground. However is it enough for your child to only partake in the football provided to them through the national school curriculum and kick abouts during break time? Or should they also be playing football outside of school?
English schools must provide a minimum of two hours of physical activity to their students each week, but this is widely considered as the bear minimum and most health experts recommend that children should be doing more, a lot more!! For children who have an interest in football there are wide array of football clubs, academies and coaching providers that offer training outside of school hours.
Here are five reasons why it is so important for your child’s development – both as a player and as a person – to play football outside of school.
The specialised coaching that is on offer through football academies is arguably the number one reason as to why it is important to play football outside of school.
In a school PE lesson, a teacher can find themselves trying to teach the sport that isn't their speciality to a class of up to 30 children, all of whom have a wide range of abilities and interest level. In that environment, there is very little chance of a child receiving the specialist attention that they need to improve as a player.
At We Make Footballers Ealing, we pride ourselves on the way in which our sessions are accessible to players of all abilities, however our coaching ratio of one coach to every 10 children (max) allows our coaching team to focus on individuals a lot more. This helps to speed up their development and improve their skill levels in a manner which simply isn’t possible in either mandatory PE lessons or after school clubs.
Although specialised football coaches can be found in some schools, as previously mentioned this isn't a guarantee. However our extremely experienced and knowledgeable coaching staff all hold either FA or UEFA badges.
A great playing environment
The best players are those who pick up various skills and ideas from a multitude of coaches. If a player learns everything about the game from just the one coach, then that can leave them with a very narrow view of the sport.
Children who are exposed to a broad range of coaches all of whom have different ideas are more likely to succeed as their skillset is deeper. A teacher at school could be a brilliant coach when it comes to the defensive side of the game, while a coach at a football academy outside of school might be renowned for their attacking expertise.
A child who is taught by both will have the benefit of accessing twice as much footballing knowledge – which is why a child should never be restricted to learning the game under the tutelage of just one coach.
Due to lack of funding and large student numbers, unfortunately, many schools may not have the latest football training equipment available. Although, this is not integral to developing as a player, it can make a big difference. Ensuring that each player has a ball to practice with is fundamental to learning.
Some have even given up running certain sports teams and after school clubs completely as players fight over shared equipment. If you want your child to have access to the best equipment, then football outside of school is the way to do it.
According to the NHS, children and young people aged 5 to 18 should partake in an average of at least 60 minutes of moderately intense physical activity per day across an entire week. Not many schools can provide children with that, either through lessons or after school clubs. With an increasing amount of time spent on digital devices, it can also be difficult to get young ones up and active.
Playing football outside of school can help a child meet that recommended target, keeping them fit and healthy. With severe obesity hitting an all-time high among primary school children in the UK in 2019, it’s never been more important to find ways to be active.
Meet new friends
Ultimately, there is a social side to playing football outside of school as well. A child who signs up to a football coaching academy such as We Make Footballers Ealing is going to meet other like-minded children from the local area. They’ll already have a common interest to bond over – football – and within this extended social circle, they can make new friends.