How a coach deals with difficult players

Sports men and women are only human. They feel, most probably due to what they do, things a lot more deeply than we do. This can make them something of a difficult prospect to handle and manage from time to time but there are ways to control this.

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The Parents

Your first line of defence but also your worst opponent. The family represents a place that you could discuss the behaviour of a player but there is also the chance that the Parents will be very vocal of the child’s ability. They might want to discuss why you did not play their child or want to discuss you tactics. One idea is to have a  discuss it twenty four hours later rule.

Keep Your Cool

Getting angry is not going to help you at all. It will inflame the player even more and reinforce any negative feelings that they have towards you and your management style. Always try and be calm and speak with authority. Let the player come to you in your office rather than go to them but never allow the player to dominate your time or to the detriment of the others.

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Engage Your Team

Being physically active is important for children’s health and growth.

Children have tons of energy but short attention spans. Ensure your matches and practice are active and keep every player involved. During running drills, form groups or pairs of players with similar skill levels; the result should be that every player is challenged rather than intimidated. Seek some slight advice from the team and see what their feelings are in regard to the player.


Everyone wants to be rewarded and get your attention. Many players will try to kick off and get that attention by simply being difficult. Make sure that you reward scheme is centred around group and team achievement.


Behaviour Expectations

Lay down the rules and expectations well in advance and make it clear what you expect from the team. Individuals will need to know that there is one rule for all and not just for one with no exceptions. One thing that you will need to lay down is the right kind of Football Kits that the team can wear and directing people to is great place to start.  That way you have everyone coming in the same outfits and there can be no way that some one can stand out.

Author: Kei Taylor

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