Ten Guiding Principles That Can Make Your 2009-10 Season More Enjoyable

No. 1: Children's football (soccer) means playing and playing means FUN.

For young players, children's soccer means their first contact with the organized game. Do not forget that it has to involve fun and pleasure and not hard work. It has to be an integral part of their young lives. The first impression is a signpost to the child's further development. So, let them have fun, let them play and pay less attention to the results. The best outcome 1in children's soccer is to have happy, delighted children who play together with their friends and can learn something.

No. 2: For children, being together with their friends is most important.

Children in the past used to meet their friends in parks or in the fields in the neighborhood. They spent their free time there and often played soccer. Adults must not lose sight of the fact that an important aspect of soccer is for children being together with friends. We must watch over that friendship, as it helps promote the human spirit. Therefore, try to have their friends and schoolmates playing in their teams as much as possible.

No. 3: Everyone should be included as much as possible.

Nobody can improve by sitting on the sidelines, and nobody can say which children will later qualify for adult soccer. Today's "child star" seldom becomes tomorrow's professional. So let them play equally long and give them all the chance to play different positions.

No.4: Teach children both to win and to lose.

An old adage says, "Only by knowing how to lose will you know how to win." Adults should always set the example. If adults show good sportsmanship in such situations, children can be trusted to do likewise.

No. 5: More practice - Fewer matches.

As a rule, you should seek to teach players, rather than put them under pressure by playing competitively. Too many games can harm a child's physical and social development. Most European countries have a rule that U-10 children should not play more than 20 games a year and U-12s at most 25 games.

No. 6: Children's soccer should be varied and versatile.

A multi-sport upbringing will be helpful in teaching the fundamental capacities for soccer and providing a well-balanced physical education. Attention must be given to forming the body as a whole, with general training methods and basic standards of sports hygiene and sports nourishment.

No. 7: Let us try to offer children "pleasurable soccer."

For all participants, children's soccer must be a positive experience, giving young players, above all, the joy of the game.

No. 8: The games are for children, not adults.

Parents and relatives should show interest in their youngsters' soccer life. They should go to their training and games, strengthen the young players' self-confidence and support the club in its work. Adults should never forget that it is the child who is playing, and not them.

No. 9: Show respect for the opponent and the referee.

From the very beginning, a child must be taught a healthy respect for opponents and referees in the spirit of fair play. Adults must always provide the good example.

No. 10: Get children the correct equipment.

There is no point in buying expensive equipment (shoes, shin guards, etc.) for growing children, as they won't be able to use them after a few months. Cheaper models are often just as good. So, set up regular "equipment exchanges" where used equipment can be passed on to other children.