Compared to other primates, humans remain ‘children’ for longer.
During this time, they explore the world freely and are able to:
- think flexibly
- ignore traditional boundaries and barriers
- believe anything is possible.
So, instead of imposing an ‘adult’ version of football onto a young team, take the time to embrace your players’ creative abilities by facilitating lots of active learning and problem solving.
The Foundation Phase should be seen as the ‘research and development’ department for adulthood.
This is a time for enjoyment, play and experimentation. It's important that you:
- allow players to express themselves
- encourage them to try things when in possession of the ball
- notice when your team does things well
- provide practice activities and feedback to support them further.
Whenever you’re coaching, remember that your players are developing in all areas, so be patient, forgiving and help them to learn from things that don’t go to plan.
You won’t maximise creativity in an environment that’s pressurised, restrictive or confining – or one that’s dominated by you, the coach. However, if you create a positive space, where mistakes are seen as learning opportunities, you’ll start to see more from your players.
This is the Foundation Phase; if young players can’t try new things at this stage of their development, when can they?
To learn more about Foundation Phase DNA, click here.