This is where for me coaching is difficult. For starters, many of our preconceived ideas about coaching, the ones we have in the depths of our episodic memory, evolve from how we were coached. And herein lies the first challenge - kids today are different.
Back in the day, when there was one black and white TV channel, one opportunity to watch football and no Playstation's, children used to learn very differently. Some children would need a coach to learn things from, to gain new ideas and our perception of learning was very different - "I am the coach and I will get what is in my head, into your head".
However, think of the modern day child you are coaching; 900 TV channels (mostly showing Friends or back episodes of Come Dine With Me), dedicated sport channels and football virtually available, from all over the globe 24/7. Kids today know more about European football and players from having played FIFA and watched the Champions League than our experiences. Furthermore, add in the wonders of You Tube - kids can now go on there, at any stage, and see a skills compilation from Messi and Ronaldo and guess what, they go and practice that!
You could argue now, with the availability of learning material on offer to the modern young person, their need for a specific 'coach' in the previous descriptive term of their role is possibly shifting.
This is where for me another challenge exists; how does the coach who's preconceptions of their role go back 15-20 years adjust to the needs of the modern day young person? I think we can talk about coaching practices, the X's and O's, as much as we like, but the foundation of everything has to come from understanding the young person in front of you.
How can you harness the modern day learning ability of young people for their benefit within your coaching? How do you need to evolve and change?
Two quotes to leave you with...
'Do not confine your children to your own learning, for they were born in another time' (Chinese Proverb)
'If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow' (John Dewey)