There are many demands in terms of providing youngsters with all-round training to prepare them for the football of tomorrow. An instructor has to fulfil several roles: he is a trainer, an educator, a coach and, as a person of trust, he is also a confidant for the players and those close to them.
In comparison to a coach of a professional team, an instructor is more responsible for the progress of each player rather than for the team’s results. As an instructor-educator, he has to know the character of his young players. By building up a confidential relationship between the trainer and the player and by using educational support, the instructor can act as a guide and participate in the development of the youngsters’ personalities and mental strength.
As an instructor-trainer, he must know modern football and its trends, and choose the technical, tactical and physical fitness basics that will enable players to reach the top. He must know the principles of learning as well as the methods need to make sure training sessions are as effective as possible.
As an instructor-coach, he has to be fully aware of the importance of competition and give advice accordingly, but he should never prioritise the competitive aspect to the detriment of training and the development of each young player’s skills.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” (Benjamin Franklin)
As an instructor-confidant, he has to set an example and assume responsibility for the psychological and social management of his young players. He can only advise them if he has human qualities that are recognised and accepted by the youngsters. To that end, he has to maintain the trust of the players’ family and school circles, without which no career can ever be built upon solid foundations.
The key skills of the instructor are focused on each youngster’s progress. The importance of the instructor’s various roles will change as training progresses: at basic training level, he mainly needs to be an educator, and at intermediate training level he needs to be more of a trainer and a coach, all for the good of the youngsters.