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The Instructor-Educator

The instructor is primarily an educator. For many instructors of children and youngsters, this is an extremely demanding role. Instructors are (also) members of our society and subject to the instability of its values, which are not always in line with the values we would like to protect by providing young footballers with all-round training. Today, more than ever, instructors need to have an ethical orientation.

The basic principle of education is to create a climate in which people can be instructed and educated.

– The instructor-educator has to create a spirit of mutual trust between himself and his players;

– He should not say “you have to go there”; instead, he should tell his players where they need to go to, how they can get there, and with whom;

– The instructor-educator has to set educational goals. In his work, he accepts the notion of sportsmanship and the confidence of youth, two things he should never lose sight of. Fair play is not stupidity, and a lack of fair play is not intelligence but rather mediocrity;

– The instructor-educator has to provoke or recognise the possibilities of teaching and education, for example, in delicate conflict situations or disputes between players during matches or training sessions.

– He must always be aware of the fact that he is setting an example for his players, that he is someone for them to learn from. For them, he is – whether he likes it or not – a role model, which means that he must always be in control of his behaviour (verbal or non-verbal). For example, his reactions to a mistake by his players, to a poor decision by a referee, to unsporting behaviour by parents among the spectators, or even his own choice of words during sessions with the team.

”With youngsters, it is not the technique but rather the spirit of the game, the development of the game, the maturity of the game, of competition and the joy of playing that have to be the focus of the coach.” (Rinus Michels)

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