You can view the full presentation along with 27 hours’ worth of video content from our Virtual Conference 2018 by purchasing an ‘On Demand Delegate Pass’
The youth player is smart. They know why we are watching and they can feed a scrutiny. Even if we work our hardest to hide it with a high five, what is the impact of our initial attention? In my experience the youth player will try harder in the playground activity or take the direct route of looking to engage with the watching coach, both make me uncomfortable. My presence is affecting play, so for example by directly or indirectly impacting the casual youth player, I am removing play and replacing it with a much more self-conscious mentality.
I have worked in a club where nine-year-old girls were so single-minded about their game that you’d be forgiven for thinking that they were studying the game as a formal educational course. During competitive games they stayed on task. They appeared hardly affected at all by being watched, at times by a loud animated crowd. Hardly affected by outside pressure or by game situations. Hardly affected…why? Adults have mastered the art of deception, they can intentionally project confidence or a lack of interest, for example. Whilst the youth player does not hide the excitement or unfortunately the anxiety. In my experience the nine-year-old girls were able to exercise a task orientated mentality because they were familiar with one another and trusted each other’s competency…essentially they were friends.