How To Speak Football – Part II

Time is on my side

Messi and your little footballer have one thing in common. However hard they try, they can’t see what’s happening behind them because their eyes are inconveniently located on their faces. Here’s how you can act as a spare pair of eyes…

The ball’s come to the feet of your mini-Messi. He’s facing his own goal, so can only see the player who has passed him the ball and his own defender. Two things might be happening…

Scenario 1 – Nothing

The other team’s defence are day-dreaming and your child has no opponent within 20 yards. You want to say “You’ve time because there’s nothing behind you. Be calm, take extra care to control the ball and turn to face the opponent’s goal. Then pick a pass to a team mate that puts your team in a better position. I love you”. But that takes ages.

Say “TIME” loudly, and as soon as the ball’s headed for your player’s feet.

Scenario 2 – Bad things are happening

The ball is passed. There are 1 or more defenders coming who’ll reach your player just after the ball does. But your player doesn’t know they’re coming.

You want to say “As that ball arrives, there’s a defender coming to steal the ball. Pass immediately to a player you can see, even if that’s the player that passed you the ball and you think that’s a bit dull”. Say “MAN ONloudly as soon as you possibly can, but calmly so as not to cause panic.

You’ve got this lovely parent, well done…

As always, check with your child’s coach about tactical instructions – clearly coach can’t see everything and it might be helpful to have parental back-up – so long as it’s positive and welcome!


Want to be football fluent? Check out our previous post in our “How To Speak Football” series –  Turn and Face



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