Praising Children, The Wrong Way!

When and When Not to Use the Phrase “Well Done” and the Word, “Unlucky” When Working with Young Players?

I had been working with coaches, teachers, parents on daily basis. I came across too many adults who are praising children for sake of doing so. They seem to getting used to a habit of saying “well done” or “unlucky” for whatever the child accomplishes playing the game of football. As a matter of a fact I am witness far too often adults cheer the children for just kick the ball out of the pitch. Question is what message do we actually sending to them?
well done
Another good example is, when a kid missing the target on several occasions, we quickly saying “unlucky”. Well is it really unlucky or that child needs practice to eventually being able to put the ball into the net? I am sure you have seen young player tackle, but never being able to win the ball cleanly. What we rush to say, of course “well done”. These are just three common examples, but there is many more when you watching children playing the game of football.
By using these common words and phrases the wrong way, we justify kids that they doing a good job. The truth is, they don’t. The reality is they getting used to it bad habits from the very young age, which is very difficult to turn around when they getting older. Therefore, I write down some useful tips as to when and when not to use the phrase “well done”.
Say “well done” when:
1. Child win the ball back and able to keep it
2. Child put a lot of effort to try to stay on the ball against 2 or more players
3. Child make an intelligent run into space, yet not received the ball
4. Child execute intelligent passes that helps being in possession
5. Child can solve the problem i.e. when to dribble and when to pass
Stop saying “well done” when:
1. Child just kick the ball aimlessly
2. Child taking risks which leading to losing the ball consistently
3. Child is in space, but rarely move to seek the ball
4. Child just clear the ball in any situation
5. Child received the ball, but rarely open the body or look prior receiving