I enrolled ds ( nearly 4) into football club thinking it might help his social skills and ability to follow instruction, things that nursery have highlighted he needs extra support with. He's always been a free spirit and it takes him a while to settle into a structured activity but 3 sessions in I am wondering whether it is worth persevering. He spends most of the time running away, ignoring the coaches, playing on his own and generally being off task. It didn't seem to be putting the others off though. For the first couple of weeks I stayed with him, playing alongside him, and he did manange to stay for 30 mins then he asked to go.last week I tried to observe from a distance but he really wasn't taking part and the main coach was getting cheesed off with going to bring him back to the class ( at one point shouted 'oy - i'm talking to you!) He told me that if ds 'can't handle it' we should leave it and enrol again next term. The idea is that children attend the class on their own after the second session. Ds does actually like football! I think part of the problem is that the coaches are a bit old school - they work really well with the children who 'get it' but aren't making any effort to engage mine. Plus the main coach is a bit gruff. Tbh, another aspect is i feel so sad and frustrated when I see the others taking part and having fun, and mine totally doing his own thing. It doesn't help when I am aware of a row of parents watching from the gallery above! ( that's my problem, I know). I want this to be a fun and helpful experience for him - should I just call it quits and look for a less strutured activity/ a more individualised approach or speak to the coaches about involving him a bit more?
I can remember my younger lad giving up football club, even though he liked football (and in his case the social bit was his favourite). I think he found the authority and structure too much at that age.
He's now 9 and is going twice a week, playing matches and doesn't like anything else!
I think football training/club at that age can be a bit early for many kids.
I would take him out. It's not fair on the coaches, who probably have to spend disproportional amount of time with him, or the other children who then have an extra distraction to cope with.
Socially, look to inviting friends (and parents at that age) round and assist his play. Practice with roll play with you too, so he has things he can say. For following instructions, give him little jobs to do. Start with "can you take your plate to the table, please." (1 instruction) Then move onto two instructions: "Take your plate first, and then come back for your drink"
We took DS out of football club. He just wasn't ready for it. It's not his fault at all, or your DS's. 4 is still so very young. But no point pushing him if he's not into something so structured right now.
Does sound like the coaches are a bit rubbish with younger DCs though.
We tried swimming lessons with DS a year later and struck lucky with a really patient and experienced coach, and he's responded really well to her.
Do exactly what the coach said - give up and re-enrol in 6 months or a year. Our football teams and teaining is the same and the trainers aren't paid (don't know if yours are) and aren't child care workers, they are football trainers. It isn't really in their remit to try to engage a child who isn't into teaining, and a child who tried to run off would be asked to leave and try again when they are a bit older. Ours don't take under 4s and frequently tell parents of young 4 year olds their child isn't ready and should leave it 6 months - we have 2 trainers to 15 boys so they can't really take on children who behave like toddlers.
Try something else for 6 months - swimming lessons, judo? Maybe something with lower adult:child ratio and shorter sessions for now.
Ds1 started football at 4. Hated every minute of it. He just wanted to run about and play not stand still and listen. And most of the other 4 year olds were the same IIRC
It is very young to expect them to understand that they can't just run and kick the ball like they do at nursery/school or in the park
My ds1 went back to football aged 6 and has played ever since, he is 14 now. If he loves it, maybe just take a break from the formal training now and go back next year.
OTOH my ds2 plays for a fantastic club that does football for younger ones, aged 2-4 and the coaches are amazing with them. They "get" the fact that they just want to play and aren't going to stand still or watch for very long so they make it a lot of fun. If you are in north london/hertfordshire by any chance id be happy to pass on the details
My ds gave up on football and tennis as he couldn't manage to behave himself without messing around and being disruptive and it was embarrassing to watch. At school he behaves immaculately ( I've seen it else I wouldn't believe it!) follows instructions and stays out of trouble. Leave it for now and try again later
Take him out just now. And maybe look for a more fun based class: there is one near us where it is much more lots of different games, some with the footballs, some not, like zombie tig and stuff that really engages the children.
Thanks for your replies, i think I should leave it for now and try something less structured. Reassuring to hear that other ds' have had similar experiences and grown into it later. Tantrums and balloons ( iPad won't me do it all one word!), any info about north London clubs gratefully received x