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NOW CLOSED: Share your thoughts on your child & football or give your feedback on the FA Tesco football skills session your child attended - you could win a specialised coaching sesh for their class/club

(62 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Feb-13 11:44:13

Hello,

We are very happy to announce the next stage of our collaboration with The Football Association to promote their FA Tesco Skills coaching programme for children aged 5-11.

They say "Our unique football coaching programme gives boys and girls of all abilities the opportunity to get active, learn new football skills and enjoy the game. Our specially qualified FA coaches will help your child to develop more than just football skills, we'll help them to make friends, gain confidence, build self-esteem and learn to work as team. Our February holiday sessions are perfect for children who have never played before and also for those who regularly enjoy football"

The FA is hoping to encourage everyone with a child aged 5-11 to take them along to a session and then add their feedback to this thread. Please note the sessions are subject to availability and open to ALL children regardless of ability.

If you've already been to a session or your child attends an after school FA Tesco Skills Centre then we'd love to hear your feedback on this thread too.

The next lot of sessions are running this February half term and are free!

This is in conjunction with the English FA so, with regret, it's in England only.

If you'd like to take part you need to book a session by following the link below:

tescoskills.thefa.com/

Do post on this thread to let us know that you're going along (or bookmark it/ add to threads you're watching) and then report back and share with MN how your DD or DS got on.

Everyone who adds feedback on the sessions (regular after school ones or the February half term sessions) will be in with a chance of winning a specialised 60 minute skills session for their DC's class or club which wouldn't normally be available. The prize session will be open to up to 30 children and could be a school class, football club, brownies, cubs etc.

So please let us know your...

~ Overall impressions of the session your DC attended
~ Coach: what your DC thought of the coach and how he/she compared to others you may have seen/ experienced
~ Skills: what skills your DC learnt/ practised
~ Plus anything else you or your DC thought about the session - would you try to book again? Would you recommend to other parents?

STOP PRESS Additional chance to win
Thanks to everyone who has looked or booked a course for this holiday - we have discussed with the FA about the issue of training sessions not being available in some areas (or being too far to travel to). Rest assured the FA are working hard to try and extend the programme to as many areas as possible - and so, in light of this, we're now opening up the thread (and the amazing prize) to all MNers, regardless of whether or not their child was able to attend an FA Tesco Skills course this half term.

So, to be in with a chance of winning a 60 minute training session with an FA coach for the club or class your child is in please share with the FA on this thread your thoughts about your child and football - for example

what your child loves about playing football
what skills does it teach them
whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch
how it involves other family members
whether your child dreams of playing for a top club
how often they have a kick about with their friends
- all comments welcome (would be interesting if you could state the age of your child in your response)!

Everyone who adds a comment - or who is able to add feedback on a course their child has attended - will be entered into the prize draw

thanks MNHQ

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 04-Feb-13 14:18:37

Once again, no sessions in Merseyside. Loads of football crazy children in socially deprived areas. Thanks a lot Tesco and the FA.

No sessions in my area of Devon. Another deprived area! Figures.

hermancakedestroyer Mon 04-Feb-13 14:57:14

No sessions within a 25 mile radius of Amesbury either - another deprived area sad

We would have to go over 25 miles.

CMOTDibbler Mon 04-Feb-13 16:10:48

Nothing in a 15 mile radius of me either

Whyriskit Mon 04-Feb-13 16:25:00

We're in Scotland so nothing here obviously.

Whyriskit Mon 04-Feb-13 16:47:08

And I do know it said that it was in conjunction with the FA but it would be good if something similar could be rub with the SFA.

lynniep Mon 04-Feb-13 16:49:27

Have signed DS1 up for a session in Huntingdon on Monday. I'm working so his dad will have to take him. Will report back

Tee2072 Mon 04-Feb-13 17:51:57

My son isn't old enough, but, of course, there's nothing in Northern Ireland, either.

shockers Mon 04-Feb-13 18:53:38

There is one 10 miles from us, but we will stick with the free sessions at our local YMCA (2 minutes walk), as I wouldn't relish a 20 mile round trip through country lanes.

It's a good idea if you could make it more accessible in more deprived areas, like the ones above.

UniS Mon 04-Feb-13 20:06:36

Again, nothing in Devon. Not going to travel 50 miles for it.

Rara27 Mon 04-Feb-13 20:25:08

My 8 yo usually enjoys the holiday sessions, however this half term the closest seems to be 20 mins away, so he will have to wait until something nearer comes up sad

BigSpork Mon 04-Feb-13 22:03:20

No sessions in Derby. Will look for local YMCAs and leisure centres, but you'd thinking being in walking distance of our local football stadium would have made it more likely.

aristocat Mon 04-Feb-13 23:24:05

Mine is also miles away sad

derbyshiregirl Mon 04-Feb-13 23:36:41

HI BigSpork
there are sessions in/near Derby as have just booked for Lees Brook School

BigSpork Tue 05-Feb-13 00:21:11

Thank you for that, I did look again and once again the top results are a county over, and expected them to the closest as that's how these things normally works, had to click through a page or two to find the one you're talking about. Most bizarre and off-putting, their site needs a revamp, maps hard to read as well for me - only look in a small area but has such a big map so the flags are on top of each other.

CoffeeandDunkingBiscuits Tue 05-Feb-13 00:36:30

Mine is also over ten miles away.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 06-Feb-13 09:49:42

The FA say "we're sorry if our coaching sessions are not available in your area at the moment. We are looking to expand the programme in the near future so please do keep an eye on the website for future updates"

zoez Wed 06-Feb-13 12:55:40

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bubby64 Wed 06-Feb-13 15:50:18

Again, rural area, nearest session almost 30 miles away. No good for man nor beast!

RedPencils Wed 06-Feb-13 16:38:00

I've signed up to Warrington. Went last year and it was great.

I've signed up my ds and minded little boy, they are looking forward to it. Ours is 20 miles away but that's normal for most things we want to do, you get used to it living in the sticks!

phyliszaltman9 Thu 07-Feb-13 21:24:02

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melrose Fri 08-Feb-13 21:33:30

My 2 boys, 5 and 8 attend an after school session and have done once he start of this term. The coach seems very good and they do some great training sessions, which are more skills based than their usual village training (run by less trained dads!) very good value at £2 a session and would definitely continue next term. There is half term free training on free bit we are away, if not hey would definitely do it and will consider in future holidays.

emilywq Sat 09-Feb-13 13:07:42

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lynniep Mon 11-Feb-13 12:45:59

Sadly DS1 wasnt very well this morning so I had to cancel his free session. Gah.

gingercat12 Mon 11-Feb-13 13:11:10

No sessions in North Tyneside sad

Moominsarehippos Mon 11-Feb-13 16:24:03

I'm in central London and, no surprise, sod-all here!

Hangingoninthere Mon 11-Feb-13 20:43:35

Nothing near northampton

JaquelineHyde Mon 11-Feb-13 20:53:51

South East coast here and what a surprise we would have to travel 60 odd miles to the outskirts of London to get a free session.

Utterly pathetic Tesco, with all the profit they make by flogging horse burgers you would think they could actually role this out properly!

thekitchenfairy Mon 11-Feb-13 23:09:43

How disappointing. Nothing in Cornwall. A whole county forgotten. And nothing thin a 50 mile radius...

thekitchenfairy Mon 11-Feb-13 23:14:15

Great. I would have to travel so far there would be no day left in which my children could train. I have been invited to watch a video so I can learn how to teach my child better footballing skills at home.

Words fail me.

mornsw Tue 12-Feb-13 16:05:22

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jesmeen Wed 13-Feb-13 21:19:50

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mooniy Thu 14-Feb-13 22:28:09

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laughalot Sun 17-Feb-13 20:40:10

Just booked a session for my son on thursday.

neddle Mon 18-Feb-13 15:40:59

Overall impressions of the session your DC attended
Alright
Coach: what your DC thought of the coach and how he/she compared to others you may have seen/ experienced
Good
Skills: what skills your DC learnt/ practised
Passing, can't remember any more smile
Plus anything else you or your DC thought about the session - would you try to book again? Would you recommend to other parents?
Don't think he learnt much from it.
DS did enjoy it and would like to go again.

DH took DS1 to the session so the answers are very brief wink. I booked the session - initially they were both full, but I put us on the waiting list and managed to get 1 space, although I would have preferred 3.
Sign up early.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 18-Feb-13 18:38:52

thanks neddle!

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 18-Feb-13 18:42:50

Thanks to everyone who has looked or booked a course for this holiday - we have discussed with the FA about the issue of training sessions not being available in some areas (or being too far to travel to). Rest assured the FA are working hard to try and extend the programme to as many areas as possible - and so, in light of this, we're now opening up the thread (and the amazing prize) to all MNers, regardless of whether or not their child was able to attend an FA Tesco Skills course this half term.

So, to be in with a chance of winning a 60 minute training session with an FA coach for the club or class your child is in please share with the FA on this thread your thoughts about your child and football - for example

what your child loves about playing football
what skills does it teach them
whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch
how it involves other family members
whether your child dreams of playing for a top club
how often they have a kick about with their friends
- all comments welcome (would be interesting to if you could state the age of your child in your response)!

Everyone who adds a comment - or who is able to add feedback on a course their child has attended - will be entered into the prize draw

thanks MNHQ

CMOTDibbler Mon 18-Feb-13 19:06:35

Ds(6) quite likes football, although he prefers rugby. I think its sad that by 6, the parents are so bloomin competitive about it though. I only see ds playing football at parties, and I'm shocked at how people go on at a non competitive game.

Ds doesn't dream of playing football for a club - tbh he's not terribly aware of the actual difference between them, partly as we don't have a local high level club (but we do for rugby) maybe.

I think ds plays football most days at school, and loves the soccer holiday club run by his PE teacher (who is ace).

aristocat Mon 18-Feb-13 21:06:34

My DS is 10 (yr 6) smile

what your child loves about playing football
He likes it because it is fun.

what skills does it teach them
To be a team player and make new friends.

whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch
Yes, very much whilst playing for the school team!

how it involves other family members
Not here, we do not play at the weekends or for a team.

whether your child dreams of playing for a top club
Yes, our local team.

how often they have a kick about with their friends
Every opportunity possible at school.

Because of his FIFA game he knows lots of facts about players/teams/countries and their flags. Please don't tell me its just my son that knows all these stats hmm

PavlovtheCat Tue 19-Feb-13 07:55:58

what your child loves about playing football Running about, being with friends
what skills does it teach them - team player skills, improved coordination, discipline both in terms of controlling behaviour on the pitch and going to each session as other's rely on her, listening skills as she is learning a new sport so has to focus on what she is told
whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch has not started proper football club yet, only played for fun, but likely to, yes.
how it involves other family members dad kicks around outside from time to time, but other than that, dropping off, watching her play, taking her muddy self home again.
whether your child dreams of playing for a top club technically she is playing for a top club wink well she is going to be coached by a local club! I doubt she want to go further than the course she is about to do, as it's for fun and she has never expressed huge desires to be a footballer, but who knows?!
how often they have a kick about with their friends at school, when she is with her male friends outside of school, her female friends don't really get involved.

DD is 6.5, in Yr2, is about to start a 6wk training programme with a local professional club, she is not a huge football fan to watch with daddy (much to his dismay!) but does love kicking the ball about with her friends, loves running. She is keen to do the course as some of her friends are doing it and I am actively encouraging her participation as it will help her to think past the continued expectations of girls doing ballet and dancing, while boys do football and karate.

hermancakedestroyer Tue 19-Feb-13 08:03:39

what your child loves about playing football:

My daughter is 10 years old and loves football. She is competitive and loves sport especially football. It gives her a chance to run around and play a team sport with her friends and classmates.

what skills does it teach them:
It helps her improve her footwork skills and co-ordination. It also helps her to be a good team player.

whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch:
It has helped her bond with the older members of her school.

how it involves other family members:
Her brother (7) also plays at the same school and we as a family regularly like to go down to the park to have a kickabout.

whether your child dreams of playing for a top club:
My daughter would LOVE to play for Liverpool and of course ultimately England but for now will settle for representing St Nicholas Primary School!
Start small - aim high!

how often they have a kick about with their friends:
Every day she and her brother have a kickabout with their friends. They love playing in all weathers and it has the added bonus of keeping them fit and active.

- all comments welcome (would be interesting to if you could state the age of your child in your response)!

whimsy Wed 20-Feb-13 12:25:45

We went to the training session yesterday in Birmingham.

Overall impressions of the session your DC attended
They both enjoyed. facilites were good even if it was freezing.

Coach: what your DC thought of the coach and how he/she compared to others you may have seen/ experienced
There were a number of coaches. The boys trained with three different ones, they seemed to know what they were doing.

Skills: what skills your DC learnt/ practised
They played in small groups and then had a couple of short matches. I can't say they learnt anything new though.

Plus anything else you or your DC thought about the session - would you try to book again? Would you recommend to other parents?
I think we would try and book again, they liked getting the certificate at the end. Yes I would recommend to other parents.

shockers Wed 20-Feb-13 16:17:20

Both DSs are massive football fans. DS1 is 26 and now lives in another city. DS2 is 12. Football connects them like nothing else, they phone each other to talk about DS2's matches and matches they have seen on TV. Whenever they can, they go to watch football together too.

DS2 started at a locally run 'soccer skills' session on Saturday mornings when he was 4. He found it great fun and he made friends. He progressed to a junior league side and has played every season since. He remembers the encouragement given to him by older boys and coaches and is keen to pass that on to other players. Probably for that reason, he has been Coaches' player of the year for the last 4 years. He was also parents' player this year and player's player last year. This is brilliant for his self esteem and goes hand in hand with his commitment, which is showing him that you get out what you put in.

He has made friends, not only with his own team, but with players on other teams, out of mutual respect for each other's skill and sportsmanship. This was fantastic when DS started at High School, because there were boys there that he instantly had a connection with through their respective teams meeting at matches and tournaments.

Football also connects the nations... I've lost track of how many holiday friendships have been formed through the 'beautiful game'!

I've just asked DS2 what he feels he has gained from his love of football, his reply was, "Fitness, opportunity to travel and meet people, friends, fun and self discipline."

laughalot Thu 21-Feb-13 14:06:47

Overall impression : My son went this morning he is 8 years old and has been playing since he was 5 he is a July birthday so a good few months younger than most in his team. He really enjoyed the morning and came away with a few tricks to show his daddy who helps coach the team he plays for.

Coach: My son was in complete shock when he got there and realised it was actually a lady. I was surprised by this as he does have a girl who plays in his team. She was very well organised and made them listen to her. He said she was really good at doing ceratin tricks with the ball and he liked her very much.

Learnt: He learnt a few tricks to do with the ball and he learnt some defending skills as that is what position he plays in his team. They had a mini match which he really enjoyed.

He has really enjoyed his morning and did not want to leave. He even asked her if they afternoon session was full as he wanted another go. I have booked him on the easter holidays one and they do offer a thursday night session which is £ 2 so that is really good value we may do that its just he trains on a tue/fri and plays on a saturday and sunday so do not want to over do it.

Thanks mumsnet without seeing this we would have never known.

Taffeta Thu 21-Feb-13 19:09:05

what your child loves about playing football

DS (9) is obsessed! He plays for an academy 4 x pw. He loves the camaraderie, learning new tricks and skills and playing matches esp

what skills does it teach them
Technical, social, emotional, much more than I anticipated. Picking himself up when he's down, tenacity. That he needs to work harder at areas that come less naturally. This has had a fantastic knock on effect academically, the realisation that if you don't have a natural gifts in some areas as you do in others, then it is absolutely achievable to still be great at something with hard work and effort.

whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch
Many friends, from many different walks of life

how it involves other family members
DH mostly does the football run, but DD and I occasionally watch, and family members watch games if local.

whether your child dreams of playing for a top club
Possibly but I have brainwashed him that it's not a proper job

how often they have a kick about with their friends
Every day, every lunchtime, break time and when not training in the garden with neighbours or friends. Obsessed. No idea where he gets it from, DH and I had no interest whatsoever.

MrsShrek3 Fri 22-Feb-13 00:12:18

(bookmarking)

TheresOnlyOneWayOfLife Fri 22-Feb-13 09:16:02

Football obsessed 9 yr old DS2 went to coaching session in Leighton Buzzard yesterday.

Overall impression of session:
Well organised, they were generally put in year groups, DS was put in older group as there were less in that one. He didn't mind though.
He said he would have preferred to be outside instead of inside, more space. Otherwise a happy chappie!

Coaches: There were about 4 coaches, one lady, all very good.
Enough to go round, friendly, engaging & encouraging.

Skills - what skills did DC learn/practise:
Didn't learn any new skills but then DS2 plays sat & sun week in/out.
Practised dribbling, shooting, getting passed players without being tackled.
Enjoyed playing the matches and said he would have liked to practise a few more 'personal' skills like keepie upies etc.

Anything else: He really enjoyed session, says he would have liked a longer day (which I'd be willing to pay for/towards)
He didn't get a certificate or anything and said he would have liked to have got something to say he'd been and add to his collection!
I did book with another friend and would definitely recommend to others, our boys came back happy and carried on in the garden smile

mm1975 Fri 22-Feb-13 09:19:19

My 8 year old son went to our local free session over half term and loved it, as there were spaces on the afternoon session they invited him back for that. he slept well that night. I will def book him in with his brothers next time and look into a football club of some sort for him to join.

facedontfit Fri 22-Feb-13 16:07:32

Went to free holiday session in Cirencester (about 15 miles away), daughter had a great time and wanted to join the after school term time sessions. Found a session in Gloucester (about 8 miles away), staff friendly and welcoming, again daughter enjoyed it and now going weekly.

Her favourite part was playing the football matches. She thought the sessions were better than her school football club.

I would recommend to other parents and great value at £2 a session.

zipzap Fri 22-Feb-13 16:22:35

We couldn't go to the Tesco sessions as there weren't any near us.

However, ds1 (7) went to a football camp through the half term for mornings - very reasonable I thought at £30 for 5 days, each session is from 9am - midday.

It's with a local coach who used to be part of the local football team's educational section and has now set up on his own. DS used to go to the ones at the local football club (which is maybe in League 1 - but has a very strong and well regarded educational set up for all ages). It was good - and the training conditions were fab, but now he is 7 he is considered one of the big ones (they do 4-6 or 7-16), so it's all day or nothing, it's fairly hard core once they move up. The coach also used to run after school football club sessions at ds's infant school, both through the local team's outreach programme and then through his own company, so I know he is CRB checked, used to younger kids, knows my ds and his friends, rather than sending him off to an unknown coach.

DS has a great time - they do all sorts of things, skills practice, mini tournaments, silly games, learning about sportsmanship as well as rules of the game. At the end of the week there's a presentation with medals for everyone, applause for each child that got a player of the day award during the week and then a certificate for player of the week. (one for each age group). They also get a skill sheet listing all sorts of different skills, and tick boxes to show where they are at for each skill - really good, improving well, need to practice etc - which is good feedback and taken very seriously by all the kids when they get them! Since he has been doing these football camps, his skills have definitely improved, he's always been athletic but his ball skills have been honed well along with an appreciation for and enjoyment of playing in a team with others, and it's great to have more really positive male role models in his life too.

DS loves playing football and plays with his friends at school - probably at least once a day. During holidays (assuming reasonable weather and health!) he will also be out in the garden practising playing or having fun making up games or imagining himself playing with others. At school they have fantastic dedicated games staff (quite unusual in a junior school I think) so they get some good coaching (it's not just the form teacher equipped with a whistle and bag of balls) but they do a range of different sports - including tag rugby, hockey, cross country running, etc so there's not lots of time for football.

He doesn't watch football that much - partly as we don't really ever if I can help it! watch football at home, dh doesn't have a team he supports (he's a die-hard rugby fan) so I don't think he has any aspirations to play professionally. But he'd love to play for his school teams.

Zazacat Fri 22-Feb-13 18:43:49

My football mad daughter aged 9 signed up for her Y3/4 afterschool football club in January. The coach runs a few of the afterschool sports clubs and seems to know his stuff. It took some persuading for her to sign up as she didn't want to be the only girl, even though she will join a kickabout with any of our friends sons. Luckily a new girl started who was keen to join too.

My daughter has commented that she thinks the girls in her class would be more into playing football but are put off by the boys who have played constantly from an early age. Certainly the all her girl friens who came to her sports party, joined in the football match with great enthusiasm.

I would her to attend one of the skill programmes, but currently we don't have one close enough. I'm hoping her after school training will give her the confidence to sign up with one of the local kids football clubs before too long.

mercibucket Fri 22-Feb-13 22:10:41

2 footie mad boys pre teen age, they learn how to keep battling, to work as a team, to take a few knocks both physical and emotional, and how to deal with confluct. and footie skills.

NorbertDentressangle Sat 23-Feb-13 16:46:10

We didn't attend one of the courses as the nearest was 20+ miles away. However football mad DS (8) did attend a daily football training course over the half-term holiday and loved it (its one that is run by a sports coach who is part of a franchise 'umbrella' I think)

what your child loves about playing football - its fun, he likes the fact he's quite good at it, it uses newly learned skills, competitive (in a fun, lighthearted way), bonding with friends, friendly banter between supporters of different teams withing his primary school (including the teachers!)

what skills does it teach them- teamwork, self-control, physical skills, dealing with potential conflict, self-restraint, co-operation, dealing with defeat/being a decent loser

whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch - he has made friends from different schools and can appreciate good players and likes team players (he also forms opinions based on peoples 'behaviour' on the pitch eg. he will give someone a wide berth if he's seen them acting aggressively, swearing, generally being a bad loser !)

how it involves other family members - DP has been recruited to help out with the coaching, other parents help with fundraising and providing tea, coffee and bacon butties on cold training mornings

whether your child dreams of playing for a top club - he would like to but I think he's realistic enough to realise that this is highly unlikely

how often they have a kick about with their friends - daily in the playground, weekly training, weekly matches during the season and any other time he has a friend round/is at a friends

~ Overall impressions of the session your DC attended

Well organised, friendly staff and a healthy snack provided.

~ Coach: what your DC thought of the coach and how he/she compared to others you may have seen/ experienced

Session seemed well controlled and children behaving. My son was happy with the coaches and said only one little boy was told off so suggests they were all doing as they were told so shows a well coached session imo.

~ Skills: what skills your DC learnt/ practised

Ds did some dribbling and was a stealer (tackling I assume). They also played some games where they were in different teams and different positions. Must have been difficult as some children clearly had a lot more experience than others.

~ Plus anything else you or your DC thought about the session - would you try to book again? Would you recommend to other parents?

Ds and my minded little boy both had a great time, they felt they were part of a team and enjoyed what they had learned. The freebies were well received by the boys too! They were told there was another session at Easter and want to go so hopefully it will be a suitable date. Would definitely recommend to others for children who play regularly and beginners.

Faxthatpam Sun 24-Feb-13 12:49:27

Have 4DSs who are all football crazy - like their dad.
DS1 (19)started at local Sat morn skills session run by Brentford FC community coaches. This was great and he learned a lot, the coaches were all excellent. Later he played Sunday league and for BFCs Advanced training squad. He did this throughout his teens and it taught him LOADS, teamwork, patience, generosity, being a good loser, how to avoid those who were not like that! As well as the usual fitness, match awareness, ball skills etc. He later played Futsal for Brentford and loved that too. He aslo took his first coaching badge through BFC and helped out at sessions and tournaments. From a parents' pov it kept him fit, healthy and away from usual teen traps of smoking/drinking right up until he left for Uni. He still plays and still loves it.

DS2 (17)went to same Sat morn sessions and played Sunday league until he was about 15. Since then he plays 5 a side and has volunteered at a local coaching session with youngsters. He also loves his footy, and is taking his first coaching badge at easter.

DS3 (13) Went to same Sat morn sessions and plays Sunday league, he loves it too and is learning to be a much better loser every day!

DS4 (5) Is obsessed. He loves to play anytime, anywhere - sadly there are no Tesco sessions near where we live in London, so he went to a Sports Linx half term session which was very reasonably priced. Started with half days but loved it so much ended up doing 2 half days and 2 full. He also goes to local Sat morn session and plays at after school club. He will kick a ball around whenever and wherever he can, inside (NOT encouraged) and out. He said the coaches at his training are very good, from what I've seen they seem to really like the kids, keep order well with such young children and he has definitely improved. Not nearly as much ball chasing and goal hanging these days when we watch. Got a lovely photo of him from the half term session, and didn't have to pay for it, which was a nice surprise.

As you can see it involves the whole family, we have spent years on touchlines and my DH has been roped in as linesman many times (a thankless task!). It is definitely a whole family activity in this house. They have all made football buddies that they may not have met any other way. They have all harboured dreams of Premiership glory, but gradually realised this is hugely unlikely and not what playing is all about. They kick about with each other regularly when they're all home, its a lovely thing to see, and definitely brings them together.

thekitchenfairy Wed 27-Feb-13 12:57:29

I have two DS, age 9 and 6. Neither DH and I are particularly football oriented but we are an active family, both boys have loved ball game activities since they were toddlers and were delighted to join football clubs at school.

Both attended the local team club, since FS. Presume it is FA as the local team is in the league. We have recently given up as it was a disaster. Age 8 eldest was picked to play an under 9 team... He was summarily dropped from team along with 6 others as coach favoured all boys from a particular school to be on a team together.

We carried on at Sat morning club for a year but frankly was not great. We helped out with registration but was chaotic, no financial controls, and we were expected to find refreshments along with the other family that helped.

Lots of standing around, no game playing, just lots of ball skills, poor methods of discipline from coaches and frankly my two DS were bored and cold.

The other local team, higher I the league I think also run much hyped training sessions. The after school club is a waste of time, zero discipline and disinterested coaches. The evening sessions for players showing more promise... Well we tried those for a year. Happy to pay and go to training but the promised match tickets, youth strip, all the stuff we weren't interested in but DS was absolutely hooked by... They never came to anything.

We found another youth team that could take DS, not sure if it is FA as it is not affiliated to either local club. he trains once a week, he has matches most weeks and plays in the regional youth FA tournament every year. The club is all the things I hoped for from the other FA club but we didn't find. He has grown in confidence, he has made friends outside of his school group, the parents are involved and supportive and one of the coaches, realising how many younger siblings there were, gives these little guys some training and a kick-about at the same time as the elder ones are going through their paces.

We do not live in a part of the country known for its footballing heritage, but without opportunities and commitment from the FA this will never change and those boys that want to enjoy their hobby and perhaps pursue any talent find this much harder because of a distinct lack in local opportunity.

EmmelineGoulden Thu 28-Feb-13 13:54:16

My daughters love football. It's good at improving their spatial awareness, keeps them fit, gets them working in teams and encourages good attitudes to competitive situations (mostly!). They haven't made new friends, mainly playing at school with people they already know.

But I'm reluctant to encourage them in it as I think the sport serves women and girls very poorly in the UK. Girls banned from playing with boys after a certain age, regardless of their skill level, fewer opportunities, the idea of them being second class players rarely questioned after the early years other than by their coaches. I don't think that's a particularly healthy environment for girls to be immersed in unless they are actively choosing it. I certainly don't see it as likely to give them "the confidence to reach their potential".

I compare it to soccer in the US which is really supportive of women and it just makes me angry. Pity the FA pretty much have a monolpoly on league play in the UK, because I can't see it improving greatly under their leadership. They have an appalling history of sexism. Early on booting out clubs that allowed women to practice on their pitches; more recently fighting tooth and nail against female refs.

I won't stop them from playing of course, but I'll be looking for and advocating for alternatives - like hockey and lacross.

choccyp1g Sun 03-Mar-13 09:57:55

DS is 12 now, but played loads at junior school, and did afterschool clubs, holiday courses etc. He also took part in the Tesco-sponsored competition last year, and his school were only 2 goals away from playing at Wembley!!

what your child loves about playing football - he loves the activity, the skills, the playfulness of kickabouts with friends, but does not like the pressure of serious competition.
what skills does it teach them - football skills(!) and fair play, team play.

whether they've made friends (or enemies!) on the pitch - because he scraped into the school team, he met lots of children from other school, who he considered his friends as soon as he arrived at secondary school. Just occasionally, they met up with a player who played "dirty" and he was quick to notice that, and decide he "didn't like" that person.

how it involves other family members - he's an only, so getting to sessions was not a problem.
whether your child dreams of playing for a top club - not since about y5

how often they have a kick about with their friends - every day that it is allowed in the playground, and whenever he can meet anyone in the park. Council have started a supervised just turn up session one night a week in the park, which he absolutely LOVES.

- all comments welcome (would be interesting if you could state the age of your child in your response) DS is 12.
Around here, there are loads of clubs and training sessions for under 11s. But most of the clubs lose interest in the players if they are not part of the regular team. The holiday sessions are much more welcoming to all-comers.
I think there is a need for starter sessions for older children, where older kids can have a try without feeling intimidated by sometimes younger ones who have done it for years (in fact this applies to other sports too)

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 04-Mar-13 11:49:58

Hi - thanks for all the comments.
Am pleased to say laughalot wins the training session from the FA for her childs class or club. Well done.

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