Guide kids the right way, not treat them like mini-adults, youth coach tells parents

Do not treat a child as if he or she is a mini-adult. Never allow personal success to overshadow the educational objective. Some children take longer to develop than others.

These are just some of the pointers directed to parents in the book ‘Football Knowledge – Guideline Book for Players’ written by long-time youth football coach N. Rada Krishnan.

Rada Krishnan, who is the technical director of Youth Football Academy Red Star, said he included a chapter in his book on the roles of parents and guardians in their child’s football development.

“It is the parents who will encourage young children to take up a particular sport in an organised manner as most of the time, it is because they like the sport or are fans of the sport,” said Rada Krishnan, who was runner-up for the Asian Football Confederation Best Grassroots Leader award in 2018.

“Parents and guardians play a very big role. They can either be the supportive pillar or break the child’s spirit. I’ve seen this happen many times throughout my years coaching children.”

Rada Krishnan stressed that parents must always encourage their children and not scold or yell at them for making decisions – although at times it could be the wrong decision tactically.

His code of conduct includes:

  • Focus on the child’s effort and performance rather than the outcome of the match or tournament.
  • Teach the child the spirit of fair play and to accept defeat without being overly disappointed.
  • Strike a balance between the child’s education and football development.
  • Encourage the child to develop basic skills and not specialize in one position during the formative years.
  • Provide essential nutritional food and health care.

He also said parents and guardians are responsible to:

  • Be the child’s best fan.
  • Understand and display appropriate game behaviour.
  • Ensure the child has fun.

“The guideline for parents is just one chapter. But parents can also understand the game better by reading the whole book,” Rada Krishnan added.

Several YFA Red Star trainees have earned a place in the national junior set-up. They include M. Kogileswaran Raj, R. Dinesh and Muhammad Syazwan Salihin.

The book also touches on the laws of the game, sports science, mental training and racism.

Rada Krishnan (right) handing his book to Kuala Lumpur City FC CEO Stanley Bernard.

“It’s a comprehensive book dedicated to all within the football ecosystem – parents, coaches, football administrators and even footballers.

“My goal is to educate people about football and for them to enjoy and love the sport,” he added.

The book is priced at RM30. Those interested in getting a copy can contact Rada Krishnan at 0166750081.

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