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FA Coaching Manual 1942

I bought this old book from Oxfam, the book is from 1942 and some sections relate quite well to today.

Below are some interesting sections in the book, please remember this was written in 1942

1. Football Habits
These are automatic actions that have no conscious thought during games.

It is essential that in any coaching scheme due attention should be paid to these practices.  It should be remembered, however, that young players quickly tire of a monotonous repetition of purely mechanical exercises, and the coach should ever be on the alert to suggest changes from one type of activity to another. The first essential  in coaching is to arouse and maintain the interest and enthusiasm of the players.  It should be remembered that a player may master all the fundamentals of the game and yet remain a poor player.  The type of game he plays largely depend upon his temperament and mental capacity.  Quickness of thought and its resultant rapid nerve reaction are essential qualities in a good player.  Alertness and rapidity of thought and action can be developed in a player by means of suitable simple games and activities.

2. Temperament
Temperament plays a large part in the make up of a player, and the development of proper temperament necessary to make the most of his ability is part of the work of the coach.  He must know when a word of encouragement is necessary; when to praise and when to with hold praise.  

The coach will often encounter two types of difficult temperament.  The timid type and the strong, eager, thrustful type.

With the timid player, the coach must try and ascertain the cause if the timidity, which may be due to the lack of height or weight.    A young player, owing to physical inferiority, may receive many knocks and, in consequence, tends to become a timid player, holding back when he should tackle, or yielding the ball easily when challenged.  The coach should endeaver to show such a player that by tackling correctly, or by passing at the right moment, it is often possible to beat players much bigger and stronger than himself.  In this way self-confidence as well as fundamental skill is gradually developed in the timid player.

The strong, eager, and thrustful type.  Such a player often hampers his team by attempting too much. Firm but tactful handling is necessary to make him remember that he is only a unit-a valuable unit, it is true- in a team of players.  This type of player usually needs little praise from the coach, and praise should be given only when by some particularly good pass, or movement, he shows that he has realized that football is a team-game.   Often these players develop first-rate ability if properly coached.

The player who “gives up” easily is another problem.  There are some ayers who play well so long as they are winning, but as soon as theirside is a goal behind , they give up trying.  This is due to sone weakness of moral fibre- lack of “backbone.” the coach must try to spur on these players by encouraging every attempt which they make to show that they are trying. Occasionally, by judiciously ignoring such a player, the coach may stimulate him to make efforts to win approbation.

A really sharp word may be necessary to spur on this type.  If the coach makes it apparent that he can spot such half-hearted players, and that he disapproves of the type, then these players may develop into whole hearted players.

3. Discipline
There must be discipline in the training.  Discipline is a much misunderstood word which may be defined in many ways.  It is, of course, not intended that in a coaching scheme the discipline demanded should be of the external unquestioning, and mechanical type; but, on the other hand, it is a mistaken idea that to have freedom there must be an absence of control. Such a state of affairs would be fatal.  Players usually deapise a slack or weak coach.  Good discipline is ensured by abundant work of a type which requires constant exercise of both mental and bodily powers, and which, at the same time, is interesting and enjoyable. The maintenance of this kind of discipline requires  from the coach thoughtful consideration,ready reaource, careful preparation, and sound judgment, together with a cheerful and friendly attitude.


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