4 Key Factors to Consider When Choosing A Grassroots Football Team
Parents have a massive influence on their child’s football development and their journey in grassroots football. Choosing the right grassroots football team is one of those key decisions, which can impact on the development and enjoyment of the game for your child.
For those parents who are trying to decide on the best grassroots team for their child, we hope that this article will you a few insights to help you make that important decision.
There are many factors to consider which we will look at more closely in this post. Remember, your child’s coach will be with your child 2-3 times a week and they will have a huge influence on your child as they are ‘in charge’ of picking the team. So we should be taking this as seriously as we would with anything that we decide to get our children involved in.
What To look For When Choosing A Football Team?
There are thousands of youth grassroots football teams in the UK. However some are clearly better managed than others. Here are some of the main things that I would encourage all parents to review initially, before choosing a youth football team for your child.
What Is Their Ethos?
This is a key one, and it’s normally not mentioned by many clubs which is the club philosophy! How do they like to develop players? Do they give equal playing time to all players? Ideally, you want to hear that the club have their own footballing culture that values player development over everything else.
What Are They known For?
No doubt, if the club has been around for a period of time they would have developed some form of reputation. Do they have reputation for developing players? What can you find out about their coaches? How do they work with parents? These are the sort of things that we want to be aware of when researching youth football clubs. Normally most sides now have some form of a website to give parents an answer to these sort of questions. If you struggle to find one give them a ring and ask them directly.
This will most likely be the first thing that all parents recognise when searching for a club. In the UK, accredited youth teams will have what is called a ‘charter standard’ award.
When a club has a charter standard award, they are normally entitled to a number of benefits to help attract & retain players & volunteers.
They also get access to funding for football equipment & tailored support from the local Football Association, meaning support with upskilling the club’s coaches.
Finally, a very simple one that I would expect all youth football teams to have in place is their consent forms & safeguarding policies in order.
Do they ensure that all coaches are first aid & safeguarding trained? Have all coaches had their DBS checks (criminal records check). If a club cannot confirm any of this then I would be weary of sending your child to play for that team.
There are other things that I could include but I believe these are the most important to be aware of. If you can use the following above as a baseline to go from, it will make your club selection process a lot easier.
Now, let’s look at the next component in the club selection process which is your child’s coach!
Do not take this likely, as I would put this part of the selection process as the most important thing that you must do before making your decision to choose a team!