The Ministry of Football Self-Reflection Tool helps children to improve their football skills and enhance their ability to learn and perform in football, writes Mark Carter, Founder and Director. It does this by collecting information from them on their experience of playing football, and uses that information to rate or score specific technical or psychological areas. Children can then choose a specific area to work on, and the Tool provides help in the form of video tutorials, homework tasks and challenges.
How does it work?
The Self-Reflection Tool is a Microsoft Excel form and associated website, and is developed for use by MoF children aged 9-11 who play football regularly (although any football child could benefit from using it).
The Excel tool asks a variety of questions of the child’s experience of playing football. These questions are in the form of statements such as “I tackle someone” or “My passes don’t go where I want them to”, and also include non-technical, psychological statements such as “My performance is negatively affected by something the referee says or does”. In response to each statement, the child needs to pick an option from: Never / Not very often / Sometimes / Often / Always.
From the child’s answers, a hidden matrix calculates the child’s strong and weaker areas. An example of an area could be: “Off-the-ball movement”, or “Defending 1-on-1”. Or it could be a psychological area such as “Mental Control, Composure and Resilience”. The Tool presents the child with their strongest and weakest area and the child chooses one of the weaker areas to work on.
Once the child has chosen an area to work on, the Tool sends them to a webpage which has been specially designed with tasks, advice and challenges for their specific area. The child works through the homework tasks. An example of homework might be to watch some tuition videos and answer some questions, or to do some technical practice with a ball. Once the child is ready, they print their area-specific challenge and bring this to their coach. This gives the coach info on what the child is working on, and what they have done for homework to prepare for their improvement. It also gives the child the chance to write down any particular problems they are having. The coach can then – over the course of several weeks I imagine – help the child to develop in their chosen area.
For more information and FREE downloads visit Ministry of Football