The Kids Coach: Keeping the balance

Kids love football, but how can we ensure that ours have the right balance between football and other things in their life? Kids Coach Naomi Richards takes a look.

It is not always easy to keep life balanced. Some elements of our life take up more time than others.

As parents we may work hard and hardly ever have a social life or spend the majority of our time being home with our children or doing domestic chores rather than having some time to ourselves.

Balance is very difficult to achieve for us adults and it can be for our children too. For children who like to play sport their balance can tip. Once they get into football, for example, they can really get into it.

Whether that is them asking us if they can play more and join a football club or if we are encouraging them to play and take the playing a bit more seriously. Some children will be playing three or four times a week after school and at weekends. Regardless of who is doing the initiation it is important that our child’s life is as balanced as it could be.

We want our children to be the best that they can be at school and work hard. We want them to have time to do their homework, see their friends, spend time with us or have family time and we want them to do what they enjoy doing.

That may only be football or that may be another activity too. It is also important that they have downtime and essential sleep.

So how can we fit it all in?

Scheduling can help. If you and your child know what is going to happen when, and you can see it visually, it can make life smoother and a little less stressed and panicked for you both.

Start off by getting a piece of paper, write the days of the week across the top and under each day write down what activity your child is going to do and the timings.

For example, on a Monday when they come home from school at 4pm, what do they do? Is it homework night or is it 'do some homework and then go to football practice' night?

What are the times that these happen? On a Tuesday, do they see their friends or come home and relax?

On the schedule, lay out the days and times of football practice, their homework and time to spend with friends. Include the weekends too, as no doubt your child will be playing football at some time.

By writing their week down, they can look forward to the activities they like doing and be practical about the rest of it. Get your child to help you do this schedule so they are happy with the way it looks. It may become apparent that life has not been balanced for your child and that they are doing too much.

If so, talk to them about the importance of what they have been neglecting and that you are happy that they are playing and getting so much out of football, but that they need to be resting, relaxing and unfortunately doing some schoolwork too!


Naomi Richards is The Kids Coach – a life coach for children. Her first book, The Parent's Toolkit, shares key life tools for you to help your children successfully navigate their own childhood problems and grow up into happy, confident and resilient young adults.

The Parent's Toolkit was described by The Sun as “clear and to the point... a must-read for parents”. It is published by Vermillion and is available to buy on

Other articles by The Kids Coach:

* What if my child wants to quit?
* Does your child respect their peers?
* Keeping the belief going
* Football crazy, football mad
* It's the taking part that counts
* Giving young players confidence to try new things
* Parents: To shout or not to shout?
* Young footballers must see respect to show respect

Put your questions to The Kids Coach

If you are a parent or coach and would like Naomi's advice on any issue that might affect a young footballer, then please leave a comment below and it could well be addressed in next month's column.

Alternatively email or tweet @thekidscoach.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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