That sinking feeling is awful.
You’ve been told by a teacher/coach that your child needs to move DOWN.
What’s wrong with them?
How will they take it?
Don’t panic. It isn’t always a bad thing and can actually be better for them.
Short-Term Pain/Long-Term Gain
The ‘pain’ comes if your child has taken it badly.
Some children can find it difficult so it’s important to do what you can to stop their confidence from being dented.
Moving down - whether it be a sporting activity, a school class or anything else - is normally because it will BENEFIT the child in the long-run.
They may be a beginner coming into the activity later than most, they might not be as physically developed as the other kids etc etc.
If they are struggling there is no point keeping them with the current age/ability group as the chances of improving are lessened.
In sport, the misconception is training with better players makes you a better player.
This can be true but it isn’t true of every child. It depends on their ability level.
The reverse can actually happen i.e. their confidence and ability DECREASE because they are getting left behind.
When they move down, in our experience, you see a boost of confidence and a quicker development because the classes are catered for their particular needs.
Success rates increase (goals scored, tests passed, matches won) which gives them positive experiences and from that confidence, the amount they practise and how much fun they have also increases.
What you can do
Be armed with examples of famous people this has happened to!
In football there is a great story about Manchester United & England player, Jesse Lingard.
This guy now plays for one of the most famous teams ever and played in the World Cup in 2018.
But it wasn’t all plane sailing.
He played TWO YEARS below himself for a long time but it helped his development and the rest is history
Growth mindset, Resilience & Determination
Huge benefits of something like this are the internal skills it can develop.
If your child has a growth mind-set they will see this as a challenge and we’ve seen so many examples of players who go on to actually overtake the players in the group they were originally moved out of.
Forget about sport, these skills are invaluable for life and they can be helped by things like moving down a group.
Those kids who have to strive to get better normally end up improving faster than those who don’t have any challenges.
Understand why this has happened by speaking to coaches/teachers and realise that, a majority of the time, this is a good thing.
Rather than focusing on the negatives focus on the solution – that is to help your child understand that if they work hard they’ll be absolutely flying in no time.
Foot-Tech Academy is a children’s football coaching school in North & East Leeds that provides a skills-based curriculum to help kids improve fast.
We are not a team, we simply provide a non-pressurised environment where children can learn at their own pace under the guidance of highly talented, professional coaches.