The Numpties Guide to Being a Better Grassroots Coach
The Numpties Guide

to being a Better Grassroots Coach

Grassroots coaches and volunteers are the engine room of our national game. Without thousands of people giving up their time every week to help deliver practice sessions and game-days for kids and young people, communities would be challenged to find alternatives to keeping everyone connected, physically active and able to access sporting opportunities.


However, we recognise that being a grassroots coach can be both rewarding and tough at the same time. While it’s great to experience seeing players develop and enjoy the game, there is often a pressure on volunteers to plan sessions, organise matchdays, work with parents/carers and find a way to ensure that sporting environment is the best it can be. It’s not always easy!


To support our grassroots army of volunteers we have created the ‘Numpties Guide to Being a Better Grassroots Football Coach’. Whether your club caters for kids as young as 5-7 or youths from 13-18 years old, the guide is there to identify some of the challenges, speed bumps, and common problems we can face as football leaders and most importantly, ways to avoid them. Ultimately, we want to help make our grassroots game better.


We believe most of us have looked across the pitch at a coach or parent on the opposite side and thought “what a numpty!”, “he needs to calm down and chill” or “wouldn’t it be good if he let the kids just play”.


The Numpties Guide is a light-hearted but informative look at how we can all make the grassroots game better and includes;


  • Techniques to have your kids running to your sessions and racing to return
  • Tactics to make the life of the coach easier
  • Insights to creating great practice and game-day settings
  • Street-smarts to foster their life-long love of the game
  • How to be the best part of their day


The Numpties Guide is delivered by our own Alan ‘Chalky’ White who has worked within football development at Hearts and the Scottish FA for 24 years but just as importantly, has been a ‘fitba’ dad’ for 14 years. These experiences have helped create a presentation for coaches that helps us discuss why we are involved in the first place, the overall role of the grassroots club and what better can look like.


Check out our feedback at the bottom of this page from the Numpties Guide delivered with Bonnyrigg Rose Community FC, Dalkeith Thistle Community FC, Musselburgh Windsor Community FC and Edinburgh Primary Schools Football


How it works


The Numpties Guide is a 90-120 minute interactive workshop that can be delivered locally with clubs/teams/schools/associations.




Clubs and teams can email for costs and further information.


What else


Feedback and surveys will be collected from participants during each workshop. This feedback can be shared with groups leaders post session, to help them further develop their own culture and philosophy going forward.

CCD (Continuous Coach Development) credit may be able to be arranged for all attendees to help extend the validity of Scottish FA qualifications (there is no cost for the CPD component of any workshop)




“Brilliant delivery of the session. Good humoured, engaging and inspiring.”


“I often see other coaches doing quite complex looking warm up drills and it's difficult not to doubt my own approach. This session has reassured me that I'm on the right track.”


“Made me rethink how I approach football on a weekend with the kids”


“I have been trying to be more of a playmaker than a drill sergeant. The presentation has given me confidence to persist with that.”


“Very easy to get bogged down with trying to over-coach young kids. This has been a reminder that it needs to be fun.”


“I’m now going to be more game focused. To be honest in the few weeks I’ve been doing it the thing that’s clear is the kids love games. More and more games.”


“Definitely guilty of starting with a boring warm up. Need to start with something fun.”


“Keep making it fun, let the kids problem-solve, less shouting from the side-lines so that they make their own decisions.”


“Keep it fun and simple; relate to how you played football as a child and try to recreate that atmosphere.”


“It is good to reminded that grassroots football should be fun for the coaches too, I feel that sometimes gets lost on a Saturday once the games are in full swing”


“It just refreshes and reminds you of what’s important with grassroots football and what your values are. I found I fit into the ‘joystick’ coach scenario a little too much, this course reminded me to step back”


“I felt this was a really great use of my time and it will make a difference to our kids.”