Children’s Day Social Learning Special Football Festival

No running wild around shopping malls stuffing faces with ice cream and cake! No sitting in class on the weekend as normal listening to the teacher! No ‘screentime’ gaming! Instead, lots of ‘learning through doing’ at the Children’s Day Football Festival – Social Learning Special!

To celebrate the magic and diversity of children the organisers of the Football Festivals in Shenzhen decided to end the 2018-2019 season by flipping the concept of what a children’s football tournament should look like upside down in favour of more fun and social learning! Players from all 5 clubs came together on the day and were randomly mixed into new teams with 1-2 players from each team! Immediately there was a buzz in the atmosphere as the players ran around looking for their new teammates using their insta polaroid photos.  Throughout the day everywhere you looked social learning could be seen as the players adjusted to their new teammates that in previous football festivals were opponents.  The festival aimed to reduce coach input and increase player ownership. The following photos and videos help share some of the learning outcomes from the event including; decision making, problem-solving, communication in team talks, conflict resolution, creativity, adaptability, and of course lots of football!

U8 Group

U10 Group

Player feedback

Because the teams were mixed with different players and we were unfamiliar with each other I think the teams’ ability level was similar. But a team with strengths in long ball and dribbling would obviously outpower others. We played very well though we could improve in pressing. I hope the team could dribble more! –City

I was in the same team as Harry and at first, we felt the pressure that other teammates did not press forward with us, and I conceded a goal when being the goalkeeper. In the 3rd game, the team pressed but we had no defensive strength in midfield. Overall I felt like inevery game we showed improvement and we were happy in each match. –Leo

In the 1st game, we played smoothly. In the 2nd game, the long pass of the Blue Team posed a threat to our team. In the 3rd game, we adjusted our attacking strategy and achieved a good result. In the games, I reminded my teammates to find position, pass and cooperate. –Richard

In the first match, we defended, passed and created shooting opportunities with ease. In the 2nd match, we felt the difficulty increased partly because Patrick was in their team. In the third game, we could not break out of defence. City slipped and we scored! Richard had a really good shot but we couldn’t make any progress down the wings so we could only play long ball! –John

Parent feedback

Mixed up, randomly selected coaches, randomly selected teammates, awesome event! –Adams

Coach feedback

It was an amazing event! I got feedback from parents thanking us for organizing such a meaningful event that is only and truly dedicated to children. I think this is what makes YDFF special. I am truly grateful to be part of this Community of coaches. Let’s keep it going and make a difference in children’s lives as well as youth football culture in China. –Coach Jaewoan, ABLE FC

Thank you to all the players, parents and coaches that made this social learning football festival an amazing day for all to remember! We hope to continue being brave and redefining what football learning looks like in the foundation phase in next seasons Football Festivals.  

Originally published on Children’s Day Social Learning Special Football Festival