Frame Football – Coaching Guidelines

General considerations in coaching Fame Football

It is important to ensure that people have an enjoyable first experience, and to remember that experience is not just about taking part in the activity itself. The first experience includes getting there and arriving at the venue, as well as the staff/coaches/volunteers they will encounter. Going into and using the changing rooms and other facilities. Meeting other members of the session for the first time and the suitability of the session for their age, ability and mobility.

It is important to remember that every participant is an individual and therefore should be supported and challenged in their football in this way. When involved in group activities, every player can be given little challenges that are tailored to support their needs and level of ability and/or mobility.

Understanding the nature of disabilities

An understanding of different disabilities and the associated conditions will help inform activities and coaching when working with players with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities. Players want their needs to be known without being singled out or prevented from participating. One of the best ways is to find out is from the individual themselves.

This could be done in a range of ways such as:

  • Observing players within activities or free play.
  • Giving players a challenge to try the activities and then adapt as necessary by making it easier or increasing the challenge. Again, these changes can be suggested by the player themselves.
  • Asking players what they are best at and maybe what they find challenging.

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A key part of successful coaching is effective communication; including giving and receiving information. Individuals with cerebral palsy may have a speech impairment, therefore it is useful to spend time getting to know each player in order to learn and understand what works best for them, however this should not automatically be associated with the player having a learning disability.

Speaking is the most common form of communication, but non-verbal communication such as gestures, expressions and even posture, is also very important. Studies suggest that 90% of information is conveyed non-verbally. As coaches t is important to be good at giving information but also to ensure it is the right amount and delivered in different ways such as telling, showing and guiding.

Never make assumptions about what players want, or what they can and cannot do. Asking open questions is important to find out what the players have to say, get to know each player and build a good relationship with them. Through listening, watching and asking, coaches can learn a great deal about their players, strengths and weaknesses, and what they want to achieve from playing Frame Football.

  • Players may experience poor balance and co-ordination, so may be prone to injuries from falling, dropping objects or knocking against things.
  • Stress and emotion can affect a player’s ability to take part in Frame Football, both psychologically and physically. Therefore remember to create a comfortable and relaxed environment to help players enjoy their football.
  • Warming up and cooling down are very important for players with cerebral palsy as a hot/cold climate can affect spasticity, athetosis or ataxia.
  • All players should consult their doctor or physio before taking part.

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Considerations of players physical conditions

For some athletes with cerebral palsy, outdoor temperature could be a limiting factor to an effective training session during winter months. It is important to be aware that players with cerebral palsy may be more likely to have epilepsy than their non-disabled peers. If a player has epilepsy, it is useful to establish how they cope with seizures on a personal basis and what procedures you should follow. Some players may have a learning disability as well as a physical disability plus other associated conditions such as a speech impairment.

Participants may have a slower reaction time when initiating movement on command. The participant may have limb movement restrictions. Therefore, they must work at their maximum capacity to enable optimum performance. The participant must be supported to move any affected limb to the best of their ability. The participant may have short-term memory loss, requiring constant and continual reinforcement of instructions.

Circulatory problems may mean that additional stretching and flexibility exercises, and/or shorter drill times are required. Hearing and visual impairments are more likely in people with cerebral palsy. Some participants may experience difficulties making sense of and interpreting the messages received from their senses, moving around objects, or judging size and shapes of objects.

Pain can be a problem for people with cerebral palsy due to spastic muscles and the stress/strain on parts of the body that are compensating for muscle abnormalities. If experiencing pain or discomfort, players should consult their doctor or physio.


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Coaching Qualifications

The advised minimum requirements for coaches would be:

  • FA Level 1 with in-date FA Emergency First Aid and Safeguarding Children certificate
  • Active FA Licensed Coaches Club member
  • DBS checks

Additional Learning Opportunities

  • Cerebral Palsy Sport FRame Football workshop
  • Coaching CP Football
  • Cerebral Palsy Sport Cerebral Palsy Awareness in Sport course – for more information click here
  • FA Coaching Disabled Footballers