Some coaches (and parents) play the game for the players by constantly shouting instructions from the sideline – never letting the players make the decisions or solve the problems the match presents. There can only be one real reason for this – the coaches’ desire to cut down on players’ mistakes so that their team will win the match. But player development is all about problem solving and decision making because player development is about learning and learning is a long-term thing.Some would say life it’s a long process where decisions, mistakes and consequences are vital if things are to truly stick. A football match is a short-term event and simply part of this process – a test where the youngster can experiment and find out what he or she currently knows and can do. By constantly trying to make the decisions and solve the problems for the players those coaches and parents are in fact disempowering them in favour of short-term solutions with short-term rewards – a win.Through disempowerment the players never learn to become self-reliant or trust themselves, because the coaches and parents obviously do not trust them. Therefore they find it more difficult to make the right decisions and solve their own problems both on and off the pitch. This is a major issue for player development as football from the grass roots up to the World Cup final is a decision making, problem solving game.