Peer pressure is often given a bad rep, in life as well as sport, but as children become teenagers I think it can be used as a great motivator in the football environment. I saw a great example of this at the weekend.... My under 12 squad were playing in a competitive tournament (one of only a handful that we play all year) and were progressing fairly comfortably . One of our strikers who is a fairly skilful, but selfish and egotistical individual, had scored a barrel load against the dross on the way to the final. Repeatedly though I'd asked him to hold up the ball, lay off to CM for third man runs, or square/cut back the ball from wide areas for a team mate. Repeatedly, I was just given his shit eating grin and a nod of the head. I was starting to wonder if the kid was a retard or just cutting his own detail . This boy is a world beater when playing against duds, but it was explained clearly that this type of play would be bread and butter for competent opposition. Anyway, we get to the final and he's still trying his circus tricks and just before I can whip him off my left mid opens up on him. Right up in this prima donna's face. Screaming at him. A real barrage of abuse for not finding him with a first time pass (instead he turned into trouble and lost the ball). My first instinct was to step in and quiet the left mid, tell him I was the coach and I'd speak to the players, but this time I thought just let it play out . The left mid really gave it to the striker tight, calling him a lazy, selfish b*stard, and he was letting the team down. The striker was close to tears. His arse had fell out, confidence draining from every pore. Really welling-up and failing to hold back the sobs. I thought I'll give the kid a couple of minutes of self-reflection and I'll give him the hook, get some fresh legs on. Next thing I know, our left back plays a wonderful diagonal to our striker, who kills the ball with one touch (pure Zizou) and provides a deft little touch back to the CM, who plays the first time ball for the third man run from our right mid. Boys spin off their markers, attacking front, back and middle. Ball goes long, left mid headers back across goal for a tap in from our striker. It was beautiful. All the animosity from a moment ago forgotten. Smiles all round. The power of peer pressure. It was plain to see. The tears from my striker still drying on his cheek. The spit and vitriol still wet around my left mid's lips. Teeth were bared, the claw were out. The striker went through the rest of the game absolutely majestic. Goes to show that sometimes the coaches words don't hit home hard enough. Sometimes the law of the jungle must be enforced and children often react better to their peers' criticism. Not sure if you agree, but I'll be heaping on the peer pressure when required in future. Another weapon in the coaches arsenal!