Soccer Coach Tips- Do’s and Dont’s

soccer coach

 

 

 

 

 

Being any type of coach comes with a lot of responsibilities. Your not just teaching kids how to play a sport, you are their guardian and responsible for your players wellbeing and safety while their parents are gone. You need to be committed to these kids and set examples for them to follow. Kids tend  to listen more to other adults than parents so know you will be a big influence on your players. You might even have kids that dont like the sport much and you will have to find a way to make the practice fun and effective. Here are some things should and shouldn’t do if your are or planning on being a coach.

Commitment

This one is pretty obvious, if you want to be a coach don’t just do it if your only interest is making some side cash. You become a coach because you like kids and your satisfaction comes from seeing your players progress because of what you have taught them. You will have to travel, be early for games and practices, sometimes you may even have to give rides to one of your players once in a while. You have to lift their spirits when they are down, and certain players made need more attention than others. If you show up late for practice or miss them, this will rub off on them. If you don’t care neither will your players and you will even loose players. Be committed, and your players will be too.

Play time

Now, it’s natural to get competitive, I myself like to get competitive because it makes the game more interesting and exciting, but if your coaching kids it’s important for everyone to get a minimum amount of play time during a match. Some kids will get more play time than others if you have a large team, its just part of the sport, but you must make sure no one is left on the bench. We want to make sure the team wins and yes the best players will be needed but I would rather have player who eager to play than a player who is good but lazy. Trust me, when a player doesn’t get much play time on the field he/she is going to feel like they are not good enough to be trusted on the pitch and eventually he or she will have resentment towards you and may even leave the team. Or they will tell mom and dad and you will have a nice conversation with them. Not to mention your the coach, your job is to help them improve, and a player wont improve if you don’t believe in them. So, set a minimum and reasonable amount of time for each player and let them know from the start. If you set that expectation,  no one will complain if they get that. So be fair, you are in control.

Discipline

Disciplining your players is very important as. You want to make sure everyone is following the practice and players are getting along with each other. You are the authority so its important to go about discipline the right way. This opinion is up for debate so if any of you have better ways or want to add to this please do so in the comments. I would shy away from disciplining  a player individually, what I would is discipline the whole team including the offending player. By making the whole team pay the price now everyone else is going to make sure no one screws up again. You have now turned the tables made the team as a unit repsopsible for each others actions. This may seem unfair at first and everyone is going to be mad at the player but trust and believe no one on the team wants to be the one to get the whole team in trouble again. I would stay away from anything excessive like running multiple laps, push ups for the rest of practice. Instead if there is a certain fun activity you have at practice, maybe shave off time or take that activity away, or maybe a lap or two around the field. You be the judge.

Communicate with Parents

Parents can be annoying at soccer games sometimes, but you can’t blame them for being supportive and wanting to be part of their kids lives and activities. It is important to set boundaries and keep them involved/informed as well. Like with your players, set expectations, let them know what you expect from their kids and what they can expect from you. Let them know about the rules have, the minimum play time and how you handle disruptive players. You also want to know if a player as a limitation, special need, pretty much anything that may factor into the players performance. Every player will not be the same.

 

The information I have shared is all based off of personal experience, opinions and research. There’s no recipe for being the “perfect coach”. Every coach has his or own style of coaching and way engaging kids/adults. The import thing to remember is to do what you are comfortable with and what will benefit the team as a whole and understanding each player as an individual. If your looking ways to improve  yourself as a coach I left a link below to a coaching program.   Again, please feel free to leave comments.

professionalsoccercoaching.com

 

Have a great day

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

 

Adidas Smart Soccer Ball- The future of soccer training.

Adidas Smart Soccer Ball

Available on Amazon

adidas smart ball

The Adidas Smart Soccer Ball is is pushing the boundaries of soccer training. If you thought the DribbleUP Smart ball was amazing, this one blows it out of the park. The technology behind this ball is far more advanced. The app comes gives you instant feedback based on your performance, it has challenges in the app that you can do by yourself or with a friend and much more.

The app.

The Adidas Smart Ball comes with an app called miCoach,  just like any other smart device. The ball is synced with the app via bluetooth allowing it to provide real time/life data. Yes you do need to charge the ball but other than that is pretty much a regular. One charge will last about 1 to 2 weeks based on how much you use it. It requires to be inflated just like any other ball. Not to crazy about the design though. The DUdribble app is good, but will only allow you practice in front of the phone. Meaning you will only be able to work on your touches. Since the Adidas Smart ball syncs with its app via bluetooth, The miCoach app will show how to shoot around walls, and where you need to strike the ball, and will give you instant feedback on your accuracy and speed of the ball. It will even show you the flight path the ball took when you struck the ball.  The miCoach app is literally like having a personal coach. Here are the options within the app.

mi coach appmi coachmi coach app

Kick It  is like a free play option in videos games used to measure your kicks. The user will determine with which foot will be used,  then tap on  Kick,  and then shoot after you hear a whistle.

Get Better:  In Get Better, the app gives a complete feed back of your shots. Based on what type of shots you are trying to do, the app will give you tips on what to work on whether its more speed, more spin, less power,  etc. the app will tell you. You will also be see the ball spin, speed, point of contact and flight path. In this section there are ball mastery videos, and modules for striking, free kicks and spin.

  • Challenges:This where all the fun is. In this section you can set a goal range for the type of shot you want to take. There are also pro challenges that allow you to work on around the wall/over the wall shots and tell you how much speed and spin you need to accomplish the shots. You can even add a user so you and your friend compete.

This ball is amazing. I will be getting one soon and will be posting a video about it soon. Righ now Adidas is sold out so you will not be able to buy from them know, and I’m clueless to know if they will even be making more. The ball is available on amazon at the moment. Hope you found this review helpful and if you do happen to buy one, feel free to share your experience below. Have a great day.

For the love of the game

Soccer Training Equipment- The smart ball

We live in the age of information and technology. Over the past 10 years technology has very much revolutionized everything around us. It has created new ways of doing things, so that our lives can become easier and do things more effectively. We have, smart phones, smart tv’s, smart refrigerators, smart toasters! Ok I made that last one up, but I bet if you google it I’m sure theres something out there. I came across this one product that I thought was pretty amazing, ready?…. The smart ball. Sounds amazing right? It is. Heres everything you need to know about The DribbleUP Smart Soccer Ball.

DribbleUp Smart Soccer Ball

DribbleUp Smart Soccer ball

The DU Smart Soccer ball, is a smart ball built like any other genuine soccer ball. There are no batteries, wires or any electronic components to it. So no need to worry about how the ball will feel, its a real soccer ball. However what separtes this ball from the ones you and I grew up playing with, is that it seeminglessly pairs with the app that is used for training.

How does it work

When the app is launched, the ball is placed in front of the phone and phone will scan the ball and then viola, the ball is now in sync with the app. The ball keeps track of your touches and speed and after the drill is up, you will get feed back on your performance so you will know what to work on. This will allow you to easily train from the comfort of your home or anywhere else. Another cool thing you can do is if you have a smart tv, you can mirror your phone to the tv so you can have a larger view of what your doing.

Features

  • real time audio feed back
  • virtual trainer
  • drill by drill breakdown,
  • no wires, chargers or batteries
  • tablet/cell phone stand

 

If your looking for ways to effectively train on your own without investing to much money, this is a great option for you. You can buy the DU smart ball for as low as $99.99 on Amazon if you get it with out the tablet stand. This would make a great gift for anyone trying to improve their skills. If your not impressed, Adidas has their own smart ball that is more high tech than the Dribble up. This particular ball does require it to be charged but depending on how much you use it one charge can last up to a week. The Adidas website is currently sold out, but you can buy it on Amazon. If you want to read my review before you buy it, you can follow this link. And please, feel free to leave comments. Have a great day.

adidas smart ball

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

Fun Soccer Games- Having fun while training

Kids just wanna have fun and the best way for your kid or team if your a coach, is to make soccer practice fun. Its hard for kids to follow instructions and their attention span is a lot shorter than older kids/young adults. In fact according to Day2DayParenting.com, children from ages 5-6 have an average attention span of 5-10 minutes if they have no interest in the task or if it is difficult to do. So how do you get kids interested in soccer? Make it fun! Kids will play for hours if they are having fun. So here are some fun games that will help them develop fundamental skills without them even realizing they are on their way to being soccer stars.

kids playing soccer

Hit the coach: passing/shooting

U3 and up: 

  • Set up: Pretty self explanatory and pretty simple. Everyone has a ball and the goal is to aim and hit the coach. What kid isn’t going to enjoy this?
  • Rules:The coach will run away from the players and they will try to hit the coach with their ball. Players will aim below the knee.
  • Goal: Dribbling, passing, accuracy.

 

Knock Out:

U5 and up

  • Set up: Similar to Hit the Coach, but in this game players are not aiming for the coach, they will be aiming for each other. Divide the team into 3 groups. Group A, will be in the middle of playing area, and the other two groups, group B will have players to the left and right of group A. The area play will be a rectangle with rings on the opposite side of group A. You can do between 4-6 rings.
  • Rules: Group A will dibble across the area of play to the opposite side, grab a ring and dribble back. They will try collect all the rings without getting hit. Groups B will attempt to knock them out by trying to hit them with the ball aiming below the knees. If a player in group A is hit, they are out. Game ends when all players in group A are out, or if all rings are collected. Team that collects most rings wins.
  • Goal: Dribbling, Ball control, passing, accuracy

 

Monkey in the Middle: Defending/Passing

U5 and up

This is a classic. We all know how this is played. One thing my coach would do is switch up the game and put, 2 or 3 players in the middle. This will help the players defending work together. You can also have one round with more players on the outside the circle than defenders, and one round with more defenders than players outside the circle, again, depending on age group.

 

Sharks and Minnows: 

U5 and up

Set up: You remember playing this in the swimming pool as a kid?  You had  a great childhood if you do my friend. This is pretty simple. Divide the players into 2 groups, sharks and minnows, and the area of play will be divided into 3 zones. One zone will be where the minnows start, the middle zone will be where the sharks are, and the safe zone is where the minnows are trying to cross over to.  You want to have 2 minnows to every shark.

Rules: Once a minnow gets their ball taken away they become a shark. Minnows will continue to cross the shark zone back and forth until the last minnow standing.

Goal: Ball control, defending.

 

Zombies: 

U3 and up

Set up: One zone. All players with a ball. The coach or one player, who will not have a ball, will be chase the other players and try to tag other players.

Rules: Once a player gets tagged, they become a zombie. Last player remaining wins.

Goal: This will help players learn to play under pressure and force them to maneuver their body and the ball.

soccer kids training

Keep Away: Zone Defending, Positioning, Passing

U8 and up

  • Set up: This is a 3v2 game, and you will set up  the area of play into 3 zones. In the middle zone you will have the defending team and one player from the passing team. The outside zones  will have one player in each zone. Set a timer for 3-7 minutes. Encourage passing team to make quick decisions and use middle player.
  • Rules: The players in the middle zone are not to leave that zone. The goal is for the passing team make as many successful passes to each other. If a pass/ball is intercepted, possession goes back to the passing team. The team that gets the most successful passes wins.
  • Goal: This game is geared to help players develop their skills off the ball, a very key skill in soccer. They will learn how position themselves go receive a pass and look for openings for pass. Team B will practice zone defending. You will have games where you play a man down or two.

 

WAR!

U4 and up

  • Set up: This game is very simple and very fun. You will divide players into 2 teams with one team on each side of the play area. The coach will call out “WAR!” and the teams will attempt to knock the others team balls out of the play area with their ball while protecting theirs.
  • Rules: Team with the most players left wins. Players can only knock out another players ball by hitting it with theirs. Encourage you players to dribble around the play area as they go. Players will only aim below the knees.
  • Goal: Ball control, passing, accuracy

 

Theres so many games you can make up for kids to play to make the sport for them. All you have to do is think of skill you want the game to be about and go from there. You can rename these games to something they can relate to and change up the rules to make things more challenging. And please, leave your feed back below, and if you know any fun games please share.

Have a great day everyone

FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

What you need to stay warm: Cold weather soccer gear

Winter is around the corner, and if you will be playing outdoors, your going to need proper gear to stay warm during the match. If you allow your body to get cold, you wont be performing at your peak. Jackets, sweaters,  hoodies are all nice to have and they will keep you warm, but they are bulky and not breathable. You will dying to take it off after a few minutes. Not to mention if its game day, you’re going to be wearing your uniform. Here are some recommendations for keeping warm during your match.

Compression Gear

Compression gear is a good way to keep warm and dry. There is a lot of claims by big brand names like Under Amour, Adidas, etc. claiming by wearing these garments, they  are going to increase your performance but this isn’t exactly true. The compression gear is going to put pressure on your muscles which will help with blood flow. Which means once you start moving, your body will warm up quicker. Depending on how tolerant you are of cold weather, I would recommend getting the shorts/pants and a long/short sleeve shirt. You want to make sure you get cold weather compression, they will be a lil thicker than the regular ones.  Soccerloco.com and TheUpper90.com has great a selection of compression gear to choose from.

Head Gear

Did you know if your ears are covered, 70% of your body will be warm? Well its just a saying but idea is to keep areas of your body that cold easily. There is barely in fat in your ears and they are an opening for air to get in. This is why you want to keep them covered.  You don’t need anything fancy,  a sports beanie is ideal or you wear those things runners use that go around the back of your head and cover your ears.

 

 

Gloves

Have you ever done a throw in with bare hands in cold weather? Its not fun. I used to hate doing throw ins with cold hands.  Its hard to grip the ball and more than half the time my throw would be off. You don’t want just any pair of gloves. You want a pair with grips on them, thin, but able to keep your hands warm. Its hard to find a good pair of gloves that are thin and warm but they are out there.  Heres some I recommend.

Socks

I would say this is the most important part of your body to keep warm during a soccer game. If your feet are cold and numb, its going to be hard for you to feel the ball. Your shots may be a little off and dribbling with be cumbersome. I like to wear two pairs of socks (the outer pair being thin ankle socks) but if you don’t want to wear two pairs i would recommend some over the calf socks so that most of your leg is covered. Also make sure your boots fit nice and snug to avoid letting to much air in.

 

So there you have it. Head, hands and feet. Keep these part of your body warm and you will be good. You want to make sure your comfortable playing as well, some of you may not need as much layers as others. Main point is to stay warm and dry. If your gear is too warm and you getting hot and sweating and decide to take off your gear, that cold air hitting your wet skin could get you sick. Also make sure you warm up before the game, if you need compression shirts/pants, wear your wind breaker/track jacket and sweat pants to warm up quicker.

Have fun everyone!