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

 

4 Replies to “Soccer Coach Tips- Do’s and Dont’s”

  1. “You might even have kids that don’t like the sport much and you will have to find a way to make the practice fun and effective.”

    This is true and should be the goal of every sports coach. From experience, an interest in a sport can automatically kick into a kid by the body language and words of the coach.

  2. I’ve coached youth soccer for over a decade and multiple age groups and genders. A couple tips/suggestions I have:

    1. Girls soccer is vastly different than boys/mixed soccer. Girls play for the comradery and being a part of something – a social aspect. As such, if you pull a girl out of the group for making a mistake and showcasing it in-front of her peers, you’ll destroy her and she’ll quit. I can’t tell you how many coaches I see do this AND yell and scream at them (leave your ego at the door – you’re not a superstar and you can’t live your youth soccer dreams through these kids).

    Girls also pass-pass-and pass and when you think they’re done, they pass more. Again, it’s all about being a part of a team culture. Boys do it to a degree, but boys are very different. They KNOW who the superstar on the team is and they will pass to the superstar, as opposed to open players or open space, as they want that peer recognition from the superstar and to show the rest of the team that they passed to the superstar when he scored. Boys also tend to showboat at the younger ages where you’ll have 1-2 superstars and they know they’re the superstars, so they won’t pass, as they feel they’re too good for this. This is when you see a forward deep in the defence zone and run the ball the entire length of the field without passing once. There’s ways to break them of this (easy if you have a strong defender you can match them against in practices), but that’s another story.

    2. BE PREPARED – I can’t tell you how many coaches just ‘wing it’ when it comes to practices. I played soccer for a very high level here where I live and even at that, I spent HOURS each week preparing a “practice manual” FOR THE SEASON that covered what we were going to focus on for the year and when. You also need to be flexible so that you can adjust your practice manual as the season starts so when you start to witness what the team needs to work on, you adjust.

    I live in Canada and we don’t really prepare anything of any quality for coaches across the nation, but the US has GREAT material online. A few Google searches and you can find top clubs that have posted their practice manuals and drills for the year. The US also has a model that takes kids from a very young age and prepares them for playing at a high level (Olympics). You don’t have to be from the US to leverage this program – the drills/practices/methods are solid and every coach should take the time to familiarize themselves with these.

    1. You feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for your sharing your experiences. The list could go on longer, but I just wanted to point the main things out. I can tell you have a lot of experience as a coach.

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