November 25, 2009
Facts Every Coach Must Know by Andre Botelho
Coaching Youth Soccer can be exciting and fun but there are important aspects every coach needs to take into consideration. Here’s a list of some of these important guidelines that can help you in many different ways:
1. Don’t make speeches. This is particulary important if you coach young players and have the habit of making long lectures during your training sessions. No matter how old your players are, be short and sweet in whatever you have to say to them.
2. Don’t complicate things. If you’re demonstrating an exercise, try to break it down to its basics. Complicated things never work and this is not different. I can bet your players will lose their interest in the practice sessions if you try to give them over complicated exercises with lots of instructions.
3. Don’t be a ball boy- it’s not the coach’s job to run after runaway balls during soccer practice. Doing that can dangerously unbalance the player-coach equation. If a player shoots a ball out of bounds, make them go get it.
4. Do you have kids helping with getting the balls? If that’s the case, don’t let them join the training session. This simply signals a laxity in discipline- ball boys are just there to get the ball. If they ask to be part of the practice session, make them know that they can’t do both.
5. Never, ever criticize the player. If a player misses a shot or fumbles, don’t blame them. Point out the flaws in their technique or skill and do that calmly. Screaming at a player for being ’stupid’ is a great way to make them want to leave your team.
6. While Coaching Youth Soccer, explain it clearly and as briefly as possible. After that it’s time to show the kids how it’s done. They will understand it if you do it properly. Conversely, don’t try and demonstrate something that you can’t do.
7. Health and safety should always be foremost in a coach’s mind. This means making sure that the ground and the equipment are in good shape before your soccer training session starts. Remember that if a kid sprains his ankle because the ground was slippery, then it’s technically your fault.
8. Don’t leave the parents out in the dark. It’s important that you interact with your player’s parents in a way that they feel integrated and well informed of what it’s happening. Always remember that your player’s parents can be your best ally.
Check back next week for more great tips on Youth Soccer.