Being able to coach soccer positively is essential for the morale of your team. It is crucial for all age groups but particularly when it comes to dealing with children.
Have you been to a match or practice where the parents are almost uncontrollable?
Or the coach is screaming at the top of his lungs and turning red in the face as if he were about to explode?
This approach is not the way to coach any soccer team, let alone a youth one!
It is detrimental to the child’s wish of participation, and it shows a lack of good mental health on the part of the adult. Please remember this is a game, not a war. If a child misses a pass or goal, it is not the end of the world. If they lose a game or even multiple games, that is life, it happens.
If anything, you will learn;
- What you can do better during practice.
- Be able to double-check that you have, or write a list of soccer training equipment needed to improve practice.
- To get feedback from your team to ensure you are doing the best you can as their coach.
Here are some tips to keep a cool head while soccer coaching:
- Soccer coaching can be very exciting.
Remember that while you as a coach have seen and played in many matches, it may very well be the first match for some of the children on your team.
- Express to your players that it is just a game, and if they don’t win, perhaps they will at least learn some new tactics or moves from playing other teams who are better.
It is not a disgrace to lose. It is, of course, fantastic to win, but the top two goals have to be to have fun and to learn something from the game (about your own style or skill of playing, a new way to improve on a skill or tactic, or about the mental aspect of soccer). This should be the emphasis.
- Youth soccer coachingdemands patience and compassion. If a player fumbles the pass, don’t scream at him that he’s a loser. Instead, try to support him and encourage him to keep on trying. Even if you don’t win this game, there will be plenty more in the future.
- Practice with your team in stressful conditions before game time to give them a pre-look at what it means to be in a game situation. Perhaps you can play a church team or YMCA soccer team before the first game.
This gives you and the team players a chance to see how they will react in a game setting. This also gives you, as the soccer coach, a chance to preview their abilities and to see firsthand where they need to improve on their skills.
- The soccer team will only be as good as their coach. That means don’t criticize your team and fuss loudly during the match at your players. This will only embarrass them and make them to lose their self-esteem, which is the reason most parents encourage their children to play a sport in the first place.
So be a great soccer coach. Talk to your players. Encourage them to reach their potential. Ask them where they see themselves as a team. Ask them what their fears are. Perhaps you can help them overcome these obstacles to become a great team.
Keep up the excellent work, and be positive!