Exercise and Health

How to Coach Youth Soccer?

We are a sports-oriented society and it’s only natural that children will get interested in the same sports their parents love to watch. Whether it’s baseball, football, basketball, soccer, swimming, ice hockey or any other, many kids enjoy organized sports. A coach has a huge responsibility to make sure that this experience is a positive one. Introducing young athletes to the concept of winning at all costs, getting in their face after mistakes or allowing such behavior from well-meaning but ignorant parents can ruin the experience.

  1. Form a team or join a team already created. It usually helps if you know at least one player on the team and can make a connection. Also, this allows for the league to see you are not a random person, but have a vested interest in the team.
  2. Gain the support of the parents. If the parents do not like you, you will get nowhere with the team.
  3. Gain the support of the team. Try and bond with the kids; in this stage of their life they need more of a friend/mentor to spark their interest in the sport instead of a dictator to drill them and potentially ruin the sport for them.
  4. Remember soccer is about fun. In any youth sporting activity, fun is the number one priority of the kids participating.
  5. Plan ahead. If the kids are bored because you do not have a plan at practices it will be a waste of your time and more importantly their parents’ time.
  6. Bring all the equipment you think the team might need, do not rely on the kids or parents to bring it. And always have extras.
  7. Give parents and those involved advanced warning of all practices and games. Do not spring a practice on the parents with little to no warning.
  8. Make drills and practices fun and eventful. Making a drill should be like a game with positive reinforcement for players who play well
  9. Make sure every player participates. Do not alienate a player with lesser skills by not playing them in the games. Everyone has a skill find that and find a way to put that skill into your game plan.
  10. Have a game plan for the games, including: a set meeting time (Allow for the potential of late players), a set warm-up and a strategy. There kids plan on some o them not making it and plan around that,just one more reason not to have one “star player/go to guy”.
  11. Start the players that show up on time. Do not replace a kid with your star because they finally showed up.
  12. Do not harp on players when they make mistakes. If a player messes up in a game, do not yell at them, but instead tell them how they could improve without being condescending or mean.
  13. Make comments on what went well at the end of the game.
  14. Do not harp on losses. Losses happen and let your team know, the important part is if they played well and had fun, not the score at the end of the game. I you lose you have something to work on if you win you have something to work on don’t think that winning is a big deal.deal with wins the same way you deal with loses,by not talking about them forever.
  15. Reward the players at the end of the season with a trophy or pizza party for the hard work put into a successful season.

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