Soccer coaching for a group of children calls for pedagogic skills. Some tips and rules have to be followed to achieve cohesion in your roster. With the satisfaction of your students, contentment of parents is imminent. This all adds to the success formula in soccer coaching:
The overall pleasure of all parties involved (coach + players + parents) equals a great soccer team.
The following soccer coaching tips should serve as a good starting point:
1. HAVE FUN! Participating in sports is about fun and having a good time. Players, especially in young age, will need this stimulus to gain confidence and good work ethic in sports. Try to have fun and joy during the game, the coach’s interaction with the players should always be positive. The better the communication with the kids, the more they will respond.
2. BE JUST AND FAIR. Fairness is very important too. No child wants to feel neglected by the group, nor the coach. It is, therefore, a coach’s job to make sure each player has equal playing time. Make sure that rotations in the squad happen on regular basis and that players get to play each position. Include everyone!
3. APPLY YOUR POSITIVE ATTITUDE. Being positive includes frequent interaction with players, parents, officials, and other soccer coaches. The best way is to set this standard at the beginning of the season so that the coach, his players, and their parents are all on the same page.
4. ASK FOR PARENT INVOLVEMENT. No soccer coach in the world is alone in his mission to mentor kids. You shouldn’t be an exception. At the beginning of the training year, the coach has to ask parents for assistance during practice. This will involve parents with their child’s game and help you mitigate the player/coach ratio. This is vital with younger players. For younger age groups, try to keep the ratio about four kids to each coach (training according to player’s position). As the kids grow older, the ratio can increase as much as eight kids per coach. This ratio will depend mostly on the age and skill of your kids.
5. PROMOTE TEAMWORK. Every team will have its star player(s). You, as a soccer coach, will have the duty to help such players improve on a daily basis. However, it is crucial not to forget that soccer is a team sport. The coach and his star players will have to focus on teamwork to get the work done.
6. GROUND RULES IMPLEMENTATION. Before any soccer season starts, you, the team and parents must meet and establish some ground rules. The “Table of Rules” should cover things like:
sideline behavior – make sure that parents know they are welcome to cheer, but that is all. Because it is up to the coach and his assistants to do the coaching;
punctuality is compulsory – arriving at practice and games on time is a must;
when there is something that could hinder your kid’s arrival at practice or on match day, it is important to notify the coach;
when not in the game, players have to sit still in the dugout;
7. KNOW WHAT TO PRACTICE. Being a new soccer coach comes with the hardships of creating tactics and practice methods that are appropriate for junior level of players. Make sure you are playing small-sided games with younger kids who will focus on game-like situations. Also, make sure you prepare accordingly and have everything you need to coach soccer.
Now, after reading these integral soccer coaching tips, it is highly time to implement them!