With a lot of diversity in sports, soccer coaches sometimes have to deal with a lot of different types of players. Personalities vary from person to person. But the biggest and most substantial difference that can affect coaching is whether you are coaching boys or girls.
When observed as a group, boys and girls react to different stimuli. The job of a coach is to know how each group should be mentored and motivated. Sometimes similar approaches can be applied, but boys and girls are mostly a far cry away from each other.
Here are some tips on how soccer coaches should work with either group:
Coaching Boys Soccer
- Energetic motivational techniques work wonders with this specific group since they enjoy hyped-up situations and thrive under them.
- The coach should focus on the individuals rather than the team. Each player longs for personal attention.
- Encouragement is not always expected but should be implied.
- Though each player needs attention coming their way, the coach has to represent a competent authority to the players. Therefore, a more distance relationship between the coach and players is needed.
- Physically, boys can endure more. They can cope with longer and more intense training sessions so the coach shouldn’t hold back from adding a few more drills into daily training session.
Coaching Girls Soccer
- A people oriented and democratic approach is appropriate when coaching girls.
- The coach should regularly keep an eye on the relationships among players to avoid chaos.
- Encouraging words from the coach are a necessity.
- Girls might need more guidelines, which is why frequent interaction between coach and players is mandatory.
- Specifically designed shorter training sessions.
Players expect feedback from their coach. Sometimes, this duty can be a Herculean task since your words have to be chosen wisely when talking to children. The “Sandwich Approach” might be the best a coach can use.
Coaching Sandwich Approach
The “sandwich approach” is a negative feedback giving method where your opening comment is always positive. This is being done to teach the co-speaker what he or she is doing wrong in order to better the matter in the future. The trick in the sandwich approach lies in the positive comments which introduce the negative feedback.
“You’re getting better day by day. However, you are still a bit behind your peers” and the like sentences recreate the sandwich approach.
For older ages, this gimmick should be avoided since adults might see through your ploy. But younger children can get highly motivated by such feedback. Why? Because the positive comment will tangle their attention, they will be hyped because of your praise and it will make them listen to the whole story. The coach should use this and slowly introduce him/her/them with the “problem”.
You can use this pattern when “sandwiching”:
Reinforce→ Challenge→ Reinforce
Positive→ Negative→ Positive
In 9 out of 10 situations, after being “sandwiched”, children think things like “The coach said that I am getting better at this. Now what’s left to do is become better than my peers!”. At last, this is the level of determination you want to see from your players.
A coach should hone the skills of his players with every new training session. In order to do this accordingly, coaches must keep in mind the most important components of a soccer practice session:
11. Small Sided Games