Coaching Kids Soccer

Coaching kids soccer can be difficult, because young athletes seem to always be wandering in a different direction! How can coaches keep their athletes’ attentions and keep control of their practices? By mixing up activities and using as many senses as possible, coaches give athletes an outlet for their energy while still teaching them. By keeping lessons short and focused, they also encourage athletes to pay attention before being let loose.

Mix it Up

Coaching Kids Soccer

Coaching kids soccer requires one to be innovative and always engaging. Kids do not stay focused for long, so coaches must constantly invent new mechanisms for keeping athletes excited about participating in soccer and learning. To do this, coaches should rely on their own creativity and try to involve as many senses as possible in their activities.

For example, when teaching a new skill, coaches can explain orally the moves, involving listening and paying attention. Athletes can repeat the soccer coaching tips they've learned; this will ensure they pay close their attention. Then, athletes can touch the soccer ball and work on physically trying the new skill, using movement and the sense of touch. Together, athletes stay engaged in the lesson and the coach maintains control of the practice.

 

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Keep it Short

Coaches do not have much time with athletes before their minds will begin to wander. To stretch out this time and get more undivided attention from young athletes, coaches should work to involve athletes by asking them questions, asking them to repeat things just said, summarizing important lessons, and making the session interactive.

Because of short attention spans, coaches should keep lessons concise and very focused. By encouraging athletes to pay attention to one lesson at a time, broken up by periods of physical activity and reviews of material covered earlier in the practice, coaches lengthen the amount of serious time they have with young athletes.

Increase Interactivity When Coaching Kids Soccer

Youth today are not as able to sit and absorb information as previous generations because of the readily available media streams. They are now able to process multiple inputs at once and often get bored or restless if they are simply listening to someone talk at them. To reach young athletes on their level, consider introducing interactive components to soccer practice.

Coaches can use media in different ways during practice. If there is a facility with a computer and internet access, coaches can show athletes videos of famous soccer players in competitions or demonstrating new skills the coach has just taught. A good resource for this is youtube.com. Coaches should remember that any internet usage by young athletes needs to be heavily monitored by responsible adults to prevent athletes from wandering to inappropriate sites or accessing unapproved material.

Those coaching kids soccer can also provide written material or charts for older athletes who can read and write. Charts could contain a list of what skills have been taught, when they were first introduced, and the coach’s assessment of how well the athletes perform that skill. For written material, coaches can pass out brief instructions about skills or a one-page review of what has been taught to that point in the season.

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