Soccer coaching is an extremely rewarding and fun experience
for anyone who has had any involvement in soccer before. Even
if a coach is new to the sport and simply helping out a local
team, the fast-paced game, team camaraderie, and ability to
help develop young people is a draw for many coaches to keep
at it. So how does a coach who has no experience coaching
kids soccer get started? Follow these simple tips to get
your bearings and get started!
Know the Game
Soccer coaching requires the
coach to understand the basics of the game. Depending on the
age and playing level of the athletes, new coaches may not
need to learn everything right away. They can study the basics
by reading manuals on the rules, basics of the game, and penalties.
Then, coaches can watch other games, either local or televised,
to get a feel for the rhythm of the game.
To get general tips on coaching, new coaches
should consider resources like the American
Coaching Academy, which provides training and certification
in youth sports coaching. Sites like this prepare a new coach
to take part in any sport and build the fundamental skills
needed in dealing with youth in a sports environment.
28 Fundamental Drills for Developing a Top-Notch Soccer
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Coach Soccer with Confidence
If young athletes think their coach does not
know what he or she is talking about, they will quickly lose
interest. To maintain control of athletes at all times, coaches
need to project an image of confidence and competence. Even
if the new coach feels in over their head, it is important
not to show that to athletes or parents.
To help fake confidence until the coach feels
secure in the sport, they should always be prepared with an
answer. Even if the answer is nothing more than, “We’re
going to discuss that in a few minutes. Can you rejoin your
group for now?” coaches are able to maintain control
of the situation and buy enough time to devise a proper response
to the question.
Because soccer fields usually do not come equipped
with many amenities, coaches should be prepared with everything
they will need for practice. This includes soccer balls, protective
equipment, fluids for hydration, first aid supplies, and cell
phones or other communication devices.
It is up to the coach and the league to decide
who is responsible for protective equipment and bringing fluid
for the team; some leagues like to let athletes take responsibility
for their own gear and for bringing enough water. Regardless
of the league’s determination, coaches should always
have additional supplies on hand, especially if the team is
of a young age and apt to forget.
Final Thoughts of Soccer Coaching
Soccer coaching is a demanding but rewarding
experience. New coaches can find resources to help them learn
the game and the basics of coaching online (like on this website!),
in a local library, or even on television by watching games.
Coaches should work on projecting confidence as they get “up
to speed” on the sport so as to maintain control of
the team. Finally, new coaches should always come prepared
with everything a team will need during practice, since soccer
fields often do not have many amenities.
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