One Coach, Many Roles
Coaches must be prepared for these realities,
as it can otherwise be overwhelming. Just like parenting,
coaching can sometimes mean appeasing the athlete with a band-aid
or settling a disagreement between two best friends.
Many coaches involved in coaching youth soccer
come in unprepared to manage the team administratively. At
the beginning of the season, coaches should work with their
league managers or school athletic department to arrange for
a consistent practice location, to set the schedule for games
for the year, and to discuss any purchases required for the
The coach should be prepared to prove their
need for new equipment, uniforms, or supplies. To prove this,
coaches should have data on the age of the current items,
a reason for their inadequacy, and a suggestion for purchasing
the replacements. The coach should also have financial information
available for review and be able to back up why they chose
a certain company or type of equipment.
Administratively, the coach should also work
to ensure the safety of all athletes. This means inspecting
the practice area for dangers, informing the league administrators
or school athletic board, and fighting for the needs of their
athletes. Coaches must collect and always have available medical
information for each athlete and emergency contacts.
Coaching youth soccer can be quite time consuming,
and coaches need to remember their own personal needs and
the needs of their family and friends. Coaches should strive
to stick to the time commitment of the team and not volunteer
for additional responsibilities unless they are certain their
family will not mind. Coaches should strive to include their
family and friends in activities, inviting them to soccer
games and asking them to cheer the team on.
Most of all, coaches coaching youth soccer should
not sacrifice their personal lives for the good of the team.
If the coach has a child involved in ballet, for example,
the coach should strive to attend ballet recitals and performances
instead of miss them for soccer-related activities. This will
help the child feel involved and remind them that they are
important and loved.