Coaching youth soccer can be very satisfying but it also can be a headache. Even if you've played soccer at any level coaching is quite a different beast. In requires the tools needed to teach a class, lead a group, and entertain kids. It also requires a great deal of organization, planning, and lesson plan execution. Don't get me wrong it very fulfilling and enjoyable to give back to kids what you received as a child. What you receive from coaching when done right is very rewarding and memorable. Lets look at what makes an enjoyable experience and what makes it a not so happy experience.
The beautiful sport is very simple and player driven. If you’re a baseball or football coach this may be a bit challenging. Soccer is not coach driven. It is a sport that is not based on plays or memorized drills. Playing soccer is the best teacher you are the facilitator. A soccer coaching drill is not what you might expect it to be. On this site you will find resources to help you understand your role and help you develop soccer players. Soccer drills for kids, yes, are part of the practice plan but before you get to that point let’s focus on your role.
As a soccer coach your role is to change the environment to facilitate what you want the kids to develop or learn. Before you manipulate field sizes, games, and technical drills you first must know what your teaching and if it is age appropriate . Developing soccer players are like developing kids. They have developmental milestones dependent on age. You can’t expect a recreational 6 y/o to shoot with their left foot if they are right footed. You can’t teach a 9 y/o the Cruyf turn and expect him/her to perform it in a pressure situation before he/she can perform a cut-in or pullback.
As much as you may want to have a drill book or a systematized practice plan it will not serve the purpose. The purpose is to develop players and expose them to soccer. Winning will be an extra bonus from your hard work. A lot of coaches have winning as first purpose and development being secondary. How to play soccer milestones are key to knowing development stages.
To have a great experience coaching soccer one needs to have:
Organization, planning, patience, energy, and the know what is age appropriate.
What makes a coaching experience no fun and a burden?
doubt in what your teaching, poor organization, lack of confidence, lacking energy, and little support.
Choose your age and lets make this experience a great one.
Learn more about coaching youth soccer at SoccerMilestones.com