Coaching soccer requires a lot more skills than a deep knowledge of the game. You are coaching the personalities of the players just as much as you are coaching the actual sport. This means you do not have to be the greatest soccer mind in the world to be a successful coach. This is especially true when dealing with youth players. These are four helpful tips for first-time soccer coaches.
Effectively Communicate with Players
Open communication is absolutely crucial when dealing with young soccer players because it is the only way you can build a strong relationship. You must be willing to listen to the questions and concerns of your players. This is the only way to get them to trust you as an authoritative figure. If you do not earn the trust and respect of your players through open communication, then they will never listen to your coaching instructions.
Involve the Parents
It is very important to involve parents when coaching a youth soccer team. The parents are trusting you with their children, so you need to have a good relationship with them. Once you gain the support of the parents, they will be willing to reiterate your coaching philosophies at home. This will make it much easier to get the players to buy into everything you are teaching them.
Stress Sportsmanship and Fair Play
The goal of every soccer coach should be to make their players better people on and off the field. Improving their soccer skills is just one small part of the job. You also need to teach them to respect the game and their opponents. There is no place for dirty tactics and excessive celebrations on the soccer field. Learning to respect everyone through victory and defeat will make your players better citizens for the rest of their life.
Make Everything Fun
While every soccer coach and player wants to be successful, winning is not everything. This is still a game, so make sure everyone is having fun throughout the entire process. Make the practices a mix of drills and fun activities to help keep things from getting too serious. You will also want to maintain the same attitude at the games whether you are winning or losing.