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Thank you for being a coach!

We Remember:
  • 10% of what we read
  • 20% of what we hear
  • 30% of what we see
  • 50% of what we see and hear
  • 70% of what is discussed
  • 80% of what we experience personally
  • 95% of what we teach someone else

Accept the challenge of coaching as one where you will many times learn more than the players and that you all will have fun in the process.

After all of your practices review how the session went:
  • Are the activities fun?
  • Are the activities organized?
  • Are the players involved in the activities?
  • Is creativity and decision making being used
  • Are the spaces used appropriate?
  • Is the coach’s feedback appropriate?
  • Are there implications for the game?

Consider another general rule of coaching that I like.  There are 4 components to a training session (1) Technical (2) Tactical (3) Physical and (4) Psychological.  You should always have 3 of the 4 components for a training activity.

Team discipline is important to a successful season, here are a few ideas.

Plan the Practice

Always plan what topic you want to cover at the practice and document it for review prior to practice.  Based on the topic or topics chosen, progress from a related warm-up to a match condition (game-like) drill where you can reinforce why it is important that the player learns the skill.

Be Prepared

SHOW UP EARLY and layout your practice space. Have your game bag ready with properly inflated balls, training vests, cones or discs and a first aid kit. Have your practice plan on a small “cheat sheet” that you can keep in your pocket for reference. If you need to distribute schedules or other handouts, have them ready as well.

Choose Activities Carefully

Progression is important, so pick a topic and start simple. Activities should be fun and NOT involve the players standing in line.  Topic related warm-ups such as fun games can reinforce the idea that soccer is a game of time, space and touches on the ball.

Understand Yourself before You Try and Teach It

Go through the drill or activities in your head.  Document the key coaching points that you want to get across and reinforce them during the activity. If you don’t understand the topic, don’t try and teach it.  If the drill is a bomb, get out of it and move on.  We have all been there!

Keep the emphasis on technical topics (skills) and keep tactics to a basic level. 

Have a Clear Picture of Appropriate Behavior

Deal with bad behavior immediately and don’t let it grow into a bigger problem. Remove problem players from the activity don’t use punitive measures like laps or push ups as punishment.  Try and determine if the problem at hand is youthful irresponsibility or gross defiance.  Kids will be kids so don’t dwell on the petty disagreements that can spill over from school.

Involve the Parents

Getting parental buy in is important from the start and is especially important if there is a discipline issue.  Use parents to help collect equipment after practice, arrange game day refreshments or a phone tree.

You are the Role Model

Enjoy the fact that you are coaching and it will show.  Your players are watching you and they can tell that you like coaching and they will respond favorably.  Be polite and behave properly, and there is a good chance that your players will too.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Think about what you would like to see in a practice at their age.  As the USSF suggests:  No Laps, No Lines and No Lectures. Kids just want to play so enjoyable activities and always end in a (small sided) game.


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