Coaching Kids Soccer
At some time everyone that has a child gets asked to become a soccer coach. Some people are dubious when they are asked to coach their child’s soccer team. The fear lies in nerves. Your first time as a soccer coach should be a pleasant one for players, parents, and most of all you. These are some important tips that will make the experience, if you choose to take it, enjoyable
ALWAYS BE POSITIVE :: This is essential with everyone involved, including the parents, players, the other coaches.
TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK. :: As a coach, you will often have players that stand out from the rest. Key team members. REMEMBER, it is very important to nurture these players, to push and develop their skills, while instilling teamwork, sportsmanship and camaraderie. It is also important to encourage the weaker players who can sometimes feel left out.
MAKE SURE TO GET THE PARENTS INVOLVED. :: At the start of the season, ask the attending parents if they would be willing to be involved. This reduces the player to coach ratio and more importantly encourages parent child interaction. This will help a child’s confidence grow with a few encouraging words from his father. The optimum ratio for the younger players is 1 coach to every 4 children. For the older players this ratio is 1 coach to every 8 players
BE FAIR :: As a coach, it is most important to make sure each child has equal playing time. No player favoritism. The coach needs to be the final authority during soccer practices and games. Without that sense of hierarchy, athletes will feel that they do not have to listen to instructions, follow along, or participate. By insisting that athletes treat each other and him/herself with respect, the coach asserts a healthy sense of authority and ensures that things run smoothly.
KNOW WHAT TO PRACTICE :: Have a practice plan for every session. Make it diverse, fun and challenging. Know your players and their skill level, this allows for optimizing practice routines.
TAKE COURSES :: Educate yourself. Both from other experienced coaches and coaching courses. Reading our coaching tips here at www.goalden.com is another great way for professional coaching insight
THE MOST IMPORTANT :: Have FUN and Make it FUN for the kids. Children have a tendency to give up on things easily if the FUN factor is missing.
• Make sure the players attend practice and games ON TIME
• If they are going to be late or absent, they notify the coaching staff
• Players are to sit with the other team players during the game, not with parents
• Parents of players can cheer on their team/child, but NO criticism or rude comments to Anyone are permitted under ANY circumstance
HOW TO BECOME A KIDS SOCCER COACH
1. Step 1
Visit the official website of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) to learn the regulations for your particular state (see Resources below). The website also offers links to all the recognized certifications available, from national diplomas to regional certifications to youth or high school coaching diplomas.
2. Step 2
Play the sport. Make sure you understand the rules perfectly and have hands-on knowledge of what it involves, both in and out of the field. Either join a league or make sure you watch games regularly so it becomes second nature to you.
3. Step 3
Volunteer as a Little League soccer coach. You can do so at local clubs, churches or schools. If you are under 25, you may be able to become a sports counselor at a summer camp where soccer is taught and practiced. Experience goes a long way in youth soccer and you should be able to get your certification much quicker if you can prove that you have previous knowledge of the sport.
4. Step 4
Take the official exam offered by the NSCAA or other similar organization. Depending on what type of soccer you want to coach (youth or adult) and at what level (amateur, school, professional), there are different certifications available. Most consist of a workshop (average of 50 class hours), a written examination and a practical demonstration of certain activities and planning skills.
Finally, I would encourage anyone to try and accept a kids coaching position. The enjoyment that you get when a child plays a game for the first time or scores their first goal and all their hard practice pays off, is well worth the effort.