Coaching Soccer For Dummies
Coaching soccer should be safe and fun for you and your players, so start by getting familiar with the layout of the soccer field. As a soccer coach your players will look to you for guidance so use some helpful tips to teach and motivate them. Create a pregame routine to check the field and prepare your soccer players for the game and deliver a strong pregame speech to inspire your team.
The Soccer Field of Play
Although the size of a soccer field can vary, sometimes even from community to community, the markings remain pretty much the same. Get to know these playing field features:
How a Soccer Coach Supports the Players
As a soccer coach, your players count on you during the season for guidance and support. The following are some ways to help your kids through the soccer season:
Be specific with your praise
Stop practices to point out when a player does something well rather than when they make a mistake
While providing feedback, use the sandwich method by placing a critical remark between two encouraging comments
Pile on the praise for kids giving their best and displaying good sportsmanship
Provide constant positive reinforcement — it’s the key to improvement
Focus on fun and safety instead of wins and losses
Be passionate and enthusiastic and it carries over to your players
Have reasonable expectations and set attainable goals for the kids
Remember that kids making mistakes is all part of the learning process
The Soccer Pregame Talk
What you say and how you say it when delivering the pre-game speech is a big motivator for your soccer players. Try these coaching tips when talking to the kids before the soccer game to prepare them for competition:
Speak in a calm and relaxed manner.
Conduct the talk away from any distractions.
Stress the importance of having fun and displaying good sportsmanship at all times during the game.
Stay away from overused clichés; speak from the heart to get your point across.
Avoid pressure phrases like Let’s score five goals today. Kids can give you their best effort, but they can’t control the outcome of games.
Be enthusiastic with your tone of voice and body language. The kids will be more responsive.
The Pregame Routine for Soccer Coaches
Get your day of coaching soccer off to a good start by establishing a pregame routine. Go through the following tips so your players have a safe and fun-filled time on and off the soccer field.
Inspect the field for loose rocks, broken glass, raised sprinkler heads, or anything else that could injure a child.
Verify that all the kids brought the proper equipment.
Have the kids warm up. Keep the drills light, cover all the muscle groups that will be used in the game, and involve a large number of soccer skills to properly prepare kids for the game.
Give the kids a water break before the game begins.
Provide encouraging words and a pat on the back to boost kids’ confidence and enhance self-esteem.