Tips for the New Soccer Coach

Chris Johnson 96,563 Views

New soccer coach tips to make your first-time soccer coach experience a pleasant one for the players, parents, and most of all you.

Soccer Drill Diagram: Tips for the New Soccer Coach

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New soccer coach tips to make your first-time soccer coach experience a pleasant one for the players, parents, and most of all you.

Some coaches are skeptical when they are asked to coach their child’s soccer team. The fear lies in the unknown. Some important tips will make your first time as a soccer coach a pleasant one for players, parents, and most of all you.

  1. Have FUN! Have a good time and make it FUN for the players. A coach’s interaction with the players should always be positive and the more the coach engages with the kids, the more they will respond.
  2. Be FAIR. Being fair is very important too. It’s a coach’s job to make sure each player has equal playing time, make sure players play each position, and include everyone.
  3. Be POSITIVE. Being positive includes every interaction with players, parents, officials, and other coaches. Set a standard of positivity at the beginning of the year so that your parents and players are on the same page and aligned with your expectations.
  4. Ask for Parent Involvement. At the beginning of the year, ask for parent assistance during practice. More parent involvement will help parents engage with their child’s play and reduce the player/coach ratio. The parent involvement is especially helpful in younger players. For young players, try to keep the ratio about 4 kids to each coach. As the kids get older, the ratio can grow as much as 8 kids for each coach. This ratio will depend greatly on your kid’s age and skill level.
  5. Focus on TEAMWORK. As a coach, you often will have one or two star players on your team. It is important to grow these players and make them even stronger players; however, it is important to focus on teamwork to get the work done.
  6. Set GROUND RULES. Before the season starts, meet with the team and parents and establish the ground rules. You will want to cover things such as:
    sideline behavior – make sure they know they are welcome to cheer, but it is up to the coach and the assistant to do the coaching;
    arrival time expectations - have players arrive to practice and games on time;
    notification expectations - notify the coach if absent or late to game or practice;
    gametime expectations - players are to sit with the team while not in the game and not in mommy’s lap;
  7. Know what to practice. As a new coach, it is tough to develop games appropriate drills for that level of player. Make sure you check out the soccer drills section of this site to get fun ideas for your player level. Make sure you are playing small-sided games with younger kids that will focus on game-like situations. Make sure you prepare properly and have everything you need to coach soccer. Also, check out the SoccerXpert tip on Making a soccer Lesson Plan.
  8. Take Coaching Courses. Many associations will offer coaching education. I encourage you to spend the extra time to become educated and seek help from experienced coaches.

In closing, I simply encourage you to accept the coaching position if you are given the opportunity. It might seem scary at first, but there are many resources in which you can learn to become an effective coach. It does take some practice, so don’t expect to be perfect your first go-round. Every season will be a learning experience and make sure you learn from your mistakes.



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