Whether you have recently volunteered to coach youth soccer to spend time with your kids or because your child’s team desperately needs a coach you must understand that you have taken on a large task and you have plenty of work to do behind the scenes to ensure the perfect season. You have just taken on the job of teaching young kids the most popular sport in the world.
Since many youth soccer coaches have never coached or played soccer you have some homework ahead of you to fulfill your responsibilities of this task. As a new soccer coach, you must get a handle on the basics such as rules, terminology and the strategies of youth soccer.
Your homework as a coach starts by finding out the specific special rules that your league operates under. These rules typically vary depending on the experience level and age of the players. Things such as ball size, field size, goal size, number of players, and whether you play with a goalkeeper or not will need to be established before getting started. Contact your youth age coordinator to find the specifics on how your league operates.
Next, get a rule book and learn the rules of the game. If your age level plays with the offside’s rule, make sure to pay close attention to this rule. Offside’s is the most controversial rule of soccer and knowing the rule is very important. In addition, you should focus on rules such as indirect or direct kick, throw-ins, corner kicks and goal-kicks. You can visit Fifa.com's laws of the game.
Learn soccer specific terminology and teach this to your players. You are obviously taking the right step since you are reading this online. Many sites can be found on the Internet by doing a Google Search for “Soccer Definitions”.
Lastly make sure you read articles, tips, books and watch instructional videos and pick up on strategies for your age group. Often times area soccer associations put on coaching clinics for all skill level of coaches which can give you a big jump start on the season. Also, check with your local library to see if they have any soccer videos that you can check out to better your knowledge of the game.
Good luck coaches and remember… do your homework!