Is there a “way” to coach youth soccer?
Coaching youth soccer should be very fun for you and your players. There are many things that you can learn from it, and many coaches gain their experience from this. As a coach you’ll find more often then not your players will look for you to guide them and give them the right advice. In order to coach youth players the right way you’ll need to prepare them with the right drills in training, give them the support they need when they make mistakes and make sure that they’re having fun.
- Train the right way. Since you’re training youth soccer you want to keep things simple and safe. First thing you need to do is make sure each player has the right equipment to train. They have to recognize the equipment that’s needed for them be safe and have fun. If they don’t, respectfully let their parents know what soccer equipment they need to stay safe. Secondly, you don’t want to run the kids into the ground and tire them out. Run a light, fun practice, that should last no longer than an hour. Start with a warm up that loosens up the kids, get them stretching and feeling good. Then run four to five beginner drills involving passing, dribbling and shooting. At the end let them play a small sided game as reward for working so well on all the drills.
- Give them the right support. Everybody makes mistakes, especially kids and you have to realize it’s all part of learning. So although you want to correct kids and help them with their game, focus on the positives. Whether it’s a game or a practice focus on what your players are doing well. Be specific so they know that you appreciate them. Doing this will ultimately create a better atmosphere, as a coach of youth soccer your players should feel safe and less stressed.
- Make sure they’re having fun. Nothing is worse then having a group of unhappy players. Imagine them going home after a practice or game and telling their parents that they’re not enjoying themselves. You have to be upbeat and show that you care about helping them improve. If you have positive energy when coaching youth in drills and games, then that energy will transfer over to them. Focusing on helping them improve and have fun, rather then focusing on winning or losing will provide a better experience for you and them in the long run.
Furthermore, Coaching youth soccer should always be enjoyable for both you and the players. It should be about helping them improve and helping you gain the needed experience in your coaching career.