Anyone can coach youth soccer. But to be a good coach, you must have certain qualities. Here are ten qualities of a good youth soccer coach.
Coaching youth soccer requires patience. Even though any child can start playing soccer right away, it takes time to learn how to play it well. Your players will not become superstars overnight. Also remember that you are dealing with children. This is why patience is so important.
A good soccer coach is trained and knowledgeable in the sport. They understand the game and know how to teach it. Most states offer courses to earn coaching licenses. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) is an organization that offers training for youth soccer coaches.
It is important to be an organized coach. For example, a clear agenda will help you run an effective practice. Otherwise, your practices could be more like a free-for-all. That would be a lot of wasted time.
7. Calm, Cool and Collected
As the coach, you are the head of the team. Your players and parents will follow your lead. This is why you must always stay calm. Yelling at referees, players or parents will only show that you approve of such behavior. Be an example for your team and stay calm.
Remember that you are coaching for the children. They are the reason why you coach. Put aside your own goals and agendas. You are here for them.
Build a routine and be consistent. This is how you can convey your expectations to the team. If you expect all players to be at games 30 minutes prior to start, hold them to it. If you forbid parents from yelling at referees during games, address them when they get out of line. Stay consistent and your team will run smoothly.
Be as fair as possible in everything you do. For example, let players know that you believe in fair competition for playing time. That will make them work harder in practices and games. If you are not fair, then players will stop trying or even quit.
As a youth soccer coach, you must be a strong leader. Do not let any player or parent put themselves above the team. Make your expectations clear from the beginning. Let your team know what you will and will not tolerate. If someone acts against your rules, deal with them appropriately.
Be supportive to your players. If players know that you support them, they will support you with strong effort on the field.
Always remember to keep things fun. Children want to have fun. Do not ruin the game for them. Let them enjoy soccer while they are learning it. After all, the ones that enjoy soccer end up going far in the sport.
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Edwin Torres has been coaching competitive youth soccer since 2001. He enjoys coaching, playing and watching the game of soccer. For more articles, follow him on Twitter @FlipPoker.