The Importance of Getting to Soccer Practice on Time

There's nothing fashionable about being late! - (Photo:

Youth soccer is often not taken all too seriously by parents who just want their kids to run around and get some exercise.  As a coach, with practices generally just an hour long, frustrations can mount if players arrive half an hour late to practice.  Not only does the child miss half of the entire session, but the late arriver can disrupt the overall flow of a solid soccer practice.  Here are some reasons why you will need to stress the importance of getting to soccer practice on time with your team.

Being late shows that you don’t really care.  People who arrive late to meetings or events typically do so because it matters little to them.  This can be very detrimental to the child, especially if they do really care about soccer.  Therefore, have parents know that arriving to soccer practice on time is mandatory and also enables their kids to get the most out of being on the soccer team.

Stretching and warm-ups are absolutely crucial aspects of soccer practice.  Players need to get their muscles loose and limber to be prepared for running around, and when a player arrives late they often miss out on this vital action.  In the haste to join in the drill, a player will just quickly go through the stretches or sometimes just forget them entirely.  This can lead to a multitude of problems and puts them at a high risk of injury.  That is the absolute last thing that any coach or parent wants for the young soccer players, so be sure to make a point of this when talking to parents of the kids.

Another issue is simply the cost of missing valuable practice time.  Most teams play for just a few hours a week, and when a player misses time at practice it greatly limits their development.  Games are great ways to gain experience, but for a youngster practice is actually more beneficial to learning skills because there is more on-the-ball time.  This is where players learn the skills to use in a game.  If they miss a practice, they will not have learned anything new for the next match and they will make the same mistakes again.

When you arrive late to practice you also hamper the team and their goals.  Coaches have plans in mind for practices that often reflect particular skills and things that they feel the players ought to work on.  When a player misses this time, they miss out on something important to work on and that can greatly hinder their growth as soccer players.

Therefore, be sure to let the parents of your soccer team know how important arriving on time is for the team and the players.  Have a talk with each parent before the season and let them know this.  Also, if a player is routinely late for soccer practice, you need to discuss this with parents because it is detrimental.  Perhaps they can arrange a carpool with a player that lives nearby or just need to get moving quickly.  Occasionally people are late, but only if it becomes a habit does it become a serious problem.


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