When Should You Yell at Your Soccer Team

Jose Mourinho rarely yells at his teams - (Photo: Article.wn.com)

Coaches have one of the most difficult jobs in all of sports.  They feel as though they are part of the team, though they perform none of the actual game.  That task is left for the players and as such, coaches often become extremely frustrated when their soccer teams fail to produce on the field.  As a coach, many times people yell at their team to try and instill some fire, but the effects can often be detrimental to players.  So when is the right moment to scold your players and when should you probably back off?

A big issue with yelling at youth soccer players is their age.  I feel that it is wrong to yell at any player under the age of ten, especially in recreational leagues.  These fledgling soccer players are just getting their feet wet in the game and need all the support they can get.  There will be errors and mistakes throughout the games, but do realize that youth soccer is mainly for fun and exercise so there’s no reason to get your face boiling red with rage at the expense of young children.

As players age, they can often do with some yelling.  This is more acceptable when soccer players enter more competitive leagues with school teams or challenge and classic soccer leagues.  Here, players take the game seriously and as such, they can be reprimanded for making errors that cost a team the game.

One thing to point out is that yelling works better at young ages when it is directed at the whole team, even if one player’s mistake cost the team a game.  If a player is singled out for abuse, he or she will take it very personally and feel alienated from their teammates.  When scolded as a collective unit, everyone on the team will feel responsible and will actually feel closer together than before.  Likewise, it shows them that you win as a team and that you lose as a team, which is a good message to set forth to your players.

A coach also needs to pick the right moments to yell at their soccer team.  Mistakes happen, and players typically already feel badly about them, so reprimanding them will simply rub it in and make them feel worse.  It is better to have more calm discussions over these topics.  The one situation that yelling is important is when you suspect a lack of effort from your players.  If the game is slipping away at 2-0, and your players give up midway through the second half and end up losing 6-0, they could probably use a wake-up call and it is the coach’s responsibility to provide that.

This is a tough subject, because if you want to actually get your point across, you should only yell at your team on rare occasions.  No one likes the mean coach who is constantly screaming at his or her players.  If this is the norm for your soccer team, the players will eventually hate you.  Therefore, save such moments for useful times and refrain from getting hoarse each week as your players fail to live up to your expectations.  Soccer is supposed to be fun, and although it is never fun to lose, yelling should be kept at a minimum regardless of the talent level of your team.


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