You Raised Your Hand to Coach Soccer…Now What? [Guide]
As the intensity of the Women’s World Cup fades and the relief of the NFL lockout behind us, Labor Day continues to hurtle forward like a speeding bullet. Why is Labor Day important? For the nearly nineteen million soccer players who play around the United States, almost all of them will take the field in the next month. This means players are signing up, teams are forming and clubs are scrambling. Parents, as they do every season, are raising their hands across the country and saying:
“Yes, I’ll coach soccer.”
Then, the panic sets in as coaches think, “Great, now what?”
With our partners at Soccer Classroom, we have compiled this guide to coaching soccer. Whether you have a soccer background or not, coaching soccer can be a daunting task. While most coaches rush to focus on the “X’s and O’s” of soccer, this isn’t the most productive start to your season.
A Pinch of Preparation = Setting Up for Success
Before you even take the field, you have to set your season up for success. And, that means you have to do a little bit of work on the front end. But, trust us, as experienced coaches, we’ll tell you it is worth every second of your time. If you think you’re going to show up to the field and just “wing it” based around your soccer background, we can assure you that you’re probably going to have a memorable season – for all the wrong reasons.
This guide will outline all the things you need to do before you step on the field. We promise that the articles and videos are worth your time and will set your season up for success! And, in the ole “ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”…yeah. It works. Even if you are an experienced soccer coach, this guide will challenge your mindset and make you a better coach.
Let’s start with understanding the basis of the five components of soccer. It will give you a solid foundation for your soccer season and coaching career. It is critical that you understand the building blocks of soccer. Take a minute to read: Soccer Coaching Made Dead Simple: The CoachingSphere.
What type of soccer coach do you want to be on the field? Well, unless we define our mentality, how can we possibly live up to that standard – and the expectations of those around us? Developing a coaching philosophy sets the foundation of how you think about the game, your players and all the actions you’ll take as a coach. It really helps define the experience you are about to create.
While we can take you through developing a soccer coaching philosophy, it’s critical that you have a perspective. Here are some of our favorite articles that will help you think about the coaching philosophy you’re about to develop:
- Traits of a Memorable Soccer Coach
- Sporting Behavior or Soccer Insanity?
- Coaching Advice from John Wooden [Video]
- My Bonehead Coaching Mistake (and how it changed my life)
- Soccer Coaching: The Right Mindset
Once you have your philosophy about coaching soccer set in your mind, you have to share it. One of the biggest mistakes that coaches make is not holding a Pre-Season meeting. This is a big, fat, huge mistake. Instead of being able to explain what you’re trying to accomplish with the team once in a meeting, you’ll have the “pleasure” of explaining it again and again and again as different situations arise. Hold a team meeting. Got it?
As you’re prepping for your team meeting, you need to think about the parents of your players. We like to use humor a lot, so here are some articles to think about the relationship you’re going to cultivate with your soccer parents. We even recommend sharing some of the tongue in cheek articles with them. Also, depending on your league, you may need to organize buying your own soccer uniforms and field equipment. Now is the time to discuss this purchase.
- Parents: Gifts from God or the Soccer Devil?
- Smart Sounding Soccer Sayings for Parents
- Top Ten Spectacular Ways To Make Kids Quit Soccer – Satire
- Eleven Sure Fire Tips on Securing your Place in the Soccer Parent’s Hall of Fame
- How to Evaluate Soccer Uniforms & Suppliers
Before you even step foot on the soccer field, you need to know how to run a successful soccer pratice. What should you work on? How can you prepare? Well, here you go:
Being prepared with a theme and soccer activities simply aren’t enough. If you really want a bang-up session, we have to plan for “other” aspects like incorporating “fun” into the session and how to correct mistakes without crushing confidence. Put all these pieces together and you’ll have a dynamite training session!
- “Three Second Feedback” Model Explodes Soccer Development
- Fun: The Magic of Every Great Soccer Team
- The Secret Behind Explosive Soccer Player Development
Okay, Now Soccer Skills
Once you have your mind wrapped around the challenge and understand the make-up of your team, start digging in on the soccer skills side. Quite honestly, this is probably the “easiest” part of coaching soccer – especially at the younger ages. If you’re mindset is strong and you know where you want to go and the methods you’re going to use to get there, the ability to have fun and turn the kids onto the game so they develop will be a breeze.
If you haven’t done so already, we’d also recommend that you sign-up to grab Soccer Classroom’s free coaching book. It’s worth it!
Great luck this season! Let us know how we can help you more with your soccer coaching development!