Coaching soccer can be fun and fulfilling but it can also be a ton of work especially if it is your first time. Whether you’re coaching for recreation or competitively, the same amount of dedication and commitment should be put into your work. If you’re a beginner coach, here are some tips and things you should do to be an effective soccer coach.
Understand the Basics
First and foremost is understand the basics of the game. Learn about the basic rules, equipment, positions, and skills. You can do this by reading books and manuals, watching games on TV and online, and going to actual soccer games. You can also learn by volunteering to assist a coach in his practice and matches. There are also several videos online where you can learn step-by-step guides about soccer drills and practices.
Learn the Basic Skills
Second, learn the basic skills yourself. You can not be an effective soccer coach unless you can demonstrate the drills yourself. Soccer coaching drills are better understood when they are executed in person. When you watch instructional videos, try them out yourself. Or better yet, ask a coach or a soccer player to help you learn the skills. Try to play small sided games as well. The best soccer coach is one who can actually relate to his players. It will help you develop better perspective and empathy.
Be Physically Fit
Third, be physically fit. When you implement your drills, you will actually be demonstrating and giving instructions on the field. You won’t be able to do this if you’re physically weak. So have your own fitness training. Do some running, jogging, and strength training.
Know Your Team
Fourth, know your team’s “soccer age” well. If you’re coaching an U-11 youth team, learn the rules and your player’s capacities. You can’t expect a 9 year old to execute a bicycle kick on your first day. So it’s best to get to know the abilities of your age group. You should also get to know each player’s ability, as this will help you create practice plans and training programs that will fit the deficiencies and strength of your team.
And lastly, create relationships with your players’ parents. Supportive parents are one of the key components to an effective player and successful team. Coordinate with them during practices and matches. Encourage them to supplement their children’s training by having individual practices at home. Some of them can even volunteer their services during games like transportation and taking charge of first aid needs and food and water.