Many people believe that if you have played Soccer, that you are instantly qualified to coach soccer. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s like saying all great actors make great directors and that all students will one day make great teachers. So the question still stands, “What makes a good Soccer Coach?”
A good Soccer Coach must be able to demonstrate and carry out the following 11 Steps.
- Must have basic knowledge of Soccer and have an appreciation for developing kids. The coach must be aware of the different physical development of boys and girls. The coach must also be able to discover the childs limitations and not push past these limits.
- Must make an effort to distinguish between different children and accomodate for all different personalities. What seems to be accepted by one person doesn’t necessarily mean it’s accepted by another.
- Must understand all the children in the team. Some children are in the team and take it very seriously while others are forced into participating by parents or are playing because all their friends are playing.
- Must realise and accept that all children are individuals and are at different levels of matrity. Be it differences in physical or emotional maturity.
- Needs to accomodate children with disabilities and be sensitive of children coming from different social, economic and racial backgrounds. At no stage are you to segregate players according to their background. Each player/ child should be treated the same to make them all feel part of the team.
- Must be skilled at teaching the basic fundamentals of soccer. Skill development is the major reason kids play soccer. As the kids abilities and skills improve, so does their enjoyment.
- Teaches young soccer players to enjoy success and to respond to failure with renewed determination.
- Has more than winning a soccer game in sight. Long term goals of helping young children develop physically, psychologically and socially should take precedence over winning a soccer match. A soccer coach dealing with young children should emphsise the important values of life in correlation with soccer.
- Emphasises improvement, competence and striving for excellence.
- Help children develop positive self-images and teach standards of conduct that are accepted and rewarded by society.
- Teaches and demonstrates conduct and values that reflect desirable values.
- Last but not least, a child should never be exposed to any forms of neglect or abuse. The soccer team should be looked upon as the child’s second family and feel the love and trust of a family atmosphere.
A successful soccer coach for kids should convey the following traits
- joy of competition
- the importance of effort
- self image and character building
- power of kindness
- wisdom of honesty
- a good influence
- rewards co-operation
- must display patience.