Soccer Coaching Skills - Top 5 Skills for Soccer Coaches
While every soccer coach has a different style, there are certain skills and characteristics that they must have in common. In this article I will take a look at 5 key skills that every soccer coach must possess.
Coaches should be organized
Being an effective soccer coach requires a great deal of organization. Some clubs have team managers that handle scheduling games, referees and fields. In other organizations, all of this responsibility falls on the soccer coach. As many coaches have full-time jobs, being able to juggle their careers on and off the pitch is key.
As a coach, you need to be on time to your practices and have everything ready to go when your players arrive. A sloppy coach results in a sloppy team.
Coaches should be good communicators
It's unavoidable, you will have to deal with the parents of the players. You can prevent a great number of problems before they happen by establishing an early line of communication with your parents. Make sure they have your email address and cell phone number so that you can be contacted.
It is also important that you have contact information for every player's parents as well in case you need to address them outside of the field. I recommend creating some clear boundaries as to when you are willing to talk with the parents. They should respect your time and not hold you up every night after practice.
I also recommend a 24-hour cooling off period for parents before they can confront you after games. Letting cooler heads prevail can prevent hurt feelings and communication breakdowns.
Obviously, you have to be a skilled communicator with your players both in training and game situations. The good news is this is usually much easy than dealing with the parents.
Coaches should be a student of the game
No coach knows everything about every single aspect of soccer. However, the best coaches are constantly striving to learn more. They read books, watch coaching videos, attend seminars and talk with other coaches. Hopefully if you have coached for a long period of time you have a love for the game. If you are a new to soccer, it is my hope that you grow a passion for the beautiful game.
Either way, it is critical that you are always working to improve you coaching skills and knowledge.
Coaches should be good planners
This soccer coaching skill goes hand and hand with organization. Coaches should arrive to practice with a definite plan in mind. In addition, coaches should have an overall goal for the team. Each and every soccer practice should be building towards that goal.
If your main goal for the team is that they become fundamentally sound, then you should plan technical work in each session. If you want your players to know how to possess the ball for prolonged periods of time, then possession drills should make up the bulk of your practices. Players will need many repetitions in order to learn a new skill; one practice session isn't going to cement a concept in place.
Coaches should be able to teach technique
This is a tricky coaching skill for some as not every coach is a former player. If you are unable to demonstrate proper technique to your players, it is critical that you find someone to help you that can.
Kids learn a great deal by modelling what they see. You don't want them to pick up bad technique or habits from seeing improper demonstration.
Try to find an older player in the club or another coach to assist you with these demonstrations. Begin working on your own to improve your skills with the ball so that you can handle this in the future.
The ability to demonstrate proper technique is one of the most important soccer coaching skills that you can develop.
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To learn more about the tools you need to become a better soccer coach, visit my soccer coaching skills blog.
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