Soccer Coaching Should Be Rewarding, Laid Back, and Fun
One thing that is often lost for coaches in the midst of demanding wins and hard effort from their team is that they need to simply relax and enjoy the game. While you will constantly hear about how young soccer players need to be nurtured and positively enforced to get the most enjoyment out of their soccer experiences, the same can be said of the people responsible for teaching the kids.
Being the coach of a soccer team comes with a load of pressures. Not only is there one’s natural competitiveness to get results and wins from the team, but there is also a whole list of other things that can put stress on a coach. You need to maintain order around a bunch of often-rambunctious children, you have to deal with their parents, and you also have to deal with all sorts of organizational issues that encompass the team. Yes, you are in charge, but that comes with a lot of pressure to do things right.
So how can a coach possibly find time to actually enjoy themselves with so much chaos possible at every turn? It all starts with the mindset of why you are getting into coaching. If you want to make a positive impact on children’s lives by helping them embrace the sport of soccer, you will be likely to have an enjoyable time as coach. If your mindset is to use youth soccer coaching as a springboard to the English Premier League, you have absolutely the wrong attitude. This initial thought on why you want to get into youth coaching will go a long way to determining your overall satisfaction and enjoyment from the experience.
The main thing you have to do is realize that the game really boils down to the players on the field. While you will have some influence over tactical things and how much you can help your players grow over the year, pretty much everything that happens on the field is out of your control. So when something doesn’t go your way or an opponent scores, take a deep breath and simply relax. Don’t let disappointments on the field get to you.
In fact, the soccer coach is the person that the players will look up to in times of difficulty and uncertainty. If you are stressed about a 3-0 halftime deficit, you had better believe your players will feed off of that energy. If you are able to focus on the positives and help the kids relax, who knows, they might just get back in the game and potentially mount an incredible comeback. When you can relax and have fun, your players will feel it and act in a similar manner. Remember, soccer always follows a top-down philosophy, meaning that the mood of the team is encouraged in the actions and feelings of their leader, or in this case the coach.
And so whenever you take on a coaching role with a young soccer team, be sure to bring on a strong, positive attitude and make the whole experience about what you can teach to the players and help them grow. Don’t get caught up in the stress and pressures to win. Simply make the sport a fun time for both yourself and this group of kids!