To coach youth soccer, the coach acts as a facilitator who works towards the development of the player, planning exercises and games which simulate the game on the soccer field. The coach strives to constantly increase the comfort level of the players with the ball so that they are well equipped to handle any situation on the field.
- Enjoying The Game
The coach must inspire young players to be creative in their approach to the game. Advance planning and soccer practice games encourage this. A set sequence must be made where the players begin with the structured warm up drills, then move on to personal skill development. This can then flow into small-sided games, rounding it off with scrimmage.
The coach can get the parents and the assistant coaches to chip in with the extra work related to administration and put each in charge of a small task.
- Making It Exciting
The 7-14 age group needs proper communication so that they can absorb what is being taught. The sessions for practice and the game techniques planned must be something that suits their developmental stage. Successful coaches even suggest giving young teams dynamic names so that they feel a sense of belonging, and the spirit to win, making them perform well.
It is also suggested that some tried and tested soccer drills that the players are comfortable with be used, rather than waste time trying to explain new ones every time. Youth players find it more exciting when they know what they need to accomplish through a practice drill.
- Writing Down Each Team’s List of Tasks
These lists provide a good sense of direction to the players on the team. After you have zero-ed in on each team’s tasks, you can keep getting the team to revisit it to assess themselves, while they are practicing and even during their breaks.
This could include things like what options the player has when he or she receives the ball, or what should be done in certain situations, how to communicate etc.
When dealing with youth players, there are certain things that must be made clear to both the players and their parents. Right at the beginning, the coach can tell them what to expect, what he expects from them in turn, and how deviations from expectations will be dealt with. To coach youth soccer, being an example for the team to look up to is very vital.