Did you think that soccer coaching is just a matter to putting together a team of players well versed with the basics and those who win matches by following your soccer instructions implicitly? There is more to it than that!
Soccer is about creativity where the players think and find solutions to problems on their own with the knowledge they have picked up. The coach’s part is to ensure that in addition to their soccer skills, they also develop as good individuals with team spirit.
- The ‘Goal’ Is Not Just The Goal On The Field
Soccer coaching does not focus on winning all the time. The main ‘goal’ is to make your players independent enough to be able to make the right decisions on the field, enjoying themselves as they do so.
So what does it really take to be a great soccer coach? It takes someone who has the right personality with a lot of patience with the players, respect for the team with plenty of kindness thrown in if dealing with the very young ones.
An effective coach must be proficient in the skills and in the strategy of the game, with the versatility to think on his feet as he supports his players. If he has no hands on experience, there cannot be passion in his teaching.
The coach’s aim must be to develop individual soccer skills when he puts together practice games. This will involve skills related to ball control and soccer moves, and teaching when each technique will be appropriate.
- Achieving The ‘Goal’
One of the best ways to coach players is to set up practice games. There is no better learning environment than that. An overdose of lectures or lineups and laps will never achieve what a single planned game can! Expert coaches organize a game, and then let the players go to it with the skills they have learnt.
Then they observe individual players; note their plus points so that they can praise them for it. Areas for improvement are discussed with them personally. A good coach never pulls up a player in front of the others, nor does he comment during the game, unless unavoidable.
It is a good idea to keep the parents informed of what your expectations are, as a coach and what they can expect in turn. Finally, soccer coaching is a continuous process. Realistic goals are a part of this process and must be set with age group in mind depending on what skills are appropriate.