4 Characteristics of a Great Soccer Coach

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4 Characteristics of a Great Soccer Coach

by Amy Schweizer
CEO and Founder of Tiny Troops Soccer

coach warmups

Being a soccer coach is more than having practice plans and a cool polo shirt. Yes, those are important. Think about most of the coaches you 
may have had throughout your life. Maybe it was a coach in soccer or another sport, a dance teacher, or an art director. They had characteristics that enhanced your self-confidence and built the foundation for who you are today.
 
The thought of creating that same impact on the athletes you coach can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. The skills and experience of being a good soccer coach come with time. But, there are four characteristics that everyone can begin improving now. If you’ve never coached a sport, this is a good place to start.

WELCOMING

Soccer practice will be one of a child’s favorite things. It is a new experience, with new people and lots of commotion. Be sure to get on the child’s level, introduce yourself, and make a connection. For example, if the player has a dinosaur shirt, tell them about your favorite dinosaur (add the roar!).

PATIENCE

Whew, child, will you need some of this! It is critical to remember that your practice may very well be the first group interaction a child has EVER had (what an honor!). This means they may come to their first practice (or the whole season!) without the skills necessary to play a sport, let alone successfully participate in a group setting. It is your job to teach them how to listen to someone besides mom or dad, keep their hands to themselves, and be a part of a team. Be patient – they’ll get there!

POSITIVE ATTITUDE

child with leopard mask

I’m sure you’ve heard of the phrase “herding cats” in youth soccer. Your players are coming to you with BIG emotions, and it’s your job to give directions and encourage all with a positive attitude! Kids are very “me-centric” at this age, so they ALL want that ONE BALL. With your positive attitude, they will learn that soccer can be fun even if they don’t have the ball!

ENERGY

I’m talking Blues Clues, Blippi, or whatever super-high-energy-slightly-annoying-cartoon-character-is-popular-at-the-time, ENERGY. The players will feed off of you, and if you have low energy, they will mimic that. Here’s a secret – players who have low energy (because you as the soccer coach have low energy) are players who become distracted. And distracted players are players who become squirrely and may start to act like squirrels running around! Trust me on this one…just bring the energy!

These 4 characteristics of a good soccer coach are a great starting point for your soccer coaching career. Check out our course at the link below for everything you need to successfully coach your child’s soccer team all in one place!

Soccer Coach Training (U9) | Soccer Coach – Everything You Need to (teachable.com)

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