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!).
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!
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!
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)
Amy Schweizer is the Founder and Director of Tiny Troops Soccer. She loves creating physical activity programs that benefit the overall well-being of military children, families, and the surrounding communities. Amy is also a passionate advocate for military spouse employment. She has recently published her first book – “I Will Be Okay – Adventures of a Military Kid”, and was selected as the 2021 Inspirational Leader of the Year by The Rosie Network.