How to avoid soccer coaching pitfalls
Use the following soccer coaching tips to make sure you're not falling into the trap of over-coaching your young players.
Find the right approach
As a soccer coach you will be faced with many problems, and it’s how you overcome them that defines the character of your team. Each soccer coaching session requires you to do the right thing and do it in an efficient manner. If you over-coach you become overbearing and the session is about you.
Finding the right coaching approach will help keep training focused on soccer and bring about the best climate for learning new skills.
Telling the children absolutes does not help with their learning process in soccer drills and practices. An example of an absolute is, “Never pass the ball across the goal”. When a child asks why not? your reply is because the opposition will benefit and score a goal.
But as with all absolutes, that’s not always true. If it’s a good pass then it will not result in a goal. This is education through over-coaching and takes all the fun out of it.
A good tip would be to ask the players if it’s a good thing to pass the ball across the goal and if not, why not.
Don't stifle your players' development
How often do you see it? The soccer coach is standing on the sidelines and he’s bellowing and shouting at the kids in his team to such an extent his input weakens the players’ ability to perform at their best and stifles their development.
It’s the coach playing, not the player and the coach is making all their decisions for them
Cut down on sideline shouting
When there is undue pressure to win games, soccer coaches and often parents tend to start over-coaching players. This results in a barrage of comments from the sidelines, often contradictory. Parents scream for their child to GET IN THE BOX when quite clearly they are a defender, so the coach is shouting HOLD YOUR POSITION. How can players enjoy themselves or feel confident in their ability to decide where they should play?
What are the effects on players and coaches?
Players often end up crying, distressed, confused and in some cases quit the team. When my teams have played against over coached teams it is a depressing sight. Players who do hang on under the pressures from adults end up lacking creativity in their play or find it difficult to read the game.
Are you over-coaching?
Your players' body language is a huge giveaway here. For instance, players may look nervous, unsure, constantly looking in your direction, but not asking questions for fear of being told they are wrong or being lectured at. Players stop coming to soccer coaching sessions or ask to be substitute for the match.
Give your players space and let them decide about their play, even if they make the wrong decision.
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