Traits Every Good Soccer Coach Should Have

good soccer coaching

Soccer’s popularity continues to rise, particularly when it comes to involvement in summer soccer programs and youth soccer leagues. After all, an estimated 60% of children who play organized sports in the U.S. do so outside of school. If you love the game and want to pass your passion onto young athletes, you might consider teaching soccer to kids.

But if you want to coach soccer, you need to ensure you have the right skills and traits necessary to be effective in your role. If you possess these five traits, you’ll be in good shape to teach soccer to kids through a soccer training program. A good soccer coach should be…

  • Patient and accepting
    Every child is different. A good coach will recognize this and will have the patience and tolerance necessary to make soccer a rewarding sport for kids of all background and skill levels. Realize that not every child will possess superior athletic abilities; some will emerge from the pack as leaders and others will have more difficulty. A great coach will provide children with the knowledge and encouragement they need to do their personal best.
  • A good communicator
    In order to teach soccer to kids, you need to be a highly skilled communicator. Whether you’re interacting with players, other coaches, administrators, other staff members, or officials, you need to express feelings and information in a positive way that shows you’re on their side. In many instances, your body language can communicate quite a bit. Make sure to express encouragement, exhibit open and positive body language, and recognize that the words you choose can have a big impact on team morale and how your players are perceived by others.
  • A true motivator
    In order for your players to do their best, they need to have a source of motivation. Although the game itself may sometimes serve as good motivation, you need to stress that winning isn’t everything. It’s much more important to focus on personal goal achievement, teamwork, and growth. If you can help your players to identify the areas they need to work on while providing positive reinforcement, your soccer coaching will already have more of an impact than a coach who focuses only on game day logistics and beating the other team.
  • Well-versed in rules and foundation
    At the same time, it’s important not to ignore the importance of the game’s rules and foundation of skills. You’ll need to know the ins and outs of game play in order to instruct your players. They’ll need a solid understanding of the rules, a good foundation for their skills, and direction during practices and games. They’ll look to you if they don’t know how to proceed, and because soccer rules can be complex, you’ll need to know them backwards and forwards.
  • Someone who cares about more than just the game
    Above all, participation in soccer can offer a great workout and a whole lot of fun. If you want to teach soccer to kids, you need to remember that it’s about far more than just one game. Personal skill growth and character development are often way more important than a loss. Teaching your players to respect their teammates and opponents alike will serve as a lifelong lesson. You’ll need to instruct your players on the importance of personal responsibility, focus, and dedication. If you can do that, their love of soccer will transfer over to countless areas throughout childhood and well into adulthood. And for that, you’ll have made a huge impact on your players’ lives.

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