Keeping your team in shape and working hard throughout the year is just one of the key challenges of being a youth soccer coach. Your kids have the dedication, the desire, and the work ethic to help carry their talent to the next level and it’s up to you to help them hone their abilities.
However, your team’s athletic ability isn’t the only thing you need to keep up during the fall and winter months when your athletes are away from their soccer camps. When you coach soccer, it’s your job to help keep your athletes’ confidence well-balanced. An athlete without confidence is an athlete with poor performance regardless of their ability of the field.
The following tips will help you improve your team’s confidence to keep them playing harder, better, and stronger on the field throughout the year.
Teach your kids not to fear failure
Confidence and ego are two separate things. When you coach soccer, you want to be sure that your kids are taking to the field with confidence in their skills and abilities, not with a rude arrogance that will paralyze them when they eventually lose a game.
Fear of failure can result in a fear to take to the field or even try to compete. This fear can be detrimental not just to your youth athlete, but also to your entire team. When teaching soccer to kids, be sure to teach them that failure is a natural part of playing a game. It may hurt to lose, but losing doesn’t mean the future doesn’t hold promise.
Teach your kids to do their best
Stemming from the fear of failure is the fear of not being the best. If your athletes are consistently looking at those who have more skill than them and have a higher winning streak, it can cause your team’s confidence to hit the dirt and leave them feeling unmotivated. This can be a problem for the 284,000 boys who play high school soccer and are being watched by college recruiters.
Teach the kids in your youth soccer league or soccer programs that there’s no shame in coming second or losing if your athletes do their best. Doing your best and practicing will help to improve performance over time. Focusing on being the best will only stoke ego, not confidence, and will only paralyze your team when they lose a game.
Teach your kids the necessity of practice
Skill is always something practiced and is never innate. The more your team practices throughout the year, the more confidence they’ll build. Athletes that are consistently working on their skills will have more faith in their ability than those who never practice.
Additionally, your kids will be more relaxed when they finally perform in a youth soccer tournament. Fear makes athletes tense and causes them to perform poorly on the field. Practice reduces fear in an athlete’s abilities, which lets them relax and react more efficiently.
Building your team’s confidence and keeping that confidence is balanced is one of your key responsibilities when you coach soccer. Confidence lets your athletes play hard, play well, and helps to ready them for the future of their careers. For more information on soccer programs for your team, contact U.K. Elite Soccer today.