Drills are a dime a dozen.
It’s not the drills that make a team it’s the coach, it’s the connection between coach and players, coach and parents, player to player and the respect the players give to the coach.
These are all social elements not ‘soccer’ element.
It’s the end of January and even though we are in the middle of our winter indoor leagues and futsal leagues outdoor team registration had begun. That means there will be a new crop of new Coach Dad & Coach Mom signing up to volunteer for their children’s team. There’s also a batch of reluctant returning coaches who struggled through last season and wonder how they’ll make it through another.
My best advice……do your homework.
Research is easy now with the internet, just search u8 soccer drills and you’ll find dozens of sites with diagrams and step-by-step explanations on how to run their drills. But that’s the easy part. Drills are of little value without infusing practice with game knowledge, player knowledge and fun.
Educate yourself. As a coach you must instill confidence in your players. These kids are like little piranhas, if they sense you don’t know what you’re doing they’ll eat you alive. Gain their respect by sharing a bit of game knowledge, why you train the way you do and get to it.
If…when…you are questioned “Why do we have to do this so much?” state confidently “Because we’re working on the core skills that every great soccer player must master to be great.” and move on.
When a player says “This isn’t how we did it on my other team.” respond with “Different coaches focus on different things. I train you to develop the skills that every great soccer player must have. Another coach may want to do something else.”
Keep control of your team.
A player of mine told me a story about her nieces u6 team. The coach was new and unsure of himself. There was one know-it-all 5 year old who began commenting on how drills should run and how the team should play. The coach quickly lost the confidence of the players and parents and the 5 year old and one of his parents bullied the coach and the rest of the team.
If you know nothing about soccer and yet have stepped up to coach your child’s team GREAT! (much applause) Now it’s time to research soccer, fake it at practice, research some more, share a information you found as you continue to fake it, research more, and become a youth soccer coach.
If you read Trap – Pass – Move you will get some insight into the mental development of your players, the core skills EVERY soccer player must have to be great and even age appropriate drills and practice schedules. If you want to head over to the Trap – Pass – Move page on this site you’ll be able to access many of the materials I used over the years.
Coaching a team in a sport that you are unfamiliar with can be unnerving, just have fun, focus on basics (Trapping, Passing, Moving) and remember to have fun. If you are having fun the kids are probably having fun. Also remember that you are the coach, you must bring more to the field than free babysitting for an hour. Research soccer, it’s history, formations, current teams, HAVE A FAVORITE PLAYER, share tidbits that you discover, WATCH SOME SOCCER ON TV. It doesn’t take much to appear to be an expert to a bunch of 6 year olds.
If you are new to coaching Trap – Pass – Move was written for you. It contains information that you will find helpful including mental development of youth players, drills, systems and the whys behind them. It’s short with little fluff, just down to earth soccer coaching information that helped make our teams very good.