Whenever the term ‘youth’ comes up, the descriptions that come to mind are free-minded, Hyped emotions, and energy. Youths are not adults, and they won’t behave like one in anything they do and having this in mind when coaching a youth team is highly critical to your success or failure.
A major reason coaches fail in youth soccer coaching is that they handle youths like established and verified professionals. When coaching adults, a player could get dropped, barely get game time, and still suck it in and use the challenges as motivation for improvement. However, If you do the same to a kid, you are more likely to set them on the route to self-doubt than challenge them. Hence it is essential to know that age and experience make a lot of difference between coaching styles for youth and adults.
Without further ado, here are some tips to successfully coach youth soccer such that you get the best out of your players and improve your CV.
Top Tips to Coach Youth Soccer
Ensure you Love It
One thing you must ensure is in place when choosing a youth coaching career is to have passion for it. If you don’t, Quit. There is no way you can pretend in the job. You may go quite a distance if you were coaching adults, but for kids, they can push you to the limit, and your passion is what keeps you under control and gives you a clear edge in such instances.
However, if you are sure that you love grooming kids into stars, you will have a smoother route in your journey.
Enroll to Get the Appropriate Skills
You need to have the essential skills to get the best out of kids. Just because you are coaching kids doesn’t make your job less professional. In fact, indoctrinating focus in kids could be more complex than doing so in adults who know that consistent flops could damage their careers.
You should register for Soccer coaching courses and kids’ soccer improvement programs to get the best out of your kids. You will learn how to train your team better, set the right warm-ups before matches, and know how to penetrate them with a message.
Make it Fun
Even soccer-playing kids love to have fun like other children, so you have to incorporate it when coaching them. You should know how to make them laugh or involve fun activities in their schedule. Occasionally setting up a fun camp can help kids unwind and enjoy being part of the team.
However, you have to ensure that you lighten things up in moderation, or you may risk building a clown house as kids have a way of overdoing everything. Your focus should always be on getting the best out of your players. If any nice idea comes into your head that could put a smile on their face when doing your job, you do not need to bottle it up.
Involve the Parents
One of the best ways to get the best out of kids is to get their parents into the mix. While coaching youths may come with peculiar challenges, one advantage you can and should pounce on is that they listen to their parents.
As you do your job on the field, you should grow a relationship with all of your kids’ parents and try to get them to understand the game. You can open up to them politely on the areas you think a child should work on and give them the nod to communicate these challenges with their kids in a way that makes it seems that they independently noticed it.
Kids love when their parents are interested in what they do, and you putting words in their mouth can help you pass your message more clearly.
Communication may be the most important trait that you need when coaching youths. You must be able to effectively pass a message to your group and also learn how to hold back and listen to your players. Players easily open up to a senior that really listens to them, and you will get a lot of joy by perfecting the act.
You can communicate with your players by painting a picture or using a story. You could tell stories about the humble beginnings of some top players in the game and how they can achieve just as much if they do the right things and push a little bit further.
Praise, Don’t Criticise
Kids love to be praised when they do well and dread criticism when they flop. You can use the ‘Praise-don’t Criticise technique to reach your players more emotionally. When they perform well, you should not hesitate to acknowledge their effort and urge them to do more.
On the other hand, when a player or the entire team performs below their potential, you should try as much as possible to refrain from criticizing them harshly. Instead, highlight the small things they did right and point out where they got it wrong. You can call out players and tell them how they negatively affected the game, but do not curse or talk them to rubbish.
The goal of each talk after a good or bad performance is to bring your dressing room closer, and having this in mind can help you refrain from going in too harshly on your players when they flop.
You should know that coaching a youth team demands that you are tactically sound and have the right personality for the job. Having all the certifications and the right tactics for game day is great, but you can only effectively communicate all you know so that these kids understand. To do that, you really need to love kids and love your job. If you do not have the passion to be around kids, it will easily reflect in your character and body language, and the kids will notice. Ultimately you will never succeed in your career.
Therefore the most important of all coaching tips is to first ensure that you really love what you are doing and you are not just opting for it because you want a job that clears the bills.
View more of our youth soccer articles.