Developing a Soccer Coaching Philosophy

Developing a Soccer Coaching Philosophy

Creating a coaching philosophy is fairly simple. Living with it all season is the hard part. What is the philosophy of coaching? Essentially, it reflects the standards you set for yourself and your team, and is the foundation of your coaching values ​​and beliefs.
Entering the season without a coaching philosophy is like driving across the country without a roadmap. Sure, you will eventually reach your destination, but not without wasting a lot of time and energy on wrong turns and dealing with unnecessary problems and aggravations along the way. A thoughtful coaching philosophy keeps you on track as you negotiate your way through the season.
Even with a carefully planned philosophy in place, sticking to it at all times can be difficult. The same challenges arise when Billy’s mom confronts you in the middle of the season about why the team isn’t winning more games or when Jennifer’s dad questions why the less skilled kids get as much playing time as the team’s best players. (Explaining your coaching philosophy to parents before the season begins helps you avoid many of these potential headaches.)
Your coaching philosophy says a lot about you – not only as a coach, but also as a person. Take the time to put some real thought into it; You’ll be glad you did. Lead your players in the direction you know is correct. Try to instill in them the values ​​that you want your children to display throughout their lives. Achieve that goal, and no matter how many games you win this season, you and your team will be winners in the truest sense.

Adapt your philosophy to your age group
Although each child has unique strengths and weaknesses, all children have general characteristics dictated by their age. Children change constantly, and part of your responsibility as a coach is to know what to expect physically and emotionally from youngsters at various age levels.
Being fully aware of the general age differences we cover on the following pages enhances your coaching skills and ability to communicate with your team. It also ensures that the more mature and skilled players on your team are not favored over the less skilled and developed players.
No matter the age or skill level of your players, always be supportive and enthusiastic. Pile on the compliments, and never stop encouraging them. This approach builds their confidence and self-esteem, and whether they’re 6 or 16, you’re making a gift that will last for years to come.

Ages 6 and under
Kids 6 or younger may not have played football before, and this season may be their first experience as part of an organized team. Your job is to introduce them to some of the essential elements of football and to whet their appetite for future participation. Kids at this age are generally not concerned about how their soccer skills compare to those of others on their team; They are primarily interested in being with friends, enjoying learning and playing sports. The competition is usually the furthest thing from their minds, which is why most junior football leagues do not keep match scores or standings for this age group.

Ages 7 to 9 years old
Young people in the age group of 7-9 years begin to focus on mastering some of the basics of the sport. They crave feedback from coaches and parents about how they are performing certain skills and how they are progressing in new ones. They begin to notice their teammates’ abilities and skill levels. When coaches orally recognize a peer to perform a skill correctly, children want to get the same feedback. The desire to compete is more prominent for some young people in this age group than others. Kids with older siblings may be especially competitive because they’ve seen their brothers and sisters compete in football or other sports, and now it’s their turn to display their skills.

Ages 10 to 12 years old
Most likely, kids between 10 and 12 years old had some experience of playing soccer in the past and continue to play it because the sport piqued their interest. Keep the positive momentum going by adding skills to their skill base. Feed their desire to keep playing with challenging and fun practices.
A lot of times, sports take on extra importance at this point in their lives and they really want to do well. When children reach this age group, many of them become more competitive, and winning and losing takes on more importance in their lives. They begin to embrace the challenge of testing their skills and trying to outperform other children their age. When they help the team to victory, they feel great satisfaction combined with a unique sense of achievement that can only be achieved through the wonderful world of youth football.

Ages from 13 to 14 years
Welcome to the challenging world of teenager! 13-14 year olds have already developed many of the basic skills needed to play sports, and now they want to improve them. Kids at this age usually search for their own identities as well, so try to get to know them on a personal level by getting to know their favorite soccer players or soccer teams. Of course, this tip is great for building special bonds between coach and players with kids of all ages.

15 years and over
Gaining the respect of your players is always important to your coaching success, and this is especially true for kids 15 and older. These teens developed a real passion for the sport. They attend soccer camps, maybe play in leagues throughout the year, and in some cases, they may actually be more knowledgeable in some areas of the sport than you are now.
If you volunteer or are recruited to train this age group, fear not! Do not panic. Instead, welcome the opportunity to enhance your coaching abilities and take the opportunity to coach kids who have a deep-rooted love for the game. Be sure to tell them that you value their opinions, suggestions, and input regarding the team. The young man’s passion for football is great, and it actually helps make your job easier.