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Oct 15, 2010

Meet the Coach

As my third season as a recreational soccer coach is wrapping up, I am starting to prepare for the next season. It is time to record what I provide and what I expect as a coach, so parents can read it in advance.

My Motivation

I am a volunteer. I am not paid by the association, nor do I get any discount. As a parent I pay as much as every other parent does.

I do this, because I want my kid to advance in the game. We spend a lot of time practicing one-on-one, but soccer is a team sport. A player should ultimately practice as part of a team competing against another team. Furthermore, the better a team is, the more individual players are challenged, and the more they advance. That is why I want to build a good team.

What I Provide

I teach. And I am serious about it. I value our time together. I do not waste my time trying to entertain kids who are not motivated. I teach kids who want to learn.

I teach both individual skills and team tactics with roughly equal emphasis. I also promote physical fitness and proper warming practices. The first half of each practice consist of a warm up and drills, and the second half – of a short game. If a kid is late for practice, he may skip a drill, but he will not skip the warm up. Running is not a punishment – it is a prerequisite.

Lastly, I set the number of practices to the maximum allowed by the association in order to maximize the value for kids.

What I Expect

My expectations are not from the kids I coach, but from their parents.

I expect parents to be interested in the advancement of their own kid, and to actively participate in the practices. I greatly appreciate help.

I expect parents to bring their kids on time for practice and especially on game days. Please allocate at least 10-15 minutes for warming up before games.

I expect parents to tie their kid’s shoes before practices and games. I understand this is the age when we teach our kids to tie their shows, but there are occasions when we have to make exceptions.

I expect parents to bring their kid’s ball to practices. If you bring your kid without a ball, you are not leaving me too many options how to keep him busy.

Game Days

A roster has twice as many kids as there may be on the filed at the same time. The association has a rule that each kid is entitled to 50% of the game. I interpret that rule as: each kid is entitled to 50% of the game while the kid is present at the field. That means if a kid shows up for the second half, he will still play 50% of that second half, not the entire half.

I let kids play in the order of their arrival at the field. If you want your kid to start, come early.

Games are more intense then practices. Therefore kids need to warm up both physically and technically. Allocate 10-15 minutes for that and bring their ball.

Play with Your Kid

My observation is that the kids whose parents commit time to play with them, advance most. You need not have played soccer in order to help your kid make progress. Even taking your kid to the park to watch a live game between older kids or adult amateurs will inspire him to learn. Try it.

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