skills for youth soccer
Soccer communication can come in verbal and non verbal forms when it
comes to dealing with young players. Body language and verbal
communication are the two ways that coaches communicate with players.
What do you as a coach want to project to the players?
Confidence, as in you know what you are doing. Calm, assertive
presence, as in when it gets a little rough you are there for the
players. This also helps your players trust you, so when tough
situations arise the players will stay calm and organize.
Staying off the refs so your players don't make that a habit as well - very challenging.
Getting players to communicate
This is probably one of the hardest areas of the game to get players to learn.
- Young players can start with very basic communication
like helping each other organize the team. I like to start with pushing
out of the back - getting the defender up when the ball is the other
- Encouraging positive play and helping each other on
the field...if a player makes a mistake don't jump on them but encourage
them " don't worry get it next time".
- As a coach Smiling and letting mistakes go will help build more trust with your players.
Coaching point: The players have to gain some mastery of the
ball, positions and soccer tactics before they will be comfortable in
really talking and organizing and taking charge on the soccer field.
Examples of players communicating
These are soccer terms that young players can use to help each other.
Obviously, as the game becomes more advanced the players can do much
more organizing and talking.
- Man on
- Take them on
- No bounce
The coach should look to start the players off with small
goals when teaching soccer communication. The players will slowly learn
to grasp the concepts and lingo making learning how to organize the team
Here is a list of soccer communication terms for coaches to use to make communication easier.
Some guidelines for the sideline...
- The coach can get so involved in the game and never
stop talking to the point where the players cannot think for themselves -
almost like the players are puppets on a string.
- I believe this never gives the players a chance to
organize themselves and take responsibility, so they never develop good
soccer communication skills.
- Once the player are taking responsibility for the game
they become better soccer players. So, can the coach make his or her
point without too much over coaching and get the players to take
- The answer is yes...teach the players how to organize
themselves and by teaching them the organizational parts of the game and
how to communicate with each other the team grows and develops.
- What is your body language like when the standing on
the side line...are your arms crossed, do you smile, or are you just Mr
or Miss intense when watching the game??
Obviously, each coach has a style and they should coach within their personality.
Half time talks can be very important
Tips for half time...
- Do the players go on to the field in the second half
feeling deflated or ready to go. This is a very difficult skill to
master for most coaches. Trying to get the players into the right mind
set to compete.
- One way to destroy your half time talk is information
over load...you as the coach are all over the place. You hit every thing
the players did wrong and don't offer any feed back as to how the
players can correct their mistakes.
- An easy way to fix and motivate the players is to keep
the half time talk brief and hit specific points. Can you as the coach
help the players adjust.
So prepare for half time and help your kids get better...
Post game rants and raves
Are post game rants productive...
- This can do more harm than good. So I suggest leaving
the players alone and not saying anything silly because you might regret
what you have said later.
- Think about what has happened and devise a way to help
your players during the training session which is good soccer
communication. That is probably the best place to correct and help the
- When the players are doing very well in their games
that means you can push the team a little more in the sessions...still
keeping it fun!
- When the team is losing all their games you might want
to take a different approach and have even more fun with the kids while
teaching the players.
Enjoy your coaching!!
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