"Soccer communication
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 half.
  • 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
  • Time
  • Turn
  • 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 much easier.

Here is a list of soccer communication terms for coaches to use to make communication easier.

The sideline

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 responsibility.
  • 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 players.
  • 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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