Soccer Scene USA — The monthly meeting is held in the soccer office if one is available; or someone’s home with plenty of room to accommodate the semi-large group. Each attending has a title such as “League President.” The meeting is called to order by the Chairperson, and the minutes of the previous meeting are approved. Several items are covered with minimal discussion and followed by a unanimous vote of approval.
Then the traditional agenda item, “What are we doing to help our youth coaches?” Total silence and most individuals take their attention away from the Chairman and start playing with their cell phones. The Chairman is wise enough to ask for cell phones to be put away and asks each individual for their input.
It is unavoidable that most, if not all of the responders, give their sad tale of being overwhelmed with responsibilities from being President, Registrar, Treasurer, etc., to even having to coach at least one to as many as three teams.
When asked, “Why not find someone to help with the coaching?” The room erupts, and the following excuses are voiced …
#1 Excuse – “I just don’t have the time!”
Reality – Most excusers attend every practice and every game, and some even have/give coaching advice at both.
Excuse #2 – “I don’t know anything about soccer!”
The Simple Game – Soccer is a contest between two individuals, two small groups, or two teams who play with a spherical ball in an open area with designated goals –One goal to Attack and One goal to Defend.
The unique feature is that any part of the body may be used to control, move and propel the ball toward the opponent’s goal in an attempt to score –except for the intentional use of the arms and hands.
The individual, small group, or team with the most goals at the end of a given time is declared the contest winner. It’s not that complicated!
Excuse #3 – “I have no idea how to run a practice session!”
The FUNdamental Approach – Does it or could it happen in the game?
If the answer is YES – Then do it in practice.
If the answer is NO – Then don’t do it in practice.
Children/Players come to practice to Play Soccer; Let Them Play Soccer (LTPS)
Consistent, sequential exposure to a practice session routine, like the following, will produce actual results.
- When players and the ball are moving, learning takes place. (LTPS)
- When players and the ball stop moving, learning stops! (Lines – Laps –Lectures)
- Duplicate the excitement of the game in your practice session. (LTPS)
- The genius of good coaching is to make hard work seem like FUN. (LTPS)
- Create an environment where the players can teach themselves and fail on their way to success! (LTPS)
- Observing during practice is more important than talking. (LTPS)
- Helping only those who need help is vital in practice. (LTPS)
- Instill the Love of the Game into each player by Letting Them Play Soccer!
- Learning occurs slowly, so patience with players is a virtue and a Teaching Necessity.
Excuse #4. “I have no idea what to do at a game.”
The FUNdamental Response: Purchase a lawn chair, sit back, relax, and enjoy watching the team – Play Soccer!
Ensure that every player plays 50% of the game in the younger age groups.
Assign someone to arrange a pizza get-together after wins and losses.
It is just a matter of attitude and application. It is not that complicated!
Finally – Make the Excusers Aware of the Personal Benefits Gained by Coaching.
The time and energy to help the players will improve the children/players and make the excusers better. Studies indicate that giving back to youth can boost Happiness, Health, and a Sense of Well-Being.
Some evidence suggests that helping kids can promote physiological changes in the brain linked with happiness. This heightened sense of well-being might be the byproduct of being more physically active due to volunteering or because it makes us more socially active.
Studies show that volunteering enhances an individual’s overall sense of purpose and identity. This is because helping others can make you feel rewarded, fulfilled, and empowered.
Positively impacting someone else could help them change their outlook and attitude. Experts say that performing acts of kindness boosts mood and ultimately makes one more optimistic.
One study found that other excusers are likelier to start coaching after observing former excusers enjoy coaching. This effect can ripple throughout the local soccer community allowing the overburdened Presidents to focus on their administrative duties …Priceless!