The Model Youth Coach…. ummmm…
When the verdict is out, the Model Youth Coach is one that a child and their family can look back on years later and acknowledge as one who instilled love, respect, and passion for the game we call football (soccer).
Along with that would be fond memories of hard work ethic, the pains of defeats, and yet the amazing glory of winning. In losing and winning were engrained lessons of humility and appreciation, mixed with a good dose of determination, goal setting, and perseverance to achieve success. These lessons and memories should permeate into their very being, giving strength and encouragement to their character for later lessons in life.
A coach at the early stages has to embody a passion for the game and the patience of Job to help young minds believe in themselves. Understand the directions conveyed while still realizing the journey is young but always believing the rewards will come.
In my years of watching and coaching the younger ages, I noticed an essential trait being that of a canny ability for the youth coach to be able to relate professionally to parents, developing their trust and confidence while also exuding youthful characteristics and energy that can connect to, and motivate, our young kids.
Being more actively involved in youth soccer, parents are more engaged in activities and organizations… knowing their coach has a vision, the ability to teach the technical and tactical aspects of the game, and the ability to communicate with parents and kids alike is quite a responsibility, but also a gift that is not as necessary in older age groups where kids and coaches are more isolated together from the influences of parents.
The most significant trait must be conveying soccer lessons to life. A coach’s job is to build character and characteristics that can last decades past their prime playing years and deep into the years of life as parents, employees, bosses, and so much more.
Building character far exceeds scores and hi-light reels; the most significant trait lies in all. A coach who can leave their legacy for those who will fondly return to their hearts and memories years after their game is done and the coach is gone.
Now that I’ve prefaced your request with my dialogue, lol, maybe now I can bullet what I feel are “Traits of a Model Youth Coach.”
- Youthful (energy level).
- Clear and concise communicator.
- Extremely positive/complimentary.
- Visionary – sees the best in the team and players and focuses on the season’s objectives.
- Values, character, life, and goodness exemplify those characteristics on and off the field.
- Leaves a Legacy.
Thank You – Coach Holden for your common sense dialogue and for bulleting your feelings on the qualities/traits of the “Model Youth Coach.”
I hope you (readers) enjoyed this article and are looking forward to reading and gleaning advice in future articles on this theme to improve yourself. And then take the time to share ‘it’ with coaches in your soccer community.
I also encourage you to join this discussion because your advice may help improve another youth soccer coach …Priceless..!
Good stuff – Good list! If I may add a few:
1) Be PROACTIVE. Clearly define expectations beforehand.
2) I’m a great believer in TRANSPARENCY — no hidden agendas, no secrets.
3) TIMELINESS. If anything, be early. Set an example for kids to follow; an essential lesson for “down” the road. Rich Jablonski
Great perspective! Sport is not separate from other life activities. It must be looked at in context with everything child-related. Well said, Darren. Bill Howe
LOVE THIS! Wells Thompson