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Should I Coach My Five Year Old’s Team? #1

Coach:  I have a five year old son, soon to be six. We’re thinking of signing him up for soccer and I’m thinking of volunteering as the coach. He has expressed interest in playing. I have a couple of concerns though.

Karl: In my opinion you are taking a very sound approach to getting your boy involved. First you mention that ‘he has expressed interest in playing’ shows that you are including your son in the decision making process. I believe it is extremely important that it is your sons decision that he wants to play rather than your influencing him. You are also making this a family project by including your wife, ‘we are thinking of signing him up.’ So far so good!

Coach:   First, I’ve played soccer since I was eight all the way through college at a very competitive level. It’s been over a decade since I’ve played competitively but the fire still burns.

Karl: Having a playing background can only help in making you a good youth coach. Having a desire toward wanting to be coach can help in making you a very good coach. Having the determination to learn about youth development and soccer will make you a wonderful coach. So far so good!

Coach: I’m concerned that I might not be a good coach for a bunch of 5 year old boys just learning how to play the game.

Karl: If you think you ‘might not be a good coach for a bunch of 5 year old boys’ then you are right. If you think you ‘might be a good coach for a bunch of 5 year old boys’ then you are also right. The choice of you being a good coach or not a good coach to these boys is strictly your decision…!

Coach: My son already is exhibiting some signs of frustration as I have him in the basement teaching him some fundamentals, like how to properly kick the ball.

Karl:  I commend you for your enthusiasm to want to help your son. He is a very lucky young boy to have a father who is willing to give of his time. I am wondering if you are including him in the decision making process in this instance? In other words, is your son asking you to take him into the cellar and work on fundamentals? Remember, it should be his decision as to what activities you both participate in.

As an aside… Can you remember ‘specific things’ your father taught you at the ripe age of five going on six? I honestly can’t. I am sure, however, that I probably wanted to play more than I wanted to learn. Think about this!!!

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