Jeff Tipping, former Director of Education for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) and recipient of the FIFA Futuro Award, sent the following response after reading, ‘We Are Woefully Lacking In Qualified Coaches.’
“Maybe it’s time to specify the qualities/traits of the model “Youth Coach” and take it backwards from there!” And so, the initiative began surveying some of the top local, national, and international youth coaches/instructors.
Dean Wurzberger, USSF Coach Educator continues to keep the ball rolling as to what the qualities/traits of the “Model Youth Coach” can/should be with the following list …
1. Get to know each player as an individual. Be sure to give your players unconditional attention when connecting with them. Build rapport.
2. Use the Play-Practice-Play (P-P-P) Coaching Method that features “player decisions” making throughout the practice.
3. While using the P-P-P session structure, be sure to use plenty of guided discovery questions with your players at practice.
4. Give players some decision-making responsibilities at practices and games.
5. Explain the “why” behind the way you work as a coach and try to help the players improve.
6. Goal-set with the players and get them involved with identifying their targets and ambitions. Find out a little about their “Why” if you can.
7. Listen to your players and gain an understanding of their perspectives.
8. Research and create age-appropriate activities for the players you coach.
9. COACHING TRAINING SESSIONS (CTS) Facilitate an environment that supports and guides players on the field to develop them to their full potential!
Dean Wurzberger, USSF Coach Educator, Former Men’s Soccer Coach, University of Washington
I have found that correcting a player’s technical/tactical weaknesses is possible without demonstrating them. The key is to use proper communication, and proper communication begins with asking guided questions.
Some ‘Guided Question’ examples:
-What part of the shoe should you use for the push pass?
-What part of the body can you use to control a bouncing ball?
-Do you think that was the right move to use at this time?
-What would you do if you were faced with this particular situation?
-If you were the defender on (#10), what would you have done?
-If you were the attacker on (#3), what would you have done?
Coaching is all about the ability to observe/note the weakness and find appropriate words when addressing the player. Suppose they can solve the problem mentally and answer your question correctly. In that case, that will be the 1st step in making the proper correction physically.
A personal habit that has helped me tremendously when coaching youth is asking a question to check for understanding at the end of every point of refinement.