A Recreational Youth Coach with the perfect set of traits to teach Fun, Play, & Soccer that turned out to be the finest coaching education I have had the honor of witnessing at any level since. This coach possessed traits, characteristics, & philosophies; intuitive to him that I incorporate to this day.
Jason, a young Father, who admitted that he knew nothing about soccer, but volunteered to lead his son’s team, was thrilled to see that he had a soccer player Dad (me), in his parent group. Jason, nervous regarding his lack of knowledge about soccer technique, tactical, or strategic play, asked me to jump in and show everyone what to do. I stepped back and told Jason to go ahead and start practice, and I would help where I could. I quickly learned that Jason didn’t need any help at all. I soon became a student.
*Coach Jason was at least 15 minutes early to every practice, and the area was entirely set up (simple, quick layout).
*He greeted each player and family member as they arrived. He knew every player’s name and made sure to talk to each player at every practice.
*As players arrived (early), he started a simple, fun game, serving as a light warm-up that the players loved. The players enjoyed the early start of practice so much that they all wanted to be early, not late, and miss the warm-up. Another first for me at that time, players first asked their parents to hurry up and not be late for the start of practice.
*Jason ensured that he had enough soccer balls for each player. Even though the league only provided a limited number, Jason purchased his extra soccer balls. Hence, no one was left-out when a session required everyone to move with a ball.
*Practices were shorter, not longer.
*Each step in his practices involved all the players all the time. No lines, no waiting, no sitting.
*Very little Coach talking, lecturing, just teaching.
*Multiple balls, more than one goal, when practical.
*No needless conditioning, never lap running. Every event was with a ball, most of the time multiple balls.
At the close of practice, Jason held what he called “A Good of the Order.” He encouraged each player to communicate about anything they wanted to talk about. He managed this very well, moving quickly. These were amusing conversations, the U6 players were unpredictable about what was on their minds, but it was a fun finish to practice every time.
I believe it is appropriate to end this segment with two of Karl Dewaziens’ quotes
- “The Outcome of Our Children is Infinitely More Important Than the Outcome of Any Game They Will Ever Play!”
- “Relax and enjoy watching your children/players play the game…!”
Interested in learning the details of how I, a USSF Licensed and Certified Interscholastic Coach, became ‘the student’ of a novice coach? (Click Here)