The 2019 Fall soccer season is just around the corner and you decided to sign up to coach a youth team. You made the right decision! When done correctly, you’ll be giving the kids a wonderful sports experience and you’ll find it very rewarding.
So thank you for taking your time to coach a youth soccer team!
Now, are you ready for the season to get started? Here’s a short guide and some reminders on how to get ready for the 2019 Fall Soccer Season.
Examine Your Coaching Philosophy
With the season just about to start, it’s a perfect time to reflect and examine your coaching philosophy. If you’ve coached before, use your past experiences to understand your own philosophical tendencies and any adjustments you want to make. If you’re a new coach, be aware of the three components of a coaching philosophy and how they affect your coaching focus.
Will you be the type of coach that focuses heavily on winning? Many new youth coaches start this way. This is probably due to their own athletic experiences as a high school or college athlete. At those levels winning is emphasized, but at the youth level (which I would argue can include high school), this might not be the best approach.
Do you want to be the coach that focuses on developing your players’ skills for the future? You probably find drills, camps, and repetitions to be the key to success. And success to you means building a program to feed players to the local high school. But drills and repetitions can get boring quickly for young players.
Do you want to be the fun coach? Maybe you’re new to coaching and to soccer in general. You want to make up for your inexperience by ensuring the kids have fun. Sound great on paper, but too much fun can lead to loss of focus and interest.
How about you become a Balanced Coach and push yourself to find a the sweet spot between all three components? I promote a healthy balance between winning, development, and fun. Find that middle ground and you’ll be a successful youth coach!
For New Youth Soccer Coaches
Getting starting in coaching for the first time can be a bit daunting. You may be worried about keeping a group of youngsters focused for an entire practice or game. Then there’s all the logistics of being a coach: scheduling practices, communicating with parents, and setting up a practice plans.
Review our guide to your first time coaching youth sports. It gives you great insight into the logistical aspects of coaching that you should be aware of. Follow that up with a read of our guide to your first time coaching soccer. That will show you how to prep specifically for a soccer season.
Finally, don’t forget to do your homework and learn about the finer points of the game. The kids can’t learn if you don’t understand it yourself. And always make sure you explain things to your players rather than assume they know the finer points of rules or strategies.
For Experienced Youth Soccer Coaches
If you’re coming back to coach another season, I can assume you’ve found past seasons to be a good experience. Maybe you’ve even benefited in past seasons from the information on this site. Now is the time to make adjustments to your practice plans and game strategies for the season.
How about also using a breakdown to get your team fired up before games this year. These are a great way to build team unity and create focus on the task at hand. And you’ll definitely need unity and focus if you find your team on a winning streak.
2019 Soccer Rules Changes
The International Football Association Board (IFAB) updated several Laws of the Game for the 2019/2020 season. Most youth organizations adopted these updates as well. The majority of the changes are minor and are unlikely to impact youth soccer games much.
However, there were some changes made to the rules for goal kicks. The changes introduce new aspects that could give a smart team an advantage. Make sure you read my guide to educate yourself on the 2019 Soccer Goal Kick Rule Changes. The strategies presented will give your team an edge up on the field.
Get The Season Started
No matter what your experience level, the information and tips on this website will help you be a successful youth soccer coach. You’re sure to love the experience, now go get coaching!
Are you doing anything else special to prepare for the 2019 Fall soccer season? If so, let us know in the comments section.