A COACH’S ROLE
A player/coach relationship is a vital, yet often overlooked component of the youth soccer experience. Many youth coaches take a hard-line approach and think that a tough love attitude is most effective. In reality, the most successful coaches are those who are more supportive than authoritarian.
Though teaching proper technical and tactical skills are obviously an important part of your role, it is just as important for your players to be encouraged and valued, and derive a sense of accomplishment from their efforts on the field. Instilling this in players is often dependent upon the coach’s approach and mannerisms, rather than on the coach’s knowledge of the game or barking orders. No one really responds well to yelling.
Good coaches set good examples. They are respectful to players, to the referees, to the opposing team’s coach and to parents. They teach and model good sportsmanship both after victory and defeat. They care about their players’ well-being. They demonstrate a love for the game by showing they enjoy watching kids play and by smiling and cheering during the game. When coaches send these types of messages players do respond well.