Learn How to Coach Soccer

Lesson 1: Intro to Coaching Soccer

Introduction to Coaching Soccer

Welcome to the Game of Soccer

So, you have recently been voluntold to coach your kid’s soccer team. Don’t worry! Whether you’re new to coaching, or completely new to the sport, Soccerdrive.com is here to make your experience as a youth soccer coach painless and stress-free! 

First, a little history lesson: Soccer is a directional game where two teams compete against each other to score the most goals. You score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s net, using any body part except for your arms or hands. Only one player on your team (the goalkeeper) is allowed to use their arms and hands, but only in the penalty area around the goal they are defending. A standard soccer field looks like this:

Soccer Field Diagram

The first instances of soccer being played, by kicking a ball into a goal, date back to China around 200BC. However, soccer as we know it was originally established with set rules in England with the formation of The Football Association in 1863. “Soccer” actually comes from the word “Association” which was used by the English to distinguish it from Rugby.

Soccer is played globally by over 250 million people, making it the world's most popular sport. The FIFA World Cup final, soccer’s ultimate tournament, is watched by over 1 billion people around the world. That’s compared to the Super Bowl, which averages about 115m viewers worldwide. Incredible! 

Soccer’s popularity is mostly due to how easy it is to play. In its simplest form, all you need is two players, a ball, and two goals. A goal can be made with literally anything: two shoes, two sticks, or a pair of sweatshirts. No further equipment is needed to play.

Roles of a coach

If this is your first time coaching, it’s important to make the below points the cornerstone of your interactions with your players:

  1. Be a good person. Treat everyone how you would want others to treat your own child. Make decisions that will have a positive impact on that child and their love for the sport.
  2. Listen. The number one reason players leave a sport is because they aren’t having fun, and they feel the coach doesn’t care for them. Make sure you take time to listen to your players, and show that you care for the individually.
  3. Come prepared. Make sure you do research on what to do for practices prior to arriving at the practice field. Make sure your practices are fun!

SoccerDrive’s aim is to create a resource for all coaches to facilitate them in their practices, but it’s important to understand that coaching is more than the x’s and o’x and putting together a quality practice plan. Coaching is 90% interactions, and placing your players’ well-being and growth in the sport is paramount over all other aspects. Now, having a quality practice is very important: it sets boundaries, gives your players a good environment to learn, and fosters enjoyment of the game. However, learning how to run and design a good practice plan takes experience, trial-and-error, and research. As a beginning coach, you’re going to have a steep learning curve with your training sessions. Throughout your learning and experiences, please keep these three rules paramount to set yourself up for success: be a good person, listen, and come prepared

Good luck and have fun this season!