10 Characteristics of an Effective Soccer Coach

An effective soccer coach must not only have an in-depth knowledge in everything about soccer. He must also possess special characteristics that will help him become a great coach and produce a winning soccer team. A successful soccer team does not just rely on the physical and technical requirements, but usually more than those. The soccer coach must develop skills to fulfill them.

Here are 10 typical features that every soccer coaches must have.

1. Good Role Model

Every soccer team needs a coach that is a good role model. You have to understand that they need someone worth imitating. Check yourself if you are willing to be your soccer team’s role model. Put in mind that you are going to be their servant-leader and they are relying their success on you. You would be teaching them positive attitudes to win a game. It would be a shame if you teach something you don’t actually apply to yourself.

2. Admirable Appearance

Being a good soccer coach, you must never overlook the importance of appearance. Make sure you look neat and tidy. Cleanliness could add up to your professional look and this will help you gain trust and respect of the team. Remember that you will be the players’ role model, their soccer coach.

3. Be Punctual

Always be early to arrive in the soccer training. This way, you can manage the training set-up before the players arrive. It will also help you to not waste your time and can focus on the training objectives by starting on time during the sessions. If you will be late, there will be big chances that the soccer players will get bored easily, or even be impatient because you are not being professional.

4. Good teacher

An effective soccer coach is a good teacher. Part of your duty is to teach them everything about soccer especially the basics like passing, dribbling, shooting and tackling. You have to make it sure that your soccer team is learning and growing their skills. Always remember to give clear and correct instructions during the training sessions. You can’t coach the soccer players who don’t have any knowledge about the do’s and don’ts in soccer. In teaching soccer skills, demonstrating the drills is better than oral instructions.

5. Friendly

Establish a good player-coach relationship with your soccer team by being friendly to them. You must understand their personalities by knowing their personal lifestyles and interests. This way, you could analyze their varied emotional and mental characteristics and develop strategies that could motivate them more accordingly. But be reminded, you can get personal but stay professional.

6. Good Listener

It is important to constantly seek the soccer team’s involvement, and one way of this is by asking their views after every game. As the soccer coach, you must be a good listener because every person has his own brilliant ideas to share. Always encourage them to speak out and take what they say into consideration. Make notes if necessary, and include some recommendations in your soccer session plan.

7. Good Communicator

It is important that a soccer coach knows the importance of communication. This includes recognizing the players’ performances and achievements. Encourage them to do better and praise them for a game well done. Be conscious with using your words because a coach’s words are powerful and will bring a big impact to the team.

8. Development

Each soccer player’s development is essential. As their coach and role model, you must not only teach them soccer basic skills, but also social skills like discipline, patience, determination, and teamwork. Always put as one of your goals the development of the team players.

9. Team Motivator

Always develop activities in the soccer training session that will help motivate each soccer player to do better every game. Don’t forget to remind them their goals and missions on why they wanted to learn soccer and create a winning team. Words of encouragement and ways for development are very useful.

10. Goal-Centered

Whatever may happen, always look unto your soccer team’s goal – Why you are working so hard, why the soccer players are determined to learn and follow every instructions, why their parents keep on supporting your team. You are all doing your best to reach that common goal. An effective soccer coach knows how to picture out that goal to the players’ minds.

If you can apply these 10 Soccer Coach must-have’s, then you will be the soccer players’ favorite coach ever. Always remember to give them the chance to achieve their full potentials. Soccer is one great enjoyable game in the world, make sure you put that in their minds.

Dealing With Youth Football Coaching Politics

Dealing With Youth Football Politics

Unfortunately the world of youth football today is often driven by politics. In the last two weeks I’ve had four different coaches share with me their frustrating stories. In every case these coaches were putting up with incompetent, ego driven “coaches” or administrators that were more concerned with their own coaching reputation than they were with the best interest of the boys playing the game.

Where Else But Youth Football?

I’m not sure there is any other field in life where someone that has had constant and even horrific failure feels they are somehow an expert. Does the architect of buildings that consistently fall down offer advice to other architects whose designs have won national awards and have never crumbled? Does the mutual fund manager whose fund has gone down in each of the past 10 years offer buy advice to Warren Buffet? Does the owner of 3 failed restaurants offer his recipes to Bobby Flay? Of course not, none of these people have any credibility or would have the gall to do so, they would be laughed out of the room. BUT the consistent failure in youth football, seems to love to give unsolicited advice, and especially to those that are doing well.

Recent Examples

Last week I had a youth coach e-mail me, his team had gone 8-1 last year, all of his players decided to come back and his parents loved him. He was being hassled by an administrator in his league who has not coached a winning team in his last 10 seasons. Last year in fact, this administrators team scored just 3 touchdowns for the season and in several of the games, they didn’t even record a single first down. He ended up losing over a third of his team. Yet this admin person felt he had the expertise to offer advice to the 8-1 coach about his X’s and O’s and practice methodology.

Another coach, let’s call him Don, e-mailed me last week about his organizations teams. Last season they had 6 teams entered in their league and they won a grand total of 3 games, 1 of which was by forfeit. Don said he wasn’t sure if any team in this organization has had a winning record in the last 3 years and he said they were having huge problems with retention. But when Don suggested the organization consider making some changes in X’s and O’s and priorities, he was told, “nothings wrong with the way we are doing things now”, that the system Don was suggesting they consider “would never work”.

Yet Again

Another coach told me about him taking a perennial loser and going from worst to nearly first last year, finishing at 7-1 and going to the playoffs for the first time in 4 years, while all the other teams in the organization finished below .500 and sat home during the playoffs. He was told he “got lucky” and his system would never work next year after the other teams were used to seeing it.

How can anyone that has consistently failed try and tell someone that has succeeded they are doing something wrong and do it with a straight face? I realize it is human nature these days to try and minimize ones failings, but do these guys realize how insane crazy they sound?

You Are Right

Know that if your kids are all coming back every year, your team is competitive and your kids block and tackle well, all is right in the world. Teams with the best fundamentals and practice priorities win in youth football. Realize that when someone chalks your teams success up to luck, one good player, weaker division that year, new novel offense blah blah blah blah it is just the failing coaches way of trying to make himself feel better about his lack of coaching success. It is the “new” American way, make excuses about your lack of success and minimize others who have had success. Then put huge obstacles and special rules in place that have nothing to do with making the game or the league better, but give unreasonable and unwarranted advantages to the failing coach.

The absurdity of it all is revolting to most of us gown-ups with common sense. Sure anyone can have that “perfect storm” and have a bad season, but how can someone that consistently loses feel he has the competence to guide others that have had success? Just know that the green eyed monster of jealousy will nearly always raise its ugly head once you have succeed where others have failed.

How The Excuse Maker Coach Can Help Us

Let’s not pooh-pooh these blowhards just yet. You can learn from them, think about what they do and do the exact opposite, because if everything they do is wrong, the exact opposite would be right wouldn’t it? This video clip may help you understand it better:


I’m never rude to these guys, unfortuantely most of them are too proud and set in their ways to admit failure or to take any advice from anyone. Just be nice, smile and feel bad for the kids playing for them. They remind me of one of those really bad and clueless American Idol singers.

The losing coach telling you how to coach is like this superhero telling Paula how to sing or Simon how to judge. It’s bizzaro world.