Running an Effective Practice
Nine Steps to Coaching Success:
- Understand that a player’s age and gender dramatically affect both motor skills and the child’s level of social development.
- Create a plan relevant to your team’s age/gender group where your team will focus for the upcoming soccer season. Remember your plan is only a guide it will need to be reviewed and revised over the season.
- Create a measure of success (not just winning) for the soccer season and communicate it frequently to the players.
- Measure the success of each season by the commitment and hard work of your players, playing as a team, progress in developing soccer skills and how much fun everyone had along the way. Most teams don’t win the championship but the children still have a great time anyway. Remember that some children will not progress significantly regardless of how hard they are trying. Their success should be measured by their hard work.
- Find something positive about each of the children and emphasize that throughout the season.
- Encourage players to measure their performance by improvements in their own, personal levels of proficiency and ability rather than by comparing themselves to other players or to other teams based on the games outcome.
- Discourage the practice of criticizing referees, fellow teammates or other players for poor play or a loss.
- Give each child equal playing time (as close as possible), providing that the child attends the majority of the practices. No child will improve without playing time and the BSA has changed its rules now asking coaches to manage toward a goal of equal playing time for all team players in good standing.
- Fun! Make sure that you close each practice with a fun activity (after spending the bulk of the time working on drills). The children should leave each practice excited and looking forward to the next one.