Hi, I'm Jonny a Soccer Coach from the UK

I love soccer (or football as we call it) and I love coaching soccer. My journey started back in 2004. I thought I'd share what I've learned so far and hope it helps you with your soccer coaching. 

Jonny Cameron

I'm fascinated by the things that help young soccer players to make better decisions.

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What makes a good training session?

A good soccer coach will design training sessions that make players want to come back. 

How you make players want to come back will vary depending on their age. For example at the foundation level (under 10) you can ensure that players want to fall in love with soccer by making training sessions fun and enjoyable. This will not only impact their decision-making when playing soccer, they’ll build up a really positive association with your training sessions now and in the future.

As players get older you can help them to master the game of soccer more through repetition and create a great culture that ensures they want to be part of your soccer team. If players feel like they are getting better, as well as having fun, they will want to come back and you will be doing a great job as a soccer coach.

What makes a good soccer coach?

You need to have a mentality that allows you to reflect on every training session or match that your team is involved in. 

Understand what worked and what didn't. How can you tailor the training session to different ages, abilities and social backgrounds? 

Are you prepared to be patient and play the long game when it comes to developing soccer players or are you only concerned with whether they win or not in the next match?

Good soccer coaches are able to tailor training sessions to the individuals involved in the session. This may be about making a game more difficult for advanced players or adding an extra condition to help them focus.

Make it age specific

I've heard parents and coaches shouting ridiculous things at kids when they play soccer. How can we expect a 7-year old to understand what “switch play” means or what a 4-3-3 formation involves?

The language you use needs to be tailored to the players you are coaching as well as the individuals. This includes how you give feedback. Do you make statements or do you ask questions that help people make better decisions?

Build rapport

In order to create a great environment for kids, young people or even adults you need to be able to build up rapport. 

This might mean regular communication with parents, with updates on any issues they may have or it may mean regular player development meetings where you discuss your plans for each individual player. 

Either way, an ability to create relationships is very important if you want people to share your vision on how you want to coach. 

Building rapport with other coaches means you'll always have somebody on hand for advice and you will also be able to build up relationships with other teams rather than being enemies which is never a bad thing.

Watch more soccer

Whether you are new to soccer coaching or you've been a fan of soccer for 30 years, the game changes and you should always be ready to learn. You learn not only by putting on and managing training sessions, but also by watching plenty of soccer and picking up ideas along the way.

If you don't love soccer how can you expect your players to? Even if you are coming to the game with fresh eyes, you can appreciate the benefits. The idea of social interaction, being part of a team, physical literacy, commitment and mastery of a skill are all very important.

Watch other coaches

See if you can watch other coaches in action. So many coaches pick up training sessions and games to play but they don't pick up things like culture, the psychological and social things that go into being a great coach. This could be as simple as how coaches transition from one drill to another or how they reward players or treat them as individuals.