So you want to be a successful high school soccer coach?
We all know it can be daunting and rewarding. Here's a checklist to make sure you tick all the boxes.
You need to know the game inside out, develop a plan, and be organized. The good news is that like any job, there is scope for lots of learning.
But most importantly, you need to teach your players the skills they need and encourage them to have fun.
And when they do well, make sure to celebrate their successes!
But don’t forget, setbacks are part of the game too. So be prepared to deal with them when they happen.
Understand the game of soccer
In order to coach soccer at the high school level, you need to have a strong understanding of the game. This means knowing not only the rules, but also the strategy and tactics involved. If you don't have a firm grasp of the sport, it will be difficult to teach your players the necessary skills and knowledge.
In addition to having a deep understanding of soccer, you must also be able to communicate effectively with your players. This includes being able to give clear instructions and feedback. If your players don't understand what you're trying to tell them, they won't be able to execute your game plan properly.
You'll also understand that you are on a coaching journey of your own and should always look for ways to improve including:
- Watching loads of soccer - what can you see, where would you improve a team
- Watch other coaches in action - how are they helping their players improve during the course of a session
- Join Facebook groups, watch a tonne of Youtube videos and be ready to learn
Most importantly, fall in love with the beautiful game.
Develop a plan for the season
As a high school soccer coach, you will need to develop a plan for the season.
This will include deciding how many practices you will have, what days and times they will be, and what type of training you will do.
You will also need to create a schedule for games and tournaments.
If you are new to coaching, there are many resources available to help you get started. The most important thing is to have a clear vision for your team and what you hope to accomplish over the course of the season.
It's not just about the results of the match, but also the development of each player. Creating a positive environment where everyone can improve and enjoy themselves is crucial to a successful season.
Take some time to think about your goals for the year, and then develop a plan to help you achieve them. With careful planning and execution, you can have a great season!
School soccer coaches typically have a lot on their plates. In addition to developing and leading practices, they also need to manage game days, keep track of player development and progress, and handle administrative tasks. To be successful, high school soccer coaches need to be well organized.
Develop a system for tracking players' individual development. This will help you identify areas where each player needs improvement and tailor your coaching strategy accordingly.
Stay organized on game days by having a set plan and schedule for the day's events. This will help ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you're able to make the most of your time with the team.
Delegate some of the administrative tasks to other members of the coaching staff or even to a parent.
Organisation before every training sessions is also vital, you should consider what theme you will be working on that day e.g. ball control, what drills you will be doing, how long each drill should last for. This allows the session to flow smoothly and provides a focus for the players.
You'll also want to arrive early to set up your training area and equipment. This will help you get the most out of your practice time and avoid any last-minute scrambling.
How big is the area that you have to work with? Then make sure you have enough balls, cones and bibs.
Do you have an assistant coach who can help you?
Teach players the soccer skills they need
As a high school coach, you need to ensure your players learn new skills in order to compete at the high school level.
High school soccer coaches need to be able to teach their players the skills they need to compete at a high level. This includes knowledge of the game, as well as technical and tactical skills.
Coaches should also have a good understanding of how to train their players physically, as this is an important part of being able to perform well on the field. They should be able to instill in their players a love for the game and a desire to compete, as well as creating a positive culture that means high school soccer players want to turn up to each session.
At high school, they should be aware of the fundamentals needed to be a great individual player
- Dribbling and running with the ball
- Passing and receiving
- Pressing and tackling
You should create session plans that are themed and help players individually and collectively to improve each of these areas over a season.
Encourage high school soccer players to have fun
High school soccer players often take the game too seriously. They may be trying to impress college scouts or their parents, and as a result, they put immense pressure on themselves to succeed. This can make the game less fun and enjoyable.
As a coach, it's important to encourage your players to have fun and enjoy the game. This doesn't mean that you should let them slack off or play around; rather, you should remind them that soccer is supposed to be enjoyable and that they shouldn't take it too seriously.
By promoting a positive and fun environment, you'll help your players stay relaxed and focused, which will in turn improve their performance.
They aren't playing women or men's soccer yet. Youth soccer should still lead with fun. Fun comes from the high school soccer coach.
Celebrate their successes
Encourage them to maintain their high standards in future games. Model good sportsmanship by treating the other team, officials, and parents with respect at all times.
Teach your players how to work as a team by helping them understand their roles and responsibilities.
It's important to coach soccer high school players not just on the field but also in how to be good sports. You can do this by celebrating their successes, discouraging poor sportsmanship, and teaching them how to work together as a team. By instilling these values in your players, you'll help them not only succeed in soccer but also in life.
Any grassroots courses encourage you to start with fun and work backwards. Just because you are the high school soccer coach, it doesn't mean you can't inject some personality and fun.
Deal with setbacks
High school is a tough time for any kid. 100's of things going around in their head from a the day they just had in school to family or relationship issues.
The high school soccer coach can help players to build resiliance by creating a resiliant culture.
How do you position a mistake or a loss? Is it the end of the world or a real positive to learn?
Your coaching journey will be a long one, take the rough with the smooth and sit back and enjoy it!