Youth Soccer Drills

Soccer Drills For Coaching Youth Soccer

Coaching Youth Soccer is partly about knowing how to relate to one’s players on a regular basis, as well as in the long run. Having a great deal of knowledge related to soccer drills certainly helps. However, when kids ultimately look back on their childhoods, they’re going to remember the friendly and supportive coaches that helped make their soccer practices much more fun than they would have been otherwise. Coaches that strike the right note will have more enjoyable practices in the meantime, and they will be building themselves and their players better futures.

Staying Calm

Coaching youth soccer has some inherent frustrations. Getting a couple dozen kids to calm down and cooperate in the first place requires a certain number of people management skills, for better or for worse. There are plenty of people that end up yelling in situations like these, losing their tempers one day and ultimately losing their players in one way or another.

Parents increasingly refuse to accept almost any authority figures yelling at their children for whatever reason. People need to consider the stability of their own jobs when they think of the importance of keeping their cool. However, kids are often going to get scared of adults that blow up around them for whatever reason. They’re not going to have the maturity to understand the coach’s perspective in all likelihood. However, they are going to respond well to a coach that stays calm and who is willing to handle all of the usually ups and downs of soccer training and soccer drills.

Making Soccer Practice Fun

Succeeding at almost anything requires having the right motivation, and youth soccer is no exception. However, conscientiousness is, to a certain extent, a trait that develops with time. Even the most hard working young children usually aren’t going to be hard working by adult standards. People that are coaching youth soccer may be at a loss for how exactly to motivate their players to work harder.

For one thing, coaches can make the practices as fun as possible. Choosing soccer drills that the players will actually enjoy will make all the difference. There is a work component to soccer practices, but these are ultimately ways of getting kids out of the house so they can enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise. Designing fun soccer drills and  exercises means staying true to that spirit.

Fun Soccer Drills

Having a good set of fun soccer drills is going to make coaching so much easier, but whatever exercises you do not only have to be fun, but also effective.  Fun and effective soccer drills often have some common components.

  1. They are challenging, but allow for success.
  2. They are competitive and have a way of one team or player winning.
  3. They allow players to express themselves

1v1 soccer drills and soccer dribbling drills are a classic example of this as they allow players to be innovative, they are competitive, and the players love them!

Soccer Practices and Community

However, it is also important to build a sense of friendship and community among the team members themselves. Parents often specifically sign their children up for these sorts of events in order to help them socialize more outside of school. While adult authority figures only have to much control over what happens in a school environment, they have a great deal of control when it comes to soccer practices. Coaches are in a situation where they can heal disputes between players more easily than teachers, while still creating a situation in which the players are good friends that look forward to working together on a regular basis.

Some coaches arrange for group outings or trips that have nothing to do with soccer, just as a way of helping the players get to know one another. It’s important that they don’t think of soccer drills and practice as just another thankless chore, since some kids were obviously pressured to sign up for something like this as a result of what their parents wanted.

Not all soccer coaches are going to have the budget or the time to set aside time for anything other than practices and running soccer drills, and it makes sense that they aren’t always going to be able to arrange anything else. However, if they have the opportunity to do so, their efforts will go a long way.

Soccer Practice and Staying Positive

Some of the most awkward aspects of acting as a soccer coach involve situations in which the teams aren’t performing especially well. No one wants to be that team, but someone is going to be that team. Children’s soccer teams are going to vary a great deal in terms of their collective talent, which can be very difficult to predict. Some of them are actually going to be organized based on talent and experience, which can make things easier for the coaches. Other soccer teams are for almost anyone, with all that that implies.

Soccer coaches that try to help their players think positively even in the face of defeat are going up against a competitive broader culture that isn’t kind to anyone perceived as a loser. Even very young children have already absorbed those lessons, and they may not have absorbed the defenses that adults have devised for themselves and others over the years. Soccer coaches will already have a hard enough time motivating their team members when their team members have a lot of talent. The situation is harder when it comes to players operating at a different level.

Ultimately, coaches are just there to act as guides. Pressuring the players into doing better is only going to make them close off more.

  • Coaches can make the practices more fun and effective or schedule more practices. In some cases, players that seem to be performing ineffectively just need more practice.
  • Coaches can certainly give their players motivational speeches related to the importance of trying, and the possibility of succeeding against all odds. Coaches that know a great deal of sports trivia involving adults, especially sports heroes that the kids will recognize, will be able to do this more effectively.
  • Coaches can try to find ways of rewarding the players that extend beyond winning certain games. Some youth soccer leagues have systems involving prizes as a way to further motivate their players.

However, ultimately, coaches cannot always transform youth soccer teams.

  1. They should make sure their players know that the game is supposed to be fun.
  2. Soccer coaches aren’t necessarily training the future professional athletes of America to Play in the MLS.
  3. However, they are probably training some of America’s other future leaders, which they should keep in mind.