6 Tips for Coaching Soccer on Game Day

Winning is the goal, but not winning at all costs.

Players need to know that their victories are empty ones if they're gained by cheating or foul play. All players feel pressures. These pressures won't produce winners. You'll be defeating your own purpose by teaching methods that impose stress and there will be a breaking point at which you'll lose games and players. If a team is prepared properly, they'll be ready to go on game day.

Here are some more game day tips for youth soccer coaches:

Pregame Pep Talk

A pregame pep talk can be an effective factor in your team's performance and attitude. Many coaches find a more effective way to deal with the pregame buildup is a quiet chat with each player while the teams are warming up. Coaching soccer will require knowing how to get the most out of each player. All players will respond in a different way.

Dealing With Others

The player-coach relationship is more important than many coaches realize. It's essential that your players respect you and that will come about not only in your association with them, but in how you conduct yourself in relationships with others. These non-player relationships extend to your fellow coaches. Across the field, they too are trying to build a winning team. After a tough loss, meet the opposing coach in the middle of the field and congratulate him or her and add a word of praise for some of the other team's players.

Sideline Behavior

A coach's sideline behavior may have an effect on the players. Coaches of youth teams often run up and down the touch lines shouting instructions to the players because the young players are still learning. However, yelling and screaming like a maniac will only confuse the players. If you're properly coaching youth soccer the right way and have prepared the players for the game, they'll only need an occasional reminder during the game.

Halftime Corrections

Make mental notes or write down areas of play that you feel need correcting and point them out at halftime or after the game. Keeping low key will install confidence in your players and permit them to concentrate on their responsibilities. Don't expect the impossible from your players. Don't be a boss but rather be a leader.

Easing Up

If the game is lopsided and you're winning with little effort, don't bury the other team. You'll know instinctively when you've scored enough goals to win easily. This is the time to send in the subs and give every player a chance. Your own players will recognize what you're doing and they'll have a lot of respect for your actions and develop empathy for their opponent.

Keeping Your Cool

Occasionally, you'll find yourself facing an opponent whose coach and players seem to be trying to annoy you and your team. Don't bother yourself about whether they're doing it deliberately or not. Keep your players from talking back to opposing players who try to instigate them. Convince your players it's important for them to play their game, not the opponent's.

Team poise is as important as teamwork!

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