My girls have had about 5 coaches between them in our club soccer journey, but I’ve had a chance to observe and interact with many more youth coaches. Here’s a few that I’ve seen…
1- The Player– This coach is usually a 20 something guy who’s glory days were in high school and college where he was the star of the team and got all the ladies. He’s used to getting by on his charm and good looks and loves to flirt with all the soccer moms while he should be coaching the kids. Unfortunately, he has trouble with organization, commitment and attention to detail.
2- The Task Master– This coach may or may not have a lot of soccer experience, but feels that the only way to succeed is through hard work and discipline. Although these are good things, he/she forgets that the players are kids, not robots! Bellowing commands like a drill sergeant and screaming, “that’s not good enough,” from the sidelines are all indications that you have a task master coach. He/she may get results, but can suck all the joy out of playing.
3- The Mentor– This coach has the heart of gold and loves the kids. Her/His goal is to help the kids understand the game and work together. The mentor loves the thought of turning an underperforming team into winners. The mentor can let his/her emotional attachments influence playing time and team members which can eventually harm the team.
4- The Strategist– This coach is the ultimate chess player. He/she is thinking 5 moves ahead at all times and always has a master plan. He/she doesn’t hesitate to teach young kids sophisticated techniques and strategies and believes that they can master them. He/she wants the team to play like Barcelona. In the younger years, this can be not as effective against teams playing the long ball, but it’s all part of the master plan…
Of course, most coaches are a combination of at least two of these. Our current coach, who is wonderful, is a combination of almost all the positive traits of all of the above. He is a great coach for my girls, but might not be for everyone. We all need to choose what’s right for our kids.
What number is your kid’s coach?