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Baldwin Whitehall Soccer Association

"Winning" Coaches

BWSA coaches are role models and have a responsibility to provide a positive, nurturing environment for our players’ development both on and off the field. These coaching tips will help develop a "winning" environment where players engage, develop, and excel in soccer and their own personal development regardless of the score of the game. BWSA coaches:

  • Are enthusiastic! When dealing with young players, first impressions can last a lifetime. Their behavior and interest in the game can be affected by the coach’s interaction with the them.

  • Smile and provide plenty of praise during sessions! The more enjoyment players get out of a session, the greater their confidence and self-esteem will be in soccer and in life.  

  • Set a good example and serve as role models. Coaching soccer isn’t only about the game, our coaches have a responsibility to help shape our players in their character development from childhood to adulthood.

  • Provide an inclusive session and ensure all players feel they are part of the team. BWSA wants players to love the games and continue to be involved in soccer into adulthood. To create this love of the game, they need to have a positive and enjoyable experience. 

  • Rotate players and give each player a chance to play in all positions. The more positions players are exposed, to the more skills and better understanding of the game they will gain. 

  • Give players ownership of the sessions. Players will gain a deeper understanding of the game, if they take ownership for the direction of learning and make the learning experience more personal. Allow players to come up with their own progressions of an activity, have group discussions on tactics they might employ during the activity, help set up the equipment, and ask and answer questions 

  • Manage players’ differences as individuals. Each player is unique and requires different forms of player management. Get to know the individual player, work on both their strengths and weaknesses. Observe the players to see who needs support and who needs challenges, but keep the session simple.

  • Cater to the different needs and senses of the players. Consider bringing a portable whiteboard with the session plan drawn on it so they see the plan. Demonstrate the session plan while explaining it to them so they hear the plan. Run the session so the players experience the plan.

  • Provide fun, engaging, motivational, and age appropriate activities. For kids to keep playing the game and turning up every week to practices and games, the activities must be enjoyable and relatable to the players. For example, many children play computer games, where characters have “lives” for the player to maintain or lose. Consider giving a certain amount of “lives” to maintain or lose and force an opposition team to lose.

Keeping the Fun in the Game

BWSA is committed to making FUN the central focus in all of our programs. As a coach, you play an important role in keeping the fun in the game. With 70% of children quitting organized sports by the age of 13, youth sports organizations around the U.S. are taking a hard look at why kids are quitting and how we can keep them in the game.

Take a few minutes to watch the videos and read the articles in "Helpful Articles." They'll help you to understand what your role as a coach or a "sport parent" should be, what BWSA expects from you in that role, and how you can keep your child excited about playing organized sports. And, as always, if you have any questions or concerns about your child's performance or your role as a coach, your league coordinator and the BWSA board are here to help.

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