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Coaching Your Child: Easy to Follow Tips

Use these easy and fun tips by Rod Harmon on coaching your child. OK so you can’t get past it.  Your child wants to play, the team needs a coach and some league coordinator has told your child and other kids won’t play unless you step up. You Do and now you Are – THE COACH!

You need some rules/boundaries that your child and YOU don’t break:

Tip 1 – You are the coach, they are the player

On the field practice or game time, you are the coach they are the player, keep it that way. You are not a Dad for your child or the rest of the team. Have your child address you as Coach and treat them as if they are just another player. You will know you have been successful if weeks into season one of the parents asks if or which kid is yours.

Tip 2 – Give feedback as parent and coach

So coaching your child, well you may need to give feedback or are asked by your child, just know who is giving it, the parent or coach. On the drive home from the game decide who you are, the dad who just watched their child play or the coach who just finished the game. Let your child make that decision, make it a rule to yourself, if it is Dad, then always be positive, talk about the positive things they did on and off the field. Don’t speak of the team, the other players or the outcome of the game. That’s the coach’s job. If your child chooses to ride home with the coach.

Then critique the game, and how the team played as a team, what were the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses, what were your teams. It’s the hardest job in soccer to be a child of the parent coach, especially after a poorly played game. When the ride ends, so does the talk.  Practice is where you fix things not on the ride home with your child or player, as the case may be.

Tip 3 – Have lots of non sports conversations

Have non-soccer conversations or better yet non soccer days! No soccer one day, then go fishing, play golf, throw that little ball (what do they call it, oh yea baseball) around. Soccer is a game, and games are for fun. There is plenty of time to be serious about life and the sport. Just make sure this sport we call soccer, even at its most serious time, is seriously fun.

How to Start Coaching Your Child

So, now get educated, search for soccer coaching information online. If you live in an area that has your sport, go to the local soccer store, talk to the proprietor, have them suggest videos, books, and mentors in the area. Get into a coaching course in your local area; ask the dumb questions, we all did. Find a coach who has been around a while, ask if you can watch or help at his practice. Ask a more senior team to come mentor your team. Watch Soccer at a higher level, high School, college or professional. Become a student of the game…especially if you never played the game this will be very helpful.

Remember, keep having fun coaching and your players, your team will too. Keep enthused about the game and your players, your team will too. When you start coaching others, not your own, you will realize how much fun and rewarding coaching really can be. Keep in mind change in coaching is good; having your own child coached by another will help them grow. Three years is always a good time frame for a new perspective (a new coach) on the game and how it should be played, on skills and how they can be mastered.

Have a wonderful time keeping it fun,

by Rod Harmon aka Jenni’s Dad

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December 22, 2020

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