How to coach youth soccer teams and make the most of preparation, practice time and game time.
Coaching Kids' Soccer is a comprehensive and sensible guide whose goal is to improve individual skills and develop teamwork and sportsmanship among youth. Always stressing safety, fun, progressive learning and the natural development of participants, Stuart Page explains how to engage young players (and their parents) and gives tips on teaching the skills needed to excel.
The easy-to-use page layouts feature loads of tips, checklists, sidebars and illustrations on topics that include:
Practice sessions are designed specifically for various age groups and skills levels, with the emphasis on building enthusiasm and sportsmanship. Coaching Kids' Soccer makes sure the game is as much fun for coaches as it is for their players.
Stuart Page has over 35 years' experience in soccer. He coaches in Surrey, England, and ran a league of more than 25 teams for boys, girls and adults. He lectures widely on child advocacy.
Is there anything more delightful than watching children immerse themselves in an activity that is stimulating, progressive and enjoyable, in which they can achieve a level of success that surpasses even their expectations? The delight increases tenfold if the activity also helps to develop good social skills and continued health and fitness.
Although you could list a plethora of activities that fit this category, perhaps the one that springs to mind is sports, and soccer in particular. Soccer is enjoyed by hundreds of millions of people around the world, none more so than children under the age of 18. Although the vast majority of children will never play competitive soccer at a professional level, many will play regularly -- socially and recreationally -- throughout their formative years at school, often at an organized junior club. They will carry what they learn in adolescence into adult life so it is important that anyone responsible for shaping and guiding their learning should do it to the very best of their ability and to the highest standard.
Soccer is a growing sport in North America. It is one of the most watched sports in the world, it has a huge number of participants and a great deal of financial investment. It should therefore come as no surprise that the governing bodies of soccer are on a constant crusade to implement and maintain high standards of quality and safety. They aim to do this by encouraging, supporting, informing and educating all those involved in football, or considering getting involved.
Did you know that in the United States:
This book gives you all the information you need to organize successful soccer. Whether you are a passionate volunteer, a schoolteacher or qualified coach, Coaching Kids' Soccer will take you step by step through forming, maintaining and developing young players and teams in a structured, safe and sound manner.
Above all, Coaching Kids' Soccer will provide you with ample guidance and points of reference to ensure that safety, enjoyment and protection are placed highest on the agenda. It aims to help everyone involved in soccer to develop and implement the necessary good habits and practices to preserve this beautiful game for centuries to come.
Many children enjoy the game but show no natural skill or ability. These children may be neglected or expected to keep up with the more gifted players by coaches and teachers, which often leads to exclusion. This need not be the case, however, and with good practice parents, teachers, coaches and other organizers can make soccer fun, healthy, enjoyable and character-building for everyone participating, regardless of their size, age, ability and level of maturity. Coaches can have a dramatically positive influence on a young person's life if, from the start, a policy of good practice, care and attention is adopted.
At the club level, the majority of junior soccer around the world is administered by passionate volunteers who have no formal training or qualifications. When managing children and children's activities, it is vital that adults are well-informed. Sadly, the emphasis on good practice is often overshadowed by the desire to produce superstars. As such, the important aspects of safety, fun, progressive learning and natural development are all too often overlooked, and the needs of less gifted participants neglected. It is therefore vitally important that parents, teachers and coaches are given the same level of help and support that we expect them to give our children. Our children may be the future but it is the adults who guide them and ensure that good practice is maintained and developed.
My involvement in junior/grassroots football has given me the knowledge and experience to get things right, to recognize and act when things are going wrong and to ensure that the children we are responsible for grow up to love the game to which we introduce them. I hope I bring all of this experience and passion to the pages of Coaching Kids' Soccer. As head coach I have been responsible for turning enthusiastic parents into competent and qualified coaches. This has not always been easy, as gaining qualifications is not high on everyone's priority list. However, this issue is quickly resolved when I ask parents how they would feel if someone who refused to obtain appropriate coaching and child protection qualifications was responsible for coaching their children.
In this book I have included chapters on risk assessment, preparation for activity and actions to take in the event of emergencies. There are plenty of coaching drills relative to age, level of maturity and physical development, with additional guides on how to make soccer educational without losing the fun, enjoyment and health and safety aspects. The book is designed to cover the many situations coaches, parents and teachers will face as they help guide soccer-loving children's journeys to adulthood. I hope you enjoy the book and will derive benefit from it for many years to come.
About the Author
Part 1: An Introduction to Coaching
Part 2: Couching and Player Development
Appendix 1: Useful Addresses