It’s not uncommon for a parent to become a first time coach without expectations of what is needed.
My first season as a U5 coach I volunteered out of necessity. We had registered Evan for soccer for the first time, and we received notification that our club had a shortage of coaches. At that point I volunteered – mostly out of necessity.
I had coached one winter of Basketball for Aidan. Again – it was out of necessity due to shortage of coaches. I struggled with the team – there was no curriculum or suggestions for what to do with a group of Kindergarten kids for a full season.
When it came to soccer, we at least had a trainer to help with technical skills. But that left half a practice to work with the kids on everything else. It was hard to know what to do every week. In the spring, I decided to take on Aidan’s U7 team.
That’s when I decided I was taking Georgia Soccer’s “G” Course.
It’s an easy trap to fall into – trying to make a kids’ sport look exactly like the grown-up version. Imagine a group of seven year olds, slickly passing the ball around the pitch and finishing with a smart shot on goal. The team advances and retreats as a unit and defends as a team.
That’s not how it goes.
The first part of Georgia Soccer’s coursework is classroom time. The instructor, a Director of Coaching for Georgia Soccer, led the group through a curriculum that addressed the Emotional, Psychological, and Physical states that children in our age group are in. Understanding the children on the team is the first step in learning to coach, as kids in the U6 and U8 age groups are still mostly self-centered and selfish. This translates to play on the field – which leads to players keeping the ball and not passing.
There’s a lot of parent coaches who never played soccer – and are coaching out of need! For these age groups, it’s really not a big deal.
Fieldwork is a part of each coaching course Georgia Soccer offers. It helps to give a base of how to teach specific skills – dribbling, passing, and defending.
It’s also the most fun part of the day, as coaches get a chance to hit the field and play against one another.
Learn What’s Not Needed
Anyone who played sports as a kid probably remembers running laps. Georgia Soccer, and probably every other Soccer organization in the country discourage using laps for physical training. All of the fitness that’s needed for soccer in these age groups can be achieved on the pitch in the course of play during a properly constructed practice.
Get out and Do It
The only investment to make for these two courses is time. The F and G courses are free to registered players, parents and coaches in Georgia. Schedule your course now, and you can get it done before the start of the Spring season!
I even recommend it to parents who probably aren’t going to coach. It really helps to understand the game and be able to work with your son or daughter at home and understand their progress.