Competitive Youth Soccer and Todays Coach

By: Scott Carlson

At the highest levels of youth soccer, volunteer coaches have been replaced in many leagues with paid trainers. Parents shell out lots of money for private training in the hopes of turning their child into the world’s next Freddy Adu.

Things are serious, and regardless of your opinions of how the game has evolved at the youth level, one thing is for sure: The games are more competitive then ever before! Of course the majority of kids play in less competitive leagues, on teams coached by volunteers. These coaches are dedicated individuals that usually do their best to help the team but are often limited by their knowledge of the game.

I don’t mean to beat up on Volunteer coaches because after all, they are what allows youth soccer to exist, but many lack the ability or the time to invest properly in putting together a plan for developing their players. Against a coach like me, they have no chance.

Why? I know the game and I have a plan for training my team. I know what I want to teach them and I have a way to go about doing it. Most importantly, I know more and I cover more ground over the season.

Some coaches flat our wing-it. They throw out a few cones, dribble around them and kick the ball around for awhile. They do what the kids want to do which is always scrimmage, and no one really learns a thing.

It goes without saying that players who have well-informed coaches will learn more, have more fun, and be more likely to play soccer the next season. As sad as it is to say, one bad season or coach is enough to ruin the game and make kids quit. If you are a coach, you owe it to your team to develop a soccer practice plan that inspires and improves your players.

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