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What Makes A Great Coach?

Here are two articles concerning the qualities and characteristics of good and excellent coaches:

Registering with TRIAS

U8 and above coaches,

I've received a few questions regarding Trias, so I just want to clarify how you use the site from a coach's perspective.  You do NOT need to register on the site...you can just go to the site (www.triassoccercentral.org) to do the following two very useful functions:

1. Check current schedules - if you've had a schedule change or you aren't sure if you did, the schedule for both Association and District games are on Trias.  Go to Information--Match Inquiry, and filter on the items at the top of the screen to narrow down to a certain date or range.  You can put your team name in there to just pull up your games.  Click on the checkbox next to the filter criteria to make it display.

2. Evaluate Referees - this lets you evaluate a referee.  Go to Information--Evaluate Referee and use the filter criteria at the top of the screen.  Please give constructive, detailed feedback that will be helpful to the referee.  This feedback is looked at every week and feedback that can be used is shared with the referee so he/she can improve their performance the next week.

If you are interested in becoming a referee, you can also click on Information--Clinics for upcoming Trias clinics.  You can find other clinics at www.wasrc.org/clinics.

Please let me know if you have any questions about using Trias.  It is a very useful tool.


Tim McMonigle
WSSC Board
WSSC Ref Assignor

Washington Youth Soccer Age Appropriate Training Introduction
Coaching Resources
Posted Dec 29, 2010

Back to Coaches Corner

Here's a fun list of soccer movies to recommend to your players, depending on their ages. These include movies where soccer is the main theme, and where it is just a backdrop.

Thanks to Paul Sampson, WSSC coach, for starting this list! He has regular movie nights with his team as a way to bond them together. Please send in any others you know about that may be of interest to the soccer community:

  1. Bend It Like Beckham (2002, PG13) - not really a soccer movie, but the story revolves around an English women's semi-pro team and the clash between old world and new world Indian culture (think an updated Fiddler on the Roof), and the fight to be good enough for a college soccer scholarship in California.
  2. The Miracle Match (also known as The Game of Their Lives) (2005, PG) - true story of the 1950 World Cup when an unknown US team played and beat favored England in the semifinals.
  3. Goal! The Dream Begins (2005, PG) - story of a Mexican soccer player trying out and playing for Newcastle United. There's some great soccer footage in this movie, and the story line is pretty good.
  4. Victory (1981, PG) - like "The Great Escape", but around a soccer game between allied prisoners of war and a German team, with Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pele. Some of the best soccer footage in a feature length movie.
  5. Fever Pitch (1997, R) - the original British movie about a crazy Arsenal football fan. It is the same story as the more recent US baseball "Fever Pitch" about a Red Sox fan. But the soccer is just a backdrop .
  6. A Shot at Glory (2000, R) -- This is the movie with Robert Duvall the coach of a 2nd division Scottish club that gets to the final of the Sottish Open against Rangers. A lot of cursing, so not good for teens or younger.
  7. Once in a Lifetime (2006, PG13) - a documentary of the New York Cosmos of the old North American Soccer League. Not as exciting for the kids, but very interesting for those who followed the NASL before it folded.
  8. Gracie (2007, PG13) - a true story story based on the death of high school soccer player, and his sister trying to make the boys team that her brother starred on. More for teenagers, but it does have some good soccer footage.
Still Shouting from the Sidelines?

By Jeff Haefner

As a coach, I made this mistake and I still see thousands of other coaches make this mistake too… You see soccer coaches continually shouting instructions and yelling at their players on the side lines. We've all done it. But before you shout instructions from the side line again, stop for a moment and ask yourself a few sobering questions:

  1. Can your players really hear you during the action of a game?
    If you've ever played soccer or any sport, you know it's hard to hear your coach during the action of a game. There are just too many other distractions, noises, and things going on. Whether you like it or not, a player's hearing can be selective during a game.
  2. Can your players really process what you're saying?
    During a game, players are making approximately two decisions every second. That's right… TWO decisions every second! This can be challenging even for an adult - so for youth players this can be paralyzing. You want to make your coach happy, your parents happy, and you want to do well. You need to decide which way to run, how to kick the ball, whether you should pass it, where your teammates are at, and so on. Now you add a coach yelling at you on the sidelines. Youth players simply can't process everything. And it is even sometimes tough for adults. But youth players are different because they have not developed mentally, physically, cognitively, or spatially. This makes it nearly impossible for young kids to truly process what a coach is saying on the sideline.
  3. Are you setting a good example for your players?
    Some coaches that yell on the sidelines tend to get emotional during the action of the game. They sometimes scold their players and sometimes scream at refs in a very insulting manner. Even though this is common practice, this behavior displays a very immature and poor example for your players. That's not how adults act in the real world. So why is it ok for us to yell and scream in sports? I think that is a great injustice to sports (in particular youth sports!)

Young kids are very impressionable and look up to their coaches. In fact, over 20 years later I can still vividly remember countless statements and comments that my coach made to me and other players. I guarantee the players you are coaching will remember things you say for the rest of their lives.

The truth is that kids learn a lot from sports. So as coaches we need to be careful about the example we set for kids. Like it or not, you're in a powerful position that requires careful thought and responsibility.

So how should you give instruction to players during games?
I think that if you look in the mirror and answer the three questions above, you'll come to the conclusion that yelling on the sideline doesn't do much good (especially while the game is in action).

So the next time you are on the sideline, think twice about yelling at kids during the game and consider these general guidelines instead:

  • Provide instruction when the players come out of the game or when the action stops. Your efforts will be much more effective. When you sub players or have dead ball situations, use that time to talk with the player one on one. Teach them, make the game fun, and set a good example!
  • If you say anything during the action of a game, keep it positive. Words of encouragement are good for those players than can hear - and it's also good for the players on the bench and parents who are usually right on top of you in a soccer match.
  • If you feel that you must provide instructions during the action of the game, it can be effective to have a few key concepts that you can instruct the players during a game situation. For example, the coach can shout "out wide" and the players will remember they are supposed to get the ball to the sidelines not up the middle. You can also use short phrases like "don't bunch" or "down the sideline" on throw-ins, and "not in the middle" when they are clearing the ball.
  • Above all else, keep things positive during the game! It's a proven fact that too much criticism will hurt a players confidence and slow their development. And nothing looks worse than an out of control coach yelling and screaming on the sidelines. It does no good and actually has a negative effect.


US Youth Soccer Coaches Connection

Get Connected with the Coaches Connection for only $29.95 a Year or $50 for Two Years

The Coaches Connection provides members with a link to the US Youth Soccer Coaching Education Network: National Staff Coaches, plus 55 State Association Directors of Coaching Education and their staffs, as well as guest lectures from around the world!

The Connection is all about connectivity and the ability to communicate with educators from across the country.  Get connected with leaders in the field of coaching and player development. Stay current with discussions on such hot topics as small-sided games; recreation vs. competitive soccer; ethics and morals in sport.

Keep connected with continuing education opportunities online at USYouthSoccer.org. Get the latest information on training youth players, learn the latest in age appropriate training activities, and find out where and when special events will be in a location near you!


Links for Coaches

Here is a terrific list of resources to help make teaching our great game more fun and effective.

Soccer Drills and Practice Plans