Friday, March 7, 2014

Everybody has a talent. It's YOUR job as a coach to help a player find what they are good at.

People are strutting the streets and fields in their fancy track suits bragging about the great programs they're with.  That's OK.  But never forget that all soccer is soccer and everybody playing is a soccer player.  I am reminded of that every Wednesday night in Welland.

My wife coaches a CoEd U15 indoor house league team and I am her able-bodied assistant.  My youngest son trains with his travel program but also plays in this league. 

The skill level in this league varies.  There are travel players, house league payers and some players who only play soccer during the winter, but all players nevertheless.

I always leave with a good feeling because every week somebody has a very good game.  Do we coach?  Not in the "fancy tracksuit" meaning of the word, but we do give info and we encourage.   When we find something that somebody does extremely well, we let them do it.
 "... there is something for every player to do."
When I hear people say "just house league" it bugs me because I feel more magic can happen at
house league and grassroots than anywhere else. I've seen a child's body language and attitude change permanently within a matter of 60 minutes because something "clicked" or a coach empowered them.

No matter what level you are coaching at, everybody can do something.  If they don't know what it is, your job is to help them find it.  If you can't find it, MAKE IT UP and show them they can do it.  Everybody deserves a role and the wonderful feeling of fulfilling that role with their team.

What can a player do to feel successful if they are not a strong player?  You can involve them in many of the restarts, giving them places to be in certain situations, protect them from situations (early on) that might damage their confidence, etc.  If you give them a taste of success, their confidence will build and they will be willing to try something new.

No matter the sport, there is something for every player to do.  And stronger players can develop that rare characteristic of selflessness if they are encouraged to include a weaker player in the play.  Everybody wins.

More success, more confidence.  More confidence, more happy players (and parents).  More happy players, more players stay in the game.  Get the picture?

I hope every player, in every sport in every city, at every level, has successful moments that they can build from.  You never know what that child might accomplish with the confidence they've developed under your watch.

As a coach, it's your job to help a player find what they are good at.