Have you ever thought about being your child’s soccer coach? Whether you volunteer for the neighbourhood kids or just want to help your own learn the game, there is a strategy for you! Benefits may include less time spent driving the children to soccer lessons, more exercise for all of you, and a fun and nearly-free activity for the whole family.
Start by making sure you read and know the rules of soccer. One competent source for this information is the “Football Bible“.
Knowing the rules of soccer is important because when your children play against others or in school, you don’t want to teach them things, which are not in the official rule book, lest they become mixed up regarding what is allowed in play and what is not. Set a good foundation for good sportsmanship and rule-following early on by making sure your kids can conform with the standard soccer game.
Next you will want to set up a plan. This will help all of you to stay focused and eliminate many unnecessary potential dramas among your young sports players. An example plan might include two days per week for 30 minutes per session. This is because you want to take things slow, and ensure that each new skill is learned thoroughly before moving on to the next. There is no need to overwhelm your kids with too much information. While they will pick things up quickly, they will also need a bit of repetition in order to master the skills, one by one.
One-half hour session of soccer coaching ought to include repeating all the learned skills and also adding one new skill. Stop adding skills if the pace is too much. The main point of any amateur sport is to have fun, both in the coaching and the playing. It also helps to know when to quit – when your kids have reached a frustration point it is better to stop early than push on and turn a family adventure into the drudgery of an unwanted lesson.
Younger children will need to work on dribbling, controlling the ball, and passing. Older children may need this practise in addition to other skills. All ages should be rewarded for trying their very best, rather than just because they get a new skill under them quickly. Technical skills can be difficult to teach, so don’t forget to reward yourself as well!
Even a parent who has never played soccer in his or her life can make a good soccer coach. While it is important to practise old skills, don’t repeat unlearned ones because it will reinforce the wrong way to perform the technique. If you hit a roadblock in your knowledge, there are lots of resources available for parents to get back on track. For instance, have a look at this website.
There are also Youtube videos, which will show you specific techniques as well as overall tips, a bit like here :
Don’t be reluctant to include these viewings as part of your practise sessions. You don’t have to know everything in order to be a good soccer coach, so don’t be afraid to take help and resources anywhere you can get them. This will make you, as well as your kids, more effective players and team members. It is also important and worthy of note that when your children are practising, so should you be. It is not only a great icebreaker, but also a chance to learn a new sport!
Start simply. Learn the foundation skills before advancing, but make sure to keep the ‘game’ of soccer fun, like it is in Liverpool. If it is work and not a game, then your child might as well just learn it in PE and do something more interesting to them at home. Basics you and your child should know include:
- Basic dribbling
- Passing and receiving
- Ball control
The time that you spend with your kids learning about soccer and enjoying the sport will be time that is remembered forever. Even if the kids are having fun, and you are feeling terribly frustrated and lost, be assured that these memories will carry forward in their lives and may even contribute to another generation of family bonding whilst being active.