OYSA Goal Lines

Judging a Good Youth Coach

by Mike Smith,
Oregon Youth Soccer Director of Coaching

This checklist has been modified from a soccer publication that I saw a couple of years ago. It is equally applicable today! Coaches should share this with their players’ parents at a pre-season meeting this fall!

  • A good youth coach is someone who knows winning is wonderful, but is not the be-all and end-all. Some valuable lessons can be learned from losing too. The development of players is more important than a win-loss record!
  • A good youth coach is someone who goes to work early, misses meals, gives away weekends and plays havoc with family schedules so he or she can help out a group of youngsters.
  • A good youth coach is someone who stays half an hour or more after practice to make sure every one of the players has a safe ride home.
  • A good youth coach is someone who rarely hears a mom or dad say, 'Hey, thanks,’ but usually receives a lot of advice on game day.
  • A good youth coach is someone who makes sure that everyone gets to play soccer.
  • A good youth coach is someone who teaches young people that winning is not everything, but still lies in bed at night staring at the ceiling wondering whether he or she might have done anything differently to have turned a loss into a win.
  • A good youth coach is someone who can help a child learn to take mistakes in stride.
  • A good youth coach is someone who sometimes helps a child to develop ability and confidence that sometimes did not exist before.
  • A good youth coach is someone a youngster will remember a long time after the last game has ended and the season is over.

Coaches, please take these bullet points to heart. These suggestions will be a lot easier to put into practice if you have been through a coaching clinic from OYSA. Clinics are available for coaches of every age group and each one offers great information and is guaranteed to be fun. You will meet your peer group of coaches and participate in some fun activities that will facilitate learning, as well as experiencing — technically and tactically — the challenges your young players are going through!

Check out the new OYSA website for information on all the clinics that are going on this summer and many other great new coaching resources! The OYSA Instructional Staff looks forward to seeing you on the field and all your players will thank you for it! Have a great fall season.

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