Youth soccer is not an easy coaching job. You will deal with many challenges as you begin your youth soccer coaching career. The biggest challenge you will need to overcome is to keep youth soccer fun for your players.
Youth soccer should be fun!
Many new soccer coaches make the mistake of thinking winning is what makes the game fun. While winning may be fun, its the learning to play the game that will create life long players. If you don't make your practices and games fun you may lose some of the children's interest and in turn scare them aways from playing soccer in the future.
One of the best ways to keep youth soccer fun is to have fun soccer drills. Playing games like simon says (with a soccer ball of course), monkey in the middle, or red light green light are great ways to help your young players learn while keeping it fun.
The rules are not always the most important
When your youth soccer players move on and start playing competitively the rules will of course matter. However when they are young it is more important that they learn the skills, keep having fun, and most of all keep playing!
It is way more important for your kids to learn how to play together as a team than learning how to use the offsides trap. When your youth players learn that they can do a lot better when they play as a team than as individuals you have done your job as a youth soccer coach.
Dealing with parents
Because you are dealing with youth soccer players you will also have to deal with the parents. The parents can be the worst when it comes to trying to have fun with your soccer team. Soccer parents usually think there kid is the best and always feel that there child is not getting the playing time they deserve. One way to make this part easy is to use a timer when it comes to subbing your players in and out. Another great way is to have an assistant coach that can keep track of this for you.
You will also sometimes deal with the parents that yell at players when they make a mistake. These parents need to learn that its just a game, and the entire idea is to help the kids have fun.
No matter what strategy you use to keep your young soccer players having fun be sure its working! If your kids are not laughing as they kick a ball you are not doing a great job as a youth soccer coach.