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Coaching is a lot more than just the game

As a youth soccer coach, I’ve had a lot of incredible experiences.

I’ve been able to watch in awe of some kids that I fully expect to be seeing on TV someday; playing MLS or even in the Premier League. I’ve seen parents completely loose it on the sidelines, and had to be the one to calm the situation. I’ve watched kids who would barely come out from behind their mom on the first day of practice sprout into good little players that I see improvement in week after week. And, I’ve watched my own child develop more and more confidence physically; something I know sports help with tremendously.

Being able to provide leadership to a group of kids is a rewarding and enriching experience. It is also something one must not take lightly in my opinion. A coach has the power to build that child’s confidence like few others, but it must be done in a positive manner. If a player does something incorrect in the sport, you know what? They typically know what they did wrong. How you correct them makes a major difference in how they will perform in that situation the next time. Ask them what they think about it, talk through how they think they could improve, and then add in your pointers as a coach. I can say from experience, this builds confidence. Positive coaching goes a long way.

I have been someone to talk to for the kids. I have been someone to help set a tone when they were not doing as well as they could in school. (both of which are important to keep parents in the loop on)

I have also been fortunate enough to have a parent tell me: “can you talk to him, he really looks up to you”. I cannot begin to express what those words meant. I can also say that this makes me want to do better.

Coaching youth sports can be many things. It can be fun, tiring, exciting, and exhausting. But most of all, it is an opportunity to make a positive impact on a child’s life, and there are few things more important than that.

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