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Alex Moreau Mrs. Corbett 11/17/11 What makes a Good Soccer Coach? For one month, every four years, the world comes to a stand still. During thismonth work is cancelled, coffee shops are turned into movie centers, and an individual’strue colors are worn every day. Only one thing can possibly account for so much rupturein society and the world as a whole, the World Cup. The most anticipated and watchedevent ever, the World Cup has captured and captivated the world for years. While thetypical idea of a powerful soccer team is of disciplined players with skills that are paidfor in the millions, the critical reason for victory is almost always overlooked. The coachof the team is the foundation and largest factor of a team. If the coach is such aninstrumental part of success in a soccer team then the question obviously erupts. Whatmakes a good soccer coach? An effective soccer coach requires preparation, respect,understanding of the game, quick tactics, and the capability to inspire his players in everyscenario. With every beginning, there is an idea, and then paper work. Preparation isneeded to coach any team within a league and there are requirements that must be meet.Typically a coaching license is required and this is what was obtained through classes anda final exam over coach conduct, coaching tactics, rules of the game. Sadly enoughduring the time of the season the age of the participant was under eighteen so only anassistant coaching license could be gained, but control over drills and the team was heldby the participant. After the license is acquired the coach receives his player list and waits
for the first practice. Falling into preparation during the first practice most importantly allof the parents must be meet and their information as well as player cards are required tobe filled out before any player can play in a game. As far as the players go a simple drillentailing the boys spread out in a circle with about five to ten feet between the ones onthe edge of the circle. The ball is then passed around with each calling out the name ofthe recipient of the ball, later on more balls are added to add chaos and excitement to thisbasic drill. This drill forces the players to in the least become acquainted with one anotherbut also demonstrates the players basic control over the ball with a short accurate pass.Following this drill after about half an hour of dealing with parents and finishing papersthe next few drills entail dribbling skills. The drills include a rollback, a scissor, a stepover, and a quarter turn with the ball. The roll back was performed by most without aproblem, but the rest of the drills were for the most part failed attempts. The point ofasking the boys to perform a high level move and cut was to distinguish the best playersfrom the rest. This was successful in determining the three to four best players, whomproved to correctly fit the presumption. Following ball drills was lastly a scrimmageamongst the boys. Coaches would ask players where they had played before and wherethey preferred to play, most players were given their desired positions and the scrimmagecommenced. In general the scrimmage proved to be chaotic, but solidified a few selectplayers to where they would play the rest of the season. Some were naturally defensiveand strategic while others quick and agile with the ball, but most developed theirpositions later in the season. Two boys asked to play goalie and both played particularlywell for the first practice. This concluded the practice with much promise for the season.After the practice the mothers were confronted in hopes of acquiring a team mom, two
volunteered and both agreed to share the responsibility. Preparation requirementsfulfilled; player cards filled out, general consensus on where to play each individual,parent information, goalie’s found, and positive attitude for the upcoming season. Yesthere is much preparation for the season and much to do on the first practice, but all isnecessary and success was attained. Whether on the playing field or at practice respect is expected to be givenamongst the players and to the coaches. In general a strict set of rules is set duringpractice. Do as you are told, have fun, but when the coaches are speaking you are quiet.Ironically the rules and flexibility of the rules seem to follow one of a typical teacher.The players had little trouble with the rules, occasionally a few of the rowdy boys weresent on a lap, but overall the rules were abided by and respect given to each of thecoaches. Maintaining not only the respect, but also the interest of the players required oneto communicate and laugh with them in an almost friend like manner. The respect shownamongst the players was held throughout the season with only one case of frustrationduring a devastating defeat. This outburst was expected because the frustration of defeatwas being more and more evident. This proved the idea that communication and friendlyinteraction between the players and coaches yield a prosperous and interactiveatmosphere. One of the key concepts of sports and perhaps any other topic is understanding thegame. A good coach carefully and meticulously ensures that every player knows all ofthe rules of the game and are aware of the proper thing to do any situation. An examplebeing a generally confusing rule, offsides. Offsides requires the offensive team while onthe defending teams side of the field to never pass the ball to a player whom is closer to
the defenders goal than at least two of the defenders themselves. The rule is quite wordyand difficult for new players to understand. To ensure that all players understand this ruleand will follow it a game of offense vs. defense is played. Offense sets up in diamondpattern and with four players while there are only two defenders. The ball is played fromthe back and the offense must make the goal. The task is not a difficult one but teachesthe players to make quick passes around the defenders and to cross the ball. When one ofthe players breaks the rule they are told and then must retry, if they continue breaking therule the players are required to run one lap for every time the penalty is committed.Another important rule is that the goalie is confined to the goalie box. Within the box hemay use his hands, but outside of the box they become a normal player with normal rules.This rule was broken once in a game by our goalie, but was never again committed.There are many more rules to the game and scenarios in what to do in certain positionsand numbers of players, but covering all of them requires the coach to run through theplays and give each player his specific rules. One cannot hit all scenarios, but prepare forthe most likely and most dangerous ones. Understanding the game is a key element tosucceeding on the field and must be thoroughly examined. The player knows the game, the team works together well, but a foul is made inthe box and a penalty kick is to be taken, which one of your players takes it? Tactics innsoccer are huge. Who to sub where, the balance that must be made on each side of thefield, and who takes key kicks. Predetermining this usually best. At practice the teamwould take penalty kicks and the coach will note his most accurate and cool headedplayers, these players will then take the shot in the games. Others have power and rangeand will thus be long ball kickers and goal kickers, but quick tactics require telling
players when to step up out of position in order to make a goal. Typically a defensivemind is the best suited, but on rare moment sin the game the opportunity must be realizedand the players must move up to strike. This is achieved through practice and perhapsquite a bit of excited screaming. Another quick decision to be made is when the end ofthe game is drawing near and the score is still tied, does the coach convey a moreaggressive game or stay defensive and be satisfied with a tie? In my coaching experiencepushing one player farther forward is best. This boosts the offenses endurance, becausethey are tired, and adds a new threat for the other teams’ defense to handle. In turn,pushing one person forward does not necessarily cripple the defense. If anything a gooddefense is a good offense. Quick decisions are made by the coach and players to quicklyexecute opportunities when they arise. Does skill matter without effort? It is indeed a perspective, but he thought is thatboth are equally important, but nothing can replace effort. This effort is sometimesinstilled upon players and they will do whatever it takes to succeed and win, but sadlyothers simply don’t believe it necessary to put 100% into the game. This effort sometimesneeds a push, and this push comes from the coaches. The inspiration that a coachprovides a player launches them from simple acceptance to awe gaping skill and speed.To inspire a player the coach must first have the players respect, this is attained throughfairness, dedication to the team, and an enjoyable attitude. A coach inspires his playersbefore a game with a usual pep talk. This includes how well they have done, how theyhave improved, and the coaches confidence in the boys to succeed. Tone is everything isthis pep talk and general personality. The coach needs to for the majority of the time bepeppy and fun, encouraging the boys and being excited for everything good attempt. This
fun attitude mixed with confidence and reassurances bolsters the players to play to theirfullest in games. Inspiration to play no matter what has happened throughout the weekproves to be a critical role in the teams’ success. Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and is defined by the powerfulplayers whom play it, but intern these players are sculpted by coaches. Preparation,respect, understanding of the game, quick tactics, and the capability to inspire are allqualities a coach should have in order to lead his team to victory. His will to succeed andhis attitude towards the game depicts the teams’ glorious triumph or their miserabledisappointment.