Coaching Girls Soccer
Be Patient When Coaching Girls
There is much to coaching girls soccer that
has nothing to do with soccer at all. Coaches need to understand
the emotional needs of their female players as well as their
physical needs. To best support and encourage girls, the coach
needs to be prepared to offer advice, listen to issues, and
support their athletes.
To do this, those coaching girls soccer must
be very patient. Often, the root of a conflict in practice
lies with a girl dealing with a personal problem. If you see
something unusual like a player lashing out at another or
rebelling from authority, work with that athlete to find out
the real problem. Then, you not only help your team stay on
track, you also help your player grow and develop personally.
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All Business on the Soccer Field
Coaches need to draw a line between before and
after practice and during practice. While on the field, coaches
should be all business while coaching
youth soccer. This will help their athletes mentally prepare
for practice and perform appropriately, pushing all other
thoughts from their head and allowing them to concentrate.
If a coach allows those lines to blur, problems
will creep up as athletes allow their questions, anxieties,
and excitement spill over into how they play the game. This
will make it more difficult for the coach to improve the team
as a whole.
Female athletes are usually more adept at visualization
techniques than male athletes, and coaches can use this to
their advantage. Before games, or even practices, the coach
should have all athletes sit or lie down with their eyes closed.
The coach should walk the athletes through a visualization
of the game.
This visualization should start with a description
of the surroundings and the distractions athletes might encounter,
like parents in the stands or a too-bright sun. This is so
that athletes are prepared for these realities when they occur
and better able to push them away and concentrate on the game.
Next, the coach should walk the athletes through
their preparation for the game, including a warm up and the
first glimpse of the other team. Then, the coach takes the
athletes through the game, encouraging athletes to see themselves
as fast, fierce players with confidence that rely on their
teammates. This puts players in the right frame of mind and
encourages them to work together. Finally, the coach walks
the players through winning the game, giving them something
positive to work toward.
When coaching girls soccer,
authority figures should employ visualization frequently.
It is an excellent mechanism to help athletes calm and center
themselves as well as see the outcome they wish to produce.
However, for visualization to work, the coach has to be on
board with it completely. It athletes get the impression that
these techniques are at all silly, they will immediately lose
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