More Tips About Coaching During Soccer Games

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For most Rec coaches it is necessary and beneficial to try to teach during the games (to use the games as another opportunity to teach) because of limited practice time and because Rec coaches often don't get to practice on a full size lined field with real goals.

If you do this there are 6 things to remember:

  1. Stay positive and use a tone that is instructional and helpful

  2. The best time to do this is in transitional situations when you can get the player's attention because they aren't "onball" (such as a Goal Kick, Free Kick, Throw In, Corner Kick, or to a player who is away from the ball).

  3. Don�t yell in an excited, critical, or confusing way, or at a confusing time.

  4. Don�t yell at the player who is "onball" - they need to focus on what they are doing.

  5. Try to make your instructions clear and understandable. For example: Don�t say "Middle" if you mean the "Center".

  6. Be helpful and not detrimental or confusing. If what you are doing is confusing or detrimental, stop it and find a way that is helpful and beneficial.

I found this approach helped my players and my team, and I coached Rec from U-8 to U-19.

Here are some examples: If your Forwards are attacking and your FBs should be Pushing Up (or Defending Deep), or if your opponent is setting up a Free Kick or a Corner or a Goal Kick or a Throw In and your players aren't Marking Up, it can be good to yell "Mark Up" -- this will remind some of them -- if I saw one who wasn't listening, then I would call them by name and say their name (e.g., �John�) or names (�John�, �Bill�) to get their attention and when he (they) looked over say "Mark up".

This approach can also be helpful to teach "Shifting and Sagging" (which is often called "Pressure, Cover, Balance", but I found that phrase too confusing, so I use "Shifting and Sagging"). Let's say your opponent has the ball and it is on the Far Left Side of the Middle Third and your Right MF (named John) hasn't shifted but is staying on the Far Right Side instead of shifting to the Center (in this case, your RMF named John is totally out of the play and isn't in any position to support or to stop an attack if the ball is crossed to the Center, so you want your RMF to shift to the Center) -- in this case you might yell "John" to get John's attention and then use a hand motion for him to move right or left as appropriate, and say "Go to the Center". This is one reason why it's important to use the correct term for "Center" and "middle", so your player's know what you mean when you say "Center".

David at SoccerHelp