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Coaching Youth Soccer – Practice Does Not Make Perfect! »

A lot of youth soccer coaching is based on the misguided notion that practice makes perfect.  This is not necessarily so. What practice does, is make something permanent and this can apply to both good and bad practices.

The incorrect practice of [tag-tec]soccer coaching drills[/tag-tec] will eventually produce permanent and bad habits and those that have been [tag-tec]coaching youth soccer[/tag-tec] for a while, know that to change bad habits in a player is very difficult. The quality of the practice is more important than the frequency, however the more times the player practices the correct soccer drills the better he will become.

There are a large number of children that drop out of soccer as they get older because they were not taught the basic skills or they were taught incorrectly when they were younger.  They are left behind and can feel isolated and left out because their skill level has not developed to the same extent as other players.  I have seen many players at the 15 and 16 year age group struggle to execute a basic soccer coaching drill because their kicking and passing skills were very poor and they had been playing the game since they were five and six years old.  These bad habits were entrenched from those early days and were never rectified along the way by their youth soccer coaches. 

The take away point here is, when coaching youth soccer, ensure that the basic skills are taught correctly and early on in the child’s development and reinforced through soccer coaching drills.  Encourage the player to practice those skills and practice them regularly, ensuring that you as the coach, monitor the progress along the way which in turn will lead to the development of a better player.

If you are coaching a older youth soccer team and there are players  that require retraining of some basic skills, make the time for each player at each soccer training session while trying not to disrupt your normal training program.  This can be difficult initially and may require you asking for assistance for a period of time, however try to establish a training program specific for each players needs and encourage them to practice your program outside of your normal training session. 

Coaching youth soccer can be very much a balancing act at times!

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  1. 1 Comment(s)

  2. By Alex on Nov 30, 2007 | Reply

    Nicely written Muz.


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