There is an old Arnold Schwarzenegger film called “Kindergarten Cop.” In it, Arnold becomes a substitute kindergarten teacher who barely made it through the first day! He felt totally overwhelmed and under prepared.
That is how many of us begin our coaching careers – feeling overwhelmed and under prepared. That anxiety can lead to fear, even before you take the field for the first time with your team.
“It’s OKAY to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.” Mandy Hale
I am here to tell you that you need not fear! You, because you have volunteered, already possess the most important characteristic of a great coach . . . LOVE! There is no fear in love.
It is your love for the kids that has driven you to coach, and it is your love for the kids that will drive you to become the best coach you can be.
“To make a difference in someone’s life you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.” Mandy Hale
Now the great adventure begins. Increase your base of knowledge, and not just about soccer. Get to know your players and their parents. Do a little research on how to teach kids at the age group you are coaching. Consider bringing into your time with the players some of the core values that will help them develop as young persons. You are the teacher. Soccer is the vehicle. Make your time with the kids count for more than just playing a game.
The parents will immediately pick up on your heart for their children. It is exactly what we, as parents, are looking for in our teachers and coaches – someone who cares about the development of our children as much as we do. You need not fear the parents for they know your heart lies with the positive development of their child.
And it gets even better! Think outside the box a bit and try to have something a little crazy and fun at each practice. Have you ever played Super Soaker Soccer? It’s the best way to end a practice when it is really hot out.
So let your imagination go! Be creative. Learn. Teach. Love. And hey, have some fun out there!
I joined MOTI Sports in January to help in a sales consulting capacity during our USC Annual Conference show in Chicago in 2018. I am the former Coach of Orono High School for 35 years and hold a USSF Class B License. My professional background is 40 years in the capacity of manager of a retail grocery store and extensive experience with accounting and book-keeping.