I hear from soccer parents about how their kid’s hero soccer coach is speaking or acting out of line. Meaning the coaches who yell or whisper garbage in practice & games about what the player should be doing better. Or “how did you make this team?” Don’t let the ‘hero soccer coach’ ruin your experience. There are tons of great coaches, but I am afraid there are more bad ones. Bad meaning – not caring about the development or relationship with the players. Some just want the easy money and lifestyle. Note: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
A sports coaching problem
Now I don’t have a problem calling these coaches out, because there is no right for them to speak like this to kids of any age.
If coaches want to behave like this they need to try and coach Semi-Pro or Men’s League.
Please don’t put up with these antics from the hero soccer coach or any sports coach.
There will be times you might have to play for one, but learn from the situation and know there’s always next season.
The good coaches
The good coaches know who they are. This is not directed towards them, but there is a hero soccer coach in every league rec to select.
Maybe this has already happened to your daughter or son… Or maybe your child is still young and hasn’t experienced this yet.
You the parent or coach needs to know, so that you can think about how to react to this if it happens.
I hear from good coaches who tell me about the bad ones and what is said in games.
If it’s me I would want to know so I can teach my own daughters how to have self-respect. How to set limits & boundaries, & to choose what to let roll off of them & when to address a problem or change a situation.
Also, I want them to know how to be leaders for others on their respective teams in dealing with these issues.
On a good note, this will teach your kids or friends how to prepare for life.
We all know that everyone goes through chapters in life where situations are similar and we have to deal with people like this.
The foul mouth coaches
When a hero soccer coach or adult goes as far as telling a 13 year old girl they need to “get their head out of their a**”. Or that they “don’t know how they made the team” is wrong. Don’t put up with it.
I would encourage a parent to meet with the coach to let them know your family with don’t accept that kind of talk because your child has too much respect for themselves.
Also, make a point to ask them for a highlight video or a pic of them playing college or pro… Most coaches never played a higher level than the players they coach… Learn how to be your own private investigator.
I’m not saying a good coach had to play at a high level…
Just saying that a coach who didn’t play at a high level should be the last person to yell.
Reason coaches do the job
Coaches do what they do for one of 3 reasons:
- They love coaching & have a passion for the game
- To support their own kids in pursuing an interest
- For themselves in a selfish way.
A coach’s priority should be the kids’ futures, not building their resume.
Our training is about building the youth, not our portfolio or resume.
This is my business, my passion, and I want every kid at every level & age to say that soccer [& all that’s included] was good to them.
Players need to be taught… Coaches are teachers and are responsible for teaching.
Kids need to learn important skills like these 20 tips on heading for skill and safety.
The hero soccer coach
Then I also hear from parents that their kids coach tells them that individual soccer lessons don’t work. That the kids don’t need them… WOW – that’s what you call a “First Class Hater”.
There are coaches who run group training on the side, that try to discourage parents from getting private individual training.
The reason is because they want players coming to their group training to make their wallets fat.
Or they don’t want you to get private lessons because they will feel inferior to the private trainer who is the one really making improvements in the kids skills.
Why do pro athletes have Private Trainers? To get better!
So why would a youth player not develop from Private Lessons?
Now can you do the same drills in a Team Setting as a Private?
Yes, but you’re not getting near the amount of quality touches or reps that the player needs to improve in a certain area, nor the encouragement & instruction players need.
Some coaches who will go on forums and ‘play dumb,’ posing as a soccer parent, and act like private lessons don’t work.
That the team coach should be working on skills in practice.
The only reason this kind of person would do this is because they are jealous. They know they don’t have time to do the privates so they try to sell their own “skills training.
3 reasons a coach would want to conceal or say private training doesn’t work
- GREED: They are ‘hero’ coaches who want to be the only one to develop his/her players & are jealous of private technical trainers.
- CONTENTMENT: They know they are not developing the players because they don’t do the right training or put in the right energy. This is either because they don’t know or they want to take the easy route and just let the kids do the same practice routine over and over. AND they know that if someone else does work with the player the right way, the family will see the immediate improvement and wonder what the hero coach was doing. [BTW – other trainers do this too & then try to take credit for development of player]
- FEAR: The coach who doesn’t want their better players to improve even more because they will end up leaving the team at some point to join a better team or league.
Sad to say, but it’s true how people are… You have to love the humble coaches who tell their players/parents to find outside club training. They know there are ways to develop them outside of team practice.
Remember that it’s volunteer for so many of these coaches – & they are GREAT for the kids & the game!
Practice tips for youth coaches
Some questions to ask about your coach or new coaches
- Is your coach getting educated?
- What license do they have?
- If they say they played professional or collegiate, in today’s internet, you should be able to make your own accurate investigation of the truth of their statements. [a professional makes their sole living from their income with a team.]
- Semi-pro, futsal, indoor soccer… good opportunities & players, but not professional sports players [although, granted, indoor soccer players before 2004 made great money & players like Tatu are legends]. After 2004 indoor players didn’t make a living playing.
Why do I go off about these things?
Because these are our kids! The little things matter because they’re indicative of the coaches’ character.
If they’re not honest about the little things, then they won’t about the bigger things.
There are some great coaches who didn’t play, but are honest about their not playing at a high level.
I never played in the English Premier League – & I don’t tell people that I did. The exaggeration would be bad for business & ruin my reputation or smear my character.
Instead, am honest about [& thankful] where I did play. I played at a high level, made a good living, & also made some poor decisions.
These have made me who I am & my story so rich & compelling for the kids I mentor.
No one else can be me… & I don’t try to be someone else. There are others who aren’t satisfied with their stories and so they change it. This dishonesty that should concern a parent when this ‘professional’ starts berating & humiliating their kid.
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