The Youth Soccer Coach as a mentor
As the leaders of a soccer team, coaches are in a position of responsibility and authority. Let's see how!
- We need to stretch ourselves as role models.
Our players need to see good character in action, not just as words coming at them every once in a while. Ask yourself how you can model the behavior you want to see in your players, and then be sure to speak and act that way yourself.
- We need to listen to our players.
Validating their experiences and getting to know what they are like as people, not just soccer players. Many children today have few people in their lives who truly care about them: their coach should be one who does.
- We need to call out players on any bad behavior we see.
And adequately acknowledge any excellent qualities we see as well. Players need to know we are concerned not only about how they play soccer, but about how they conduct themselves on and off the field.
- Finally, let parents know you are there to offer support at any time.
Players need many adults in their lives who hold them accountable and celebrate their successes, and as coaches, we should be counted among those ranks.
“There are many people, especially coaches, who think that success and excellence are the same thing, and they are not. Success is short term and fleeting; excellence lasts forever. If you strive for excellence you will always be successful… the opposite is seldom true.” - Joe Paterno (former Penn State Head Football Coach)