Thursday, July 12, 2007

JT's Blog - Win or lose, is that it? - July 12

JT's Blog will be a weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. John Thomas "JT" is the Assistant Director of Coaching Education for US Youth Soccer.

When you become a soccer coach or parent coach, you take an oath to always be there for the kids. Win or lose, you will love them. Win or lose, you will respect them. Win or lose, you will accept them with all of their strengths and limitations. The coach can even be more supportive than marriage at times, because a child can’t go out and look for more supportive coaches.

When we take on the oath as a coach, we must do it with patience and a clear understanding of who we are coaching. This is where attending a US Youth Soccer course would assist and guide you in your dealings with the players. Some of us might need to overcome bad habits on the sidelines just as our children may need to overcome bad habits on the field. But our motivation for improvement should be very high considering what’s at stake. As a coach, we need to look at our player’s well being. Our goal should be to guide their athletic experiences that will bring out the best in them. We can’t expect every player and their playing experiences to help them adapt and make changes easily.

Part of your job is to work on bringing you and your team closer. Winning and losing are part of that learning experience. Sometimes it’s hard to get the players to understand that losing can be a positive thing. This is not easy, but it can be done. If we look at the big picture within the game, we should always be able to find some bright points about almost any soccer game your team has played. If you are coaching for the player’s development and not just for the win, any game you play should bring you closer to the team. You are not alone. You are sharing the sidelines with millions of others, including myself. Please take advantage of those of us who you may consider a role model for you to follow.

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