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Lean In


With a combination of enthusiasm, curiosity and the resources below – utilized by Missy herself – anyone can become a great youth soccer coach. The first two resources offer great general and strategic advice about how to approach coaching youth; they are applicable to any sport.

A Coaching and Philosophical Starting Point
If you can avoid the three L’s–lines, laps and lectures–outlined in this one-page guide, you are well on your way to being an excellent youth sports coach.

Piaget for Soccer Coaches
A good one-page resource about appropriate developmental skills for each age.
Don’t be intimated by this text-heavy site! is a great resource for first-time, parent-coaches of young players, U-11 and below, There is a free version which is enough to get you started, but the paid version is well worth the money. We also use their patch program to incent kits to set and achieve goals.
If you can wade through the pop-ups and ads, there is very good information on all aspects of coaching the game of soccer. Their weekly newsletter has valuable drills and practice planning tips that are particularly valuable for kids U-12 and up.

This seems obvious, but YouTube is a treasure trove of technique tips. Pretty much any move you need to teach or want your team to master, you can find a great instructional breakdown on YouTube.

Baffled Parent’s Guide to Coaching Youth Soccer and Baffled Parent’s Guide to Great Soccer Drills
Prefer something in print on paper? These two classic books can probably get you through U-6, U-8 and perhaps U-10 soccer. If you follow Bobby Clark’s advice, you will be well ahead of most parent-coaches.

Share with us your great coaching tips, and for this fall season, let’s all lean in and help!

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jaime Collins #

    I am totally infuriated by this organization.

    How DARE you insinuate that “organizing a snack schedule” or “cheering from the sidelines” is any less empowering for children then coaching? Why does my contribution matter LESS, because I don’t have a clipboard in my hand?

    It is precisely this type of Mom Shaming, regardless of the source, that sets us ALL back in terms of achieving our highest potential. Once more, women in power are patronizing and condescending to other women who chose to show their strength in different ways.

    Today, I spent 9 hours on my feet, supporting my daughter’s cheer team as they won a regional championship. I may not have coached, but I certainly showed my support by ensuring each child had a snack and water. And I can assure you that NONE of it would have happened without the support of the Moms. Only two of them “coached with clipboards”, but they still needed the rest of us.

    I will never buy a product from Title Nine. Your message is contradictory and hypocritical.

    Jaime Collins, MA, LPC, NCC

    October 27, 2013
  2. Katie #

    Last year, after the 3rd email from the league begging for coaches, I agreed to coach my daughter’s U9 soccer team. I had no soccer experience/knowledge so I was pretty nervous but I thought better me than no one at all. It was a great experience! There are TONS of resources on the internet for age-appropriate soccer drills and even books that lay out a whole season of practices. My girls had a great time (in spite of a not-so-great win/loss record) and many of them are returning for another season. They are at the age where participation in rec soccer falls off quite a bit (the serious girls start to play in comp leagues and others drop out in favor of other activities) so I focus on keeping it fun and emphasize skills like teamwork, situational awareness and decision-making that will serve them in all areas. I should get my new team roster this week and I can’t wait!
    And here is a HUGE perk to coaching for busy parents – practice is when and where you say it is. No more 4:15 practices on the other side of town when you don’t get off work until 4:30! I once thought I was too busy to coach, now I think I am too busy not to!

    August 12, 2013

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