Coaching objective(s) might consist of improving your win/loss record, displaying considerable individual and team progress, creating enjoyment for your players, or simply helping your players to be good competitors. Your success then could be measured simply by the amount of players you bring into the program, your players’ passion for the game of soccer, the progress your team demonstrates throughout the season, and the level of parental and community awareness and support you create for your club. In my opinion, winning the vast majority of your games does not automatically indicate you are a great leader or role model for your players.

A coaching style is made up of a blend of individual values, goals and principles. Believe it or not, a large number of coaches understand in their mind what exactly their own philosophies are, however, ask them to share this knowledge and they find it challenging to do. An ignorant coach might even reply with “my philosophy is to win!” Winning is undoubtedly fantastic, nevertheless coaches must come with a more significant purpose.

Your coaching style displays the way you prefer to communicate with and guide your players. It impacts the manner in which you encourage and control, and what function, if any, you allow your players to have in making choices that effect the whole team. There are authoritarian, cooperative and casual coaching styles.

We urge you to develop a sample soccer coaching philosophy with the following in mind:

  • value the sport and share your love and enjoyment with all players; as long as you coach, coach in a positive way
  • put players first; keep in mind that your players need to be the center of attention and be committed to what is best for them
  • help players shorten the trial-and-error process of learning and ease the trial-and-terror experiences of competing – focus on effort rather than outcome
  • motivate your players; no matter what, their level of skill will improve without you intimidating them through fear, shame or violence
  • focus on the proper skills required, a strategy to educate and teach them, and exercises to practice and perfect them; it all needs to be organized to produce the required repetition for each and every player
  • build a partnership with all players and be willing to listen to all of them, hear criticism and respond by acting rather than reacting
  • integrity, trustworthiness and technical know-how are probably the most important attributes of a fine coach

Make use of the questions listed below to create or evaluate your own coaching philosophy (soccer). Since most of you understand coaching is a profession and an on-going process, coaching philosophies, objectives and styles are going to be adjusted over time based on a number of reasons (e.g. the age of your players, the level of competition, etc.)

  • Why do you coach soccer?
  • What are your personal core values?
  • What exactly do you love most about coaching?
  • What do you enjoy the least about coaching?
  • What kind of coaching approach/style do you have? Positives/Negatives
  • What are your objectives? What are you planning to achieve?
  • What are the goals of your program? What exactly is the desired outcome?
  • What is the most effective way to get there?
  • Who are your players? Why do they play the sport? How old are they? What do they want out of their soccer experience? (Age, personalities, skill levels, etc.)
  • Do you follow your philosophy and insert your players into it, or do you adjust to the players that are available?
  • Do you care about development or results?
  • Define a successful season.
  • What are your obligations? To each player, to the team, to oneself as well as to the community?
  • What were your personal childhood experiences in soccer? Was it enriching or inhibiting?
  • Can you explain why you use or do something?
  • Is there a better way of doing what you are doing?
  • Is your coaching philosophy compatible with your personality? Yes. Why? No. What can you change?
  • When I retire as a coach, what I hope to be remembered for as a coach is…

After putting together your own youth soccer coaching philosophy it is vital that you:

Use it

Communicate it

Stick to it

Reassess it

Also put it into writing. It is extremely important to be able to communicate and to explain your approach to players, parents and other people involved in the game. A written document might even provide you with something tangible to reexamine your approach each year. By doing this, you can easily update and make improvements to your sample soccer coaching philosophy.