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Middletown Select Soccer Club

Train Hard - Play Hard - Win

Coaching the Hard / Easy Way

From my own observations, and this includes my own experience, coaching seems to progress through phases.
1) Coaching by perception
2) Coaching by the book
3) Coaching for success
4) ???
Coaching by perception: When first asked to be a coach (somebody has to do it), I immediately made a list of things I needed to acquire.
 Whistle, coaches’ shirt, coaches’ hat, stop watch, a chair, no, no chair I won’t be sitting down! What I did not list: Rule book, gain knowledge of the game, what skills are needed and how do I teach those skills, what do the players need from me.
 My perception of coaching was what I grew up with. Coaches yell” AWW COME ON”
Coaches wear sun glasses so no one can see what they are planning. Poker strategy !!!
Coaches wave their arms and rant on the sidelines during the game and let the referees know just how they feel about every call.
  Once I realized this coaching method was not being used by those coaches that were kicking my teams butt, I started watching those coaches. I figured out I needed to learn what they knew!
 Coaching by the book: I have read them all. OKAY a lot of them . I have attended lectures, clinics, camps, conferences, and more. STILL READING! I ran the sidelines spewing information, quoting Anson Dorance, Coor Van DaMeer and others. I knew these guys and got the information. I ran their drills by the book. I lost the coaches shirt and stop watch. 
  Somewhere I am not sure when, I attended a coaching session, coaches lecture series, and heard a clinician say ..SHUT UP and coach. I really liked this presenter as a coach and a mentor. What did he mean by that –Shut up and coach? I was very aware of my sideline banter. I finally figured it out, I was over coaching. I was joy sticking or micro managing. I had gotten rid of, WHY AREN’T YOU MOVING and replaced with it PASS IT NOW! My teams were doing better, I was being heard. 
  One of my mentors happened by a tournament game I was coaching. After the game he asked me point blank; what happens if you are not here to coach the game? My first thought, though not spoken was, they will lose. I was coaching to win but my players were not playing the way the better teams were playing. 
 Every thing I have read every session I have attended, every game I have observed has been valuable. I pull something from everything. I rob sessions of tidbits and morph them into my own. I learn from things that do not work as well as those that do. I am my toughest critic. Shut –up and coach, silence some times is a good thing.
Coaching for success: This past week two coaches both working on their USSF D National approached me. 
  Coach #1; Kelly, I started watching my players and found my self asking them”Can you find the open man?” I was watching for opportunities to praise good decision making and taking mental notes on those shortcomings I needed to address at training. I was coaching my players but was saying very little. Where are passing lanes? Nice touch? Look!
He added he felt this was his best game ever. Players responded and took on the game. They were doing the right thing before I could tell them to do it. No he did not mention the score or if it was a win or a loss. 
  Coach#2; I was not coaching positively. I heard my self say things I regretted saying after it came out of my mouth; WHY ARE YOU STANDING-WHY ARE WE BUNCHING –SPREAD OUT. 
   He explained further. The second half I decided to shut-up and coach. I waited and found a place to send out NICE TOUCH! A few seconds later, GREAT IDEA and then a bit of coaching LETS PUSH UP! I got more comfortable as the game progressed. There were still plenty of negatives and I noted them all. After the game, the players told me (coach) they felt like they had a better second half and told me it was due to my coaching.
They liked his encouragement, they responded to his coaching points they have heard over and over in training. 
  Both coaches were coaching to allow players to be successful. Not admonishing players for making mistakes, allows them to take more risks! Yes I read that some where.
????- I coach Club and ODP. I am not sure what the MSL coaches do or say. I am still learning. I have found out training is the class room and the game is the test. I have found out the easy way is the best way. The best way can sometime be the hardest.
Sometimes silence is the best way. I have also found as a rule ,100% of the time without exception in every case, in every game, any age group, any level, without fail, you can take it to the bank, laughing all the way there, the more I praise the better they play.
When watching a game you are losing 0-6 ..that is hardest thing to do, find it in your self to make it the easiest.

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