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Teacher of the Game

Teacher of the game.


While sorting out my card board box that I have named “the file cabinet” I came across a letter from Bob Burns. This letter was a congratulations form letter on obtaining the USSF E license. I remember when I first read it, one sentence struck me as out of place, but after some thought it opened my eyes to a different way of looking at the role of the soccer coach.

   “You have completed the course and now are prepared to move from being a coach to a teacher of the game”. WHAATTT!

   No way Bob! I did this to be a better coach. I did this to learn tons of drills. I did this to learn the lingo. 

   At that time it was worth looking into, after all some one would have not bothered putting that concept in my head with out a way to back it up.

    OK so now I have to become a teacher of the game. I began to interview all of my friends of the “TEACHING “persuasion. A cornucopia of coaches I really look up to are already school teachers. Some high school some college and some elementary. I spent the next year interviewing teachers on what they felt was the most effective teaching secrets they had in their arsenal.


Kindergarten teacher – Never talk down to students they are adults in training and smile!

Elementary teacher-Share your passion for the topic. If you don’t love it, they won’t either. Make learning fun. And Smile!

High School teacher-Teach don’t preach. Show don’t tell. And smile.

College educator-Be approachable, invite questions and smile.


 Okay I added the smile part but it was implied. The technical component of soccer is not naturally learned. Baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, swimming etc. all have specific movements that are applied to accomplish a skill. Those movements have to be taught to a player, demonstrated and repeated with corrections made along the way. Immediate, positive reinforcement, when efforts are made in the direction of success. Yea…like a teacher.

  Not all teachers will be great coaches nor will all coaches be great teachers. Both have shared characteristics. If you want to be a better coach learn to be a teacher of the game. I have known many players that do not have the skill set to be a good teacher of the game.   My brother played for many years and to this day his coaching philosophy could start a world war conflict.


 I have returned the letter to the file cabinet. I have returned the file cabinet to its original location (under the bed).


Doug Williams-NSCAA Director of coaches education and clinician.

 "Soccer is a taught sport.".




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