Coaching is very rewarding.
SWM Rec exists due to the graciousness of parent volunteers. Thank you for your continued support!
Like almost all volunteer-led organizations, SWM Rec could use more help. Our league is always in need of dedicated parents willing to coach. Having more coaches available allows our program to enroll more players and field more teams, which makes the league more fun.
What every coach must do.
Many coaching candidates shy away because of a lack of self-confidence. If you are thinking about coaching, please consider the list of skills below that you should have or be willing to develop. You may find yourself more prepared for coaching than you thought!
Click on an item below to learn more about coaching responsibilities.
You must have the time.
Consistency and participation are necessary for any sports program.
This concept is equally valid for players and coaches. A stressed-out coach or a coach that is unreliable due to their work schedule does not have a positive effect on the team. You never want to overpromise and underdeliver when dealing with children. Remember, your players are looking up to you as a role model and leader.
You must be enthusiastic.
Previous knowledge of soccer is helpful but not required. Passion is necessary.
SWM Rec has compiled age-specific Coaching Resources to assist volunteers in becoming effective coaches, regardless of previous knowledge. A coach should use the Coaching Resources to become familiar with the drills, formations, guidelines, and rules for their team.
Coaches who wish to become licensed by U.S. Soccer are eligible for partial reimbursement by SWM Rec. Formal coaching education through U.S. Soccer is not a requirement to coach in SWM Rec but is an excellent resource for new soccer coaches to learn more about their craft.
Please contact the Board to learn more about possible reimbursement for licensing expenses.
You must prioritize fun.
Keeping players engaged is essential in youth soccer, but can also be challenging.
Coaches are recommended to play fun games to encourage player conditioning and soccer fundamentals. SWM Rec has provided many training game examples on the Coaching Resources page.
There are multiple benefits to practicing using training games:
- Players learn more while having fun.
- By playing a game, players may not realize they are conditioning.
- There are many training-style games, which will prevent practices from being too formulaic or routine.
You must strive for improvement.
Improvement is the primary goal.
As a recreational soccer league, SWM Rec does not keep score during games or rank teams. Instead, coaches should strive for demonstrable improvement for their team.
This concept applies to individual players and teams as a whole – players bettering their performance and teams working as a more cohesive unit.
You must keep it simple.
Patience is a virtue. Remember, each player develops at their speed.
Every child might have a different way of learning. Make sure to teach in various ways.
- Learn through seeing.
- Use cones that allow the players to see the spots on the field.
- Demonstrate a drill or skill to show players how to do it.
- This demonstration also earns trust, as your players won’t feel like you are asking them to perform a task that you wouldn’t do yourself.
- Learn through hearing.
- Speak slowly and clearly while explaining concepts.
- Continual correction and encouragement while a player is working.
- Learn through moving, touching or doing.
- Tell the players where to go then do it.
- Show the players what to and have them mimic right after.
You must delegate the workload.
Coaching is a lot of work. Engage your team parents!
Coaching and raising children “takes a village.” Your team’s “village” is the parents. A Coach should rely on parents to ensure the best possible experience for your players.
Communication is key.
Recommended ways to communicate with your village:
- SSI Play App
- Phone – calling or texting
- Private Facebook group for the parents only.
Recommended roles for team parents to manage:
- Help the coach with making sure all the players have the required forms filled out.
- Assist with organizing or executing drills at practices.
- It is not mandatory, but most teams opt to have snacks after a game. If your team does this, have a parent manage the snack schedule.
- Ask the children or their parents about food allergies.
- Take pictures during practice to share with the team through text, email, or a Facebook group.
- Help the coach make sure the players have all their uniforms and proper equipment for practices and game days.
You must be willing to ask for help.
Soccer is a team sport. SWM Rec is a team effort.
If you need help, you should never hesitate to ask for it. SWM Rec appreciates its volunteers and wants to provide proper support.
You must be firm with parents.
You are doing this for free and out of the kindness of your heart.
Parents may sometimes forget you are a parent who stepped up so the kids could have a team. As needed, feel free to remind parents of this fact gently. The SWM Rec Board will support you, too.
If you have additional questions about becoming a coach with SWM Rec, please contact the Board.