Westfield Soccer Association

Game Day Coaching

Weekly Coaches Email 3/18/15

Coaches,

 

Hope all is well.

 

I’m sure you are all just as excited as I am that we are actually able to practice and play outside after a very long and cold winter. With the season started, for some, or about to start for the majority of our coaches, I would like to review the WSA guidelines for the parent coach in regards to game day coaching in these email.  These guidelines have been shared with all before and were also discussed at the last general meeting, but I would like to make sure that we are all on the same page. 

 

Game Day Coaching

 

1 - Development vs winning / development and winning

It is very important that we focus on the process, not on the outcome alone. There is nothing wrong with winning games and we do want our players to be competitive. However, with a focus on the outcome alone we forget too often that players need to be given the opportunity to just play, experience the game and most importantly of all, that our players are allowed to make mistakes! Winning games can be a positive byproduct of player development/growth. It can be a positive sign that our players are on the right track and are becoming better players.

 

2 - The execution is more important than the end product.

Again. Let’s focus on the process and not just on the outcome. We want to develop players who are both comfortable and confident on the ball. Let’s give them the opportunity to make mistakes and get better. I do not mind our players making a mistake trying to build out of the back. We might lose a few games when they are younger, but it outweighs the benefits of what we gain in the long run. Players should not be encouraged to create bad habits so a team can win some games.

 

3 - One voice on the sideline

To avoid confusion, we need to make sure that the head coach does the coaching. If the head coach is also the professional trainer than give him/her the opportunity to his/her job. We want 1 and the same message shared with our players. 

If your professional trainer only attends 3-5 games, he/she serves the team in another role, unless you ask them before the game to be the head coach for that day.

 

4 - Every player needs to play at least half a game

A WSA policy that counts for all teams in our travel program.

 

5 - Playing time

Players will only grow/develop if they are given the opportunity to play. Nobody will get better if they spend the majority time on the bench next to the coach. To develop all players and increase the strength of your roster, all players need to be given as much playing time as possible. Especially when players are U9-U12 there is no reason to give all players about the same amount of playing time each and every game.Winning your flight at U10 or U11 might seem important to the parents, but does guarantee to you that all players have gotten better. No college coach, if our players actual end up pursuing playing opportunities after high school, will ask their recruits what they have won at U11 or U12.  They look at the develop of players both on and off the field. 

 

6 - Playing different positions

To give all players an opportunity to develop as players, rather than being forced to get used to playing just 1 position, all players need to be given the opportunity to play different positions over the course of the season. I do recommend you limit players to 2 maybe 3 positions per game. 

 

7 - Limit the people on the coaches sideline

Per league rules you are only allowed 3 people on the coaches sideline.

 

More information on the role of the coach during games can be found through this link to the coaches corner up on the WSA website. I would like to encourage you all to take a look at the information available for all of you.

 

http://westfieldnjsoccer.com/CoachesCorner/

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

 

Thank you

-- 

Ruben Vloedgraven
Director of Coaching - Westfield Soccer Association