Essential Tips for a NEW  Soccer Coach

Where to Start??

Are you thinking, “Being a soccer coach for my child’s team is nuts!! WHAT HAVE I DONE?”  

While I cannot personally comment on your mental state per se, I can say that you are in good company.

Many, if not most, parents learn soccer through the “trial by fire” method of coaching their son's or daughter's soccer team.

I am thrilled to tell you that now there is a better way!

You can now learn how to be a great soccer coach in the best possible way - from an expert!

I have personally used these resources myself and wish that I had found them when I was starting out. This information will get you up to speed FAST while giving you a solid foundation upon which to build in future years. Check it out!

Advice From an Experienced Soccer Coach

Your's truly has developed some of his own material for you as a beginning soccer coach. One of the first things you will need to know is:


But wait! Don’t click there yet! Before the first practice can start you need to take care of a little often-overlooked bit of business – a Parents Meeting.

The Parents Meeting

I do not claim to be an expert on this subject but I CAN relate to you my own experiences and what has worked well for me personally. Put yourself in their shoes. What do you want to know as a parent from the soccer coach?

There are two general categories of information to give the parents that I will loosely call Hard Facts and Soft Facts.

    Hard Facts:
          Practice Schedule
          Game Schedule
          Equipment for Soccer (ball & shinguards)
          Cancellation Policy
          Contact Information
          Team Roster
          Uniform Color/Sponsor

     Soft Facts:
          Coaching Philosophy
          Volunteer Help
          Disciplinary Guidelines

Coaching Philosophy – Discuss the goal of the soccer program, your goal(s) as the soccer coach, and the upcoming season. Speak to the soccer parents in general terms about the team size, how substitutions will be done, and how players will be rotated through the various positions. For the younger teams there may be only one or two positions( on the field or goalkeeper) or you may have three. Use terms like offense, defense, and goalie. You will lose them with anything more technical like midfielder or striker. This website has outstanding references on this subject.

Volunteer Help – Don’t be bashful about asking for help! Most parents are glad to help the soccer coach if you will specifically tell them what to do. Nine times out of 10 their reluctance to help is related to a feeling of inadequacy or ignorance. Educate them! Let them borrow your soccer coaching resources or recommend material the parents can purchase. Here’s a thought – send them to this website! Get their email addresses and send them information/updates the easy way. Some areas in which parents can help: bench management, refreshment schedule, help at practice, party planning, and making phone calls.

Refreshments – Depending on your league rules, you may want to discuss a refreshment schedule with the parents and bringing vs. buying.

Disciplinary Guidelines – The best season I had as a soccer coach just from a pure enjoyment perspective was the first year I discussed discipline with the parents AND kids before the first practice. No one likes the subject but it is vital that everyone understands the rules and the consequences. This makes the game more enjoyable for everyone. Enough said!

Have the parents climbed on board? Good!

Before charging ahead to the practice, you should review the following two areas:

Soccer Rules

Equipment for Soccer

 OK. OK. Anxious to move on? You didn’t cheat and skip ahead did you? I thought so.

Here’s the beef.


Quick Resources for Coaching Soccer

You want a quick resource for coaching soccer? Youtube has turned into a great resource for parent-coaches.  You can find basic explanations on drills, training, and other soccer skills.  Naturally you should start with the Soccer-for-Parents soccer video clip page with Youtube links there.

Also, you should go to my soccer book page and read the soccer book reviews before buying a book.

The following resources for soccer coaches are also excellent:

The Novice Coach - An Introduction to Coaching Youth Soccer (DVD) - The ideal soccer video for any first time parent/coach of very young soccer players. Learn how to organize and conduct training sessions for Under-6, Under-8, and Under-10 boys and girls. Downloadable companion booklet

Soccer Coaching:Schupak's Soccer 4 DVD Set - and Marty Schupak have put together one of the most complete DVD sets for soccer lovers, youth coaches and parents who want to improve the play of their own kids, their youth team or even their school team. The set is made up of four of the most popular soccer instructional DVD's produced by Marty Schupak. The best selling " Championship Soccer Drills" has some of the best drills around including over 20 shooting drills and much more. The at home DVD "Backyard Soccer Drills" shows numerous creative and fun drills that players can do by themselves or with friends. And the classic "34 Soccer Goalie Drills" DVD has been used by players from the youth level all the way up to the professional level for players who want to improve their goal keeping skills. ‘Soccer Shooting Drills" has some of the most popular shooting drills as well as some in depth views of the shooting technique.

There are also other very good videos to consider for coaching soccer.

I personally like to have a hard copy of information for coaching soccer. (No, don't bug me about being a tree killer.) While the videos from the Soccer Vault are great, I recommend at least one book on drills or on coaching youth soccer as a supplement and to take to the field. A good place to start is to browse through my soccer book recommendations.

Another well known resource is They have a surprisingly vast amount of resources on how to coach soccer. Below is an example of a search done on coaching soccer.

        ›  New Soccer Coach

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Soccer-for-Parents is excited to now offer our Simple Soccer Rules to parents "on the go". This is our own free android app (sorry ipeople) that installs in seconds and contains everything on our normal rules page along with a link to the official FIFA rules and USYSAA rules. Here is the free app!

(ad free version here)