Coaching More Than Just Soccer

4-4-2 vs 4-5-1 vs 3-5-2

Technical training vs tactical training vs functional training.

Zonal defending vs man to man marking.

Pushing up into an offside trap vs sitting back and “parking the bus”.

Coaches have these types of conversations (either with other coaches or internally with themselves) on a regular basis.  The conversations I don’t hear enough are about topics such as:

* leadership
* motivation
* goal setting
* time management
* communication
* nutrition
* health

Some might argue that we as soccer coaches should only concentrate on the soccer part of a players development.  They would also argue that with the limited time we have with players, this is more true now than ever before.

I would argue that we as coaches should do everything we can to help players grow as people as well as players and these types of topics are all connected to their performance on the field as well as in life.  Players who are better leaders will be better teammates. Properly motivated players are going to perform better than unmotivated players.  Players with proper goals are more likely to be successful that those without proper goals.  Players who can manage their time better will be able to concentrate on what is important as opposed to trying to play while worrying about their homework they forgot to do.  Players who can communicate effectively will help their teammates and their team perform more effectively.  Players with a proper diet will have more energy that those without.  Healthy players will be there while unhealthy players wont.

I always think back to a statement made by a friend who just stepped down as a college football coach.  His favorite saying is “it’s not about the X’s and the O’s, it’s about the Jimmy’s and the Joes”

Think big picture when working with your players.  They might not all make it to play for FC Barcelona or Arsenal but they all can accomplish great things in their future whether on the field or off...or, keep worrying about the best formation for your team.

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