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Coaching is Teaching

Success in Soccer

Hey coaches has anyone has noticed me walking around the fields
During many of the games as well as several training sessions. I've
observed a common theme in an effort to get our players to perform at a
higher level. This method is what we call "COACHING THROUGH
MOTIVATION". Let me explain this.

By observing and listening to what is being said to the players by the
coaching staff you may hear something like this, YOU GUYS ARE NOT
WORKING HARD ENOUGH, YOUR WALKING!!! Or you will hear, C'MON YOU GUYS FIND FEET, DON'T JUST KICK! My personal favorite is, "YOU HAVE TO WORK HARDER TO DEFEND!!! What does this all mean??? How hard do you want them to work? They're not lifting rocks or cutting a
tree... These comments are being yelled during training and matches.
Is this really going to help the player develop or make the needed
corrections in their play be it technical or tactical?

Coaches, Is this really how we should train and develop our players?
This is what I call Coaching through Motivation (misinformation). It is
the lack of clear direction and guidance that is missing in our attempt
to motivate your players. We try to get our players to run faster or to
play smarter by yelling in what we believe to be words that are

Remember when you were a youth player, I know that may have been some time ago but didn't you enjoy it when your coach or teacher gave you attention and information that actually assisted you in your learning?
By the way, when they assisted you wasn't it fun?  Did you also
remember enjoying your parents when they gave you praise? Do you still enjoy praise today when you get it? Through trial, error and education. They try, they mess up then we educate.

Two weeks ago I watched 2 players get split in the defending third.
I made it a point to really listen to the coach at that time.  The comment to the players was, "You two have to work harder there. My thought was that's not why they got split? They had poor pressure and covering angles and lack of communication. I don't think work harder would help them make the adjustment needed.

Coaches, my point are 1.) This is why we must allow the players to play. Let them think! 2.) What are positive ways we can motivate our players that will assist them in developing into the best player they can be. Yes, we can provide an enjoyable environment where growth happens. Now, can we honestly teach through motivation? Motivation is a desire, not a way to educate. Your teachers did not teach you by saying, C'mon you have to think harder or, just read faster! They went through steps to educate you so you understand what and why you are making a decision.

Soccer is all about decisions on the field. You must teach your players to make decisions on their own, during training and in matches. Players are smart when given the correct information to work with. Watch professional matches and listen to the fans. You may hear this comment, "they make it look so easy". Well, that's because the professionals have learned and developed their decision making skills under tremendous pressure. This area we can help our players to develop and enjoy the game not just now but for a life time.  

Jeff Cade