Mansfield Youth Soccer is successful because of the dedication and the effort you provide as a volunteer coach. Coaching children can be challenging and rewarding. MYS has provided with you with some guidelines and ideas to keep in mind as you provide this service to the children of the program. Our hope is that the program continues to provide a fun environment that develops the skills of soccer, friendships for the future and develop a child’s character that will provide a foundation for the years to come in sports and in life.
Have a great coaching season!
Coach and Player Development
Mansfield Youth Soccer
This acronym SHARPP is presented on page 256 in the book Whose game is it, anyway? A guide to helping your child get the most from sports organized by age and stage. by Richard D. Ginsburg, Ph.D., Stephen Durant, Ed.D., with Amy Baltzell, Ed.D. Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston – New York, 2006.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Sports is an environment in which people help build and develop good character habits as well as develop fitness, strength and sports skills that contribute to children’s good sense of achievement and overall enjoyment in sports. Using the SHARPP model helps remind us to use:
SPIRIT. Sports are to be FUN filled with passion and joy… NOT to play for scholarship, pleasing others and trophies….very few players from youth sports will ever play professionally and very few will ever play for a college team and if they do only a very small percentage receive a scholarship.
HUSTLE. Always try your best
ATTENTION. Paying attention shows good self-control and integrity
RESPECT. Respectful players take care of the fields, equipment, and their bodies, treat referees respectfully, have good sportsmanship towards team members, opponents and coaches
POSITIVE. Stay positive even in the face of failure. People learn from mistakes and overcome setbacks which develops resiliency.
PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. Practice shows that from hard work fosters long term-improvement.
"Most importantly, we need to remind our kids that no matter how they perform, they are valued for who they are as opposed to what mountain they climb." Pg. 255.
Whose game is it, anyway? A guide to helping your child get the most from sports organized by age and stage. by Richard D. Ginsburg, Ph.D., Stephen Durant, Ed.D., with Amy Baltzell, Ed.D. Publisher Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston – New York, 2006.
The major task of this age group is to develop competencies- in a variety of activities and in school - and the ability to make and keep friends. The number one reason kids drop out of sports is because it is not FUN.
CREATE an environment in which the kids feel good and have fun.
ENCOURAGE: Fun, Effort, Attitude, Courage, Dedication and Skill Development more heavily than the outcome of the games
BELIEVE in abilities and realize each player is unique
DEVELOP lasting friendships is a huge development in children’s lives
DEVELOP a healthy exercise pattern for life and experience the joy of physical activity are long term goals of sport participation
KEEP REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. If coaches and parents place demands and expectations greater than a players abilities then that player may view a coaches disappointment as sense of failure: i.e. a child at ages up to 12 think, "We lost, I played lousy, and so I am a loser"….
Players are FIRST - Winning is Second
Play each player in different positions to make them a complete player. Players interested in a favorite position should be encouraged to play several positions to develop skills and decision-making in all aspects of the game. i.e. Children in goalie position should not always play goalie, they should only play no more than half a game in goal.
Do not sacrifice the player for the sake of the team i.e. – putting a player a defender to protect goal and restricting their natural tendency to move forward
Allow for mistakes and create these situations as teachable moments
Foster creativity. The game is the greatest teacher.
Encourage the players to see the problems and come up with solutions
Every year a child grows and changes in their youth years
The early "superstars" may plateau and the "late bloomers" may peak later– be careful to support the players as they change
Children will learn to realize they have weaknesses and this is acceptable and having limitations can allow for the development of perseverance and developing empathy to others. As children reach preadolescence, recognizing limitations and the strengths and weaknesses is a new discovery and they are learning how to manage negative feelings and setbacks. Failure offers an opportunity to learn from mistakes so they can be better prepared for the next opportunity.
Children talent changes over time. Teams will change as players change. MYS players provide variety of skills on teams and each year is a foundation for the next. Every year can offer a new opportunity of growth, new friendships, and new experiences. Therefore, a coach can help every player learn several aspects of being involved in a team sport as a building block for their future choices of sports involvement and as life lessons.
What is important is not how many games you win but how many young people you help become winners
Character is who we are, what we stand for, making choices by wanting to do what is right, caring about doing right, and believing what is right even in the face of pressure. Teaching children good habits of sportsmanship is leaned best by practicing it yourself. Actions speak louder than words. Coaches help players improve skills, perform at their best ability, and develop strong character.
Sportsmanship is about respect for opponents, officials, teammates, coaches and the game itself.
Emotional control in sports: Professional sports make it difficult to convince kids that emotional control is better for performance and personal growth… if they see the message that all that matters is they win and losing control is acceptable. Be mindful of your own behavior and actions as they also leave impressions on young developing minds… learning to stay focused in the face of adversity …. Take control of passion and use it to play best of ability…. When adults teach self-control results is better performance from the players
Respect. Trustworthiness. Fairness. Self- Discipline. Responsibility. Self-Control. Caring. Good Citizenship.
Winning has overtaken the importance of friendships, fitness, strength, and physically being involved in sports … the notion of you must be the best or it is not worth participating has dangers
Strive to give your best effort… you cannot always control the outcome.
Good coaching uses accurate praise more frequently than direct criticism to develop talent…. provide a break down in the skills into small manageable bits of behavior and emphasize the positive and avoid the negative. Accurate praise builds confidence.
Developing confidence is reinforced from a child’s mastery from repeated exposure to a task and is a child’s hopeful belief that they can act successfully on their own. Coaches can help build confidence by making comments of " Great Effort" as apposed to "Another Mistake…."
Help kids by praising their attitude effort and sportsmanship and reinforce values of trust, hard work, commitment and integrity help teams perform to potential.
Learning to recover from difficulties teaches determination to persevere and aspire for reaching one’s potential
The values, behavior, and habits that people tend to develop stay with them a lifetime. So if one learns to deal with disappointments in sports and strive to work hard and continue on then they may carry this lesson leaned later in their lifetime.
Players learn in sports to find inner strength to push themselves where they never thought they could go, this builds resilience and confidence to achieve goals for future challenges. Sports lay a foundation to develop endurance and manage stress for the future.
Players learn to play soccer by being in soccer situations and the practices should offer experiences to practice these situations. Small-sided games are encouraged. Be prepared for practice.
Have the children use soccer skills in soccer game like situations
Practice should allow for children to touch the ball frequently and keep everyone active
Equal Playing Time for all players
AVOID CONSTANT INSTRUCTION DURING GAMES and PRACTICES – ALLOW FLOW TO HAPPEN
Avoid pressuring children to meet your own needs: "I have a winning team". Striving to win is important objective, but not the most important objective. Keep in mind the long term goals of helping athletes develop physically, socially and psychologically.
Winning is the purpose of the game but should be accomplished with in the rules of the sport and without sacrificing the player’s development. i.e having the top shooter always play forward will not help them develop decision-making skills as a midfielder or defender.
Do not impose adult standards of performance on children as they are developing. A coach cannot control a child’s size, talent, and ability. Talent does not make a good team nor guarantee a winning record.
Develop team spirit. Everyone matters. Everyone treats each other with respect regardless of talent. Learning how to support teammates is a life lesson.
It is up to the child to make the best of the season, set their goals, improves skills, find joy in the game, and play at their best ability.
Coaching involves many skills to develop players: Technical Skills, Tactical Skills, Communication Skills, Physical Skills, Mental Skills, and Character Development.
Whose Game Is It, Anyway?: A Guide to Helping Your Child Get the Most from Sports, Organized by Age and Stage. By Richard D. Ginsburg, Ph.D, Stephen Durant, Ed.D., Amy Braltzell, Ed.D. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston - New York, 2006.
Successful Coaching, Third Edition. By Rainer Martens. Human Kinetics, 2004.
Just Let the Kids Play . By Bob Bigelow. Deerfield Beach FLA Health Communications, 2001.