How to Coach High School Soccer

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As a high school soccer coach, you have great influence over the future careers of your players. There are many professional options available for talented soccer players at the national and international level. While it is tempting to promote a few skilled players, your role as coach is to teach all of your players important leadership and competition skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Soccer balls

Manage a High School Soccer Team

  • Consult with college coaches and all-star team coordinators to help talented players advance after graduation. Regional all-star teams can help your soccer program build a solid reputation while a steady connection to certain colleges helps motivate your players during a long season.

  • Combine young players and experienced athletes to find the right team chemistry. A common mistake in coaching is to pit young and experienced players against each other during practice. As a coach, you may find it more instructive to see the on-field cooperation and interaction between players.

  • Practice moving the ball down the field with all of your goalkeepers. Keepers often initiate offensive attacks after a successful defensive stand. Teach keepers to use a side-armed throw to pass the ball to defensive players and punt it deep to players at midfield.

  • Develop a patient team by utilizing extensive passing and running drills during practice. The thrill of an offensive breakaway or a penalty kick is only set up by deliberate movement up the field and enough endurance to last 90 minutes of soccer. Incorporate both skills in one drill by having players dribble the ball around the outside of the field.

  • Monitor your team's academics throughout the entire school year. Athletes who fall behind in their studies may lose eligibility in the upcoming season. Assign an assistant or an intern to maintain a high level of academic achievement.

  • Keep track of college recruiting news to assess the prospects of potential college players on your team. College coaches will get in touch with you as they become interested in your players, but a review of recruiting news can help you assess the market for seniors on your team. Websites like Rivals.com offer updates on soccer recruiting (see Resources below).

Tips & Warnings

  • Hold open tryouts for your soccer team at the earliest time possible. Most high schools allow athletic activities 2 weeks before the school year starts, and a 2-day tryout is usually sufficient to find new talent. Tryouts allow you to challenge experienced players while opening up soccer to a larger audience.

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