This past Saturday officially concluded my first season coaching U4 soccer. Well, it was actually the first time I coached anything really. It was a great experience and the take aways and lessons learned were tremendous.
I felt that not only did I grow as a person, but I am also confident that the lessons learned can be translated to my classroom.
lesson 1: children are led by attention and their needs
Whatever a child feels that they “need” is what captures their attention. We may even argue if it indeed is a real need, but if they feel they need it, it is what they will hold onto. Their attention will be focused on just this. Getting children to pay attention to you, means paying more attention to them.
lesson 2: practice, practice, practice
Kids need consistency; it is vital and essential. This consistency is across the board! The most consistent their lives, the safer they feel, the better they will perform and understand the world around them. Creating a consistent environment will create trust in you and personal growth. The key to this consistency is expecting more of myself 1st, before I expect anything from them. The messages I send them have to be consistent, otherwise I can derail what they expect of me, and throw off my kids as well.
Adults are very sensitive to distrust and inconsistency, kids are too!
lesson 3: its all about me, making it all about them
As a coach, I have to be 100% present and accountable. I have to make sure that I’m on time, have a plan of action, and make sure that my players are using their time wisely and practicing in a way that will make them better. In order for me to do this, I have to be hard on myself and hold myself accountable to the things that I say and do.
And when I do this, something magical happens.
All that energy translates into my players. They then start to focus on themselves and try to be the best version of themselves that they can be. For those players who are not as focused, I don’t take their lack of attention or effort personally. As long as I know that I am giving them my all, the responsibility for stepping up to the plate is on them.
When you know yourself, you can give of yourself.