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The Soccer Sidelines

131 EpisodesProduced by David DejewskiWebsite

Join Coach Dave on the sidelines as he brings you in on what’s going on behind the scenes and the stuff that really matters in youth sports. Understand the game, development, and ways you can support your young athlete at home!


#49 – The Coaching Pathway

The Adventure of CoachingI think most parents come into the world of coaching out of a love for their own kids and a desire to support them and provide well rounded learning experiences wrapped in fun. If we consider the world of grassroots soccer, by that I mean non competitive travel or select soccer, we see kids coming together from all backgrounds and skill sets - all out to make friends, become and stay active, learn some new skills, and have fun. Fun is the number one draw for kids into youth sports, and fun is what a lot of parents hope to provide. In this post, I'd like to talk about some of the stuff that's not talked about in coaching courses.I want to talk about the stuff we think about before we ever get to coaching courses. I want to talk about you and the stuff that can't be easily quantified. Before you step up for the first time, you might want to know: would I make a good coach? What's the time requirement? What if I fail and the kids don't like me?  What if I don't know anything about the game? Will my kids accept me? How can I be a good coach? Would I Make a Good Coach?Obviously, this is very personal question. If you've never coached before, you probably don't know the answer. I came from a military background. There were not many kids in that environment. And I didn't start with the military until I was a bit older. 24 yrs old to be exact. I was the old man in training. Before that, I was in college with other college kids. I had my own business and I was making a lot of money for my age. I was having life experiences that were far removed from children and I was perfectly happy there. After the military, I went to work in corporate America. I climbed the ladder through middle management and into the C-Suite. I managed hundreds of employees, millions of dollars worth of projects, and had made all the kinds of transitions outlined so well in the book: The Leadership Pipeline: How to Build the Leadership Powered Company, by Ram Charan and Stephen Drotter. I was leader in those environments - but those environments were for adults. Kids to me were scary. I had no experience. I didn't have any great examples to draw from. And I thought I'd be really bad at dealing with them. When I had my own kids, I didn't have any choice anymore. Kids are kinda everywhere when you're a parent. You definitely can't avoid them - or all the bugs they bring home from daycare and school. Sickness on school cycles year after year was par for the course. Coaching kids when mine were really little was about the farthest thing from my mind. I was happy to get in a nap every so once in a while. When my kids expressed an interest in trying youth sports, I was a big fan. I swam, played hockey, lacrosse, soccer, ran track, wrestled, did gymnastics and martial arts in college... My memories of youth sports - working together as a team, pushing past weakness and discomfort, or even just putting one arm in front of the other for 4-8,000 yards twice per day every day with nothing but bubbles from another swimmer's kicking feet in front of me - those things, the perseverance, the teamwork, the sense of achievement after working hard - those things got me through many rough spots in life. I wanted that for my kids. When my kid's coach needed help, and I saw that the experience my kids were having would be better if I stepped up. I stepped up. I picked up the stop watch, tracked time, donned a title "Assistant Coach," and eventually managed the bench. In the early days, I struggled to remember my own experiences as a player - as if my experiences as a player would help me now as a coach. But I realized after a while, that playing and coaching are two very different things. Coaching requires organization. I had learned organization. Coaching requires good communication. I had learned communication. Coaching requires empathy and insight. I had learned empathy and insight. And Coaching required that I set aside my own ego,

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