10 Qualities of a Good Soccer Coach
Who has been volunteered by someone else to coach a soccer youth team? Or, who put their hand up to take on the role because no one else would?
A lot of us have been in this situation before. Soccer coaching or any form of sports related coaching can be one of the most daunting tasks you will ever undertake, however it can also be one of the most rewarding.
If you find yourself in this position now as a new soccer coach, you may be feeling that you don’t have what it takes. You might know how to play soccer or you might not have any knowledge of the game at all. Don’t let this concern you as there is a lot of information on soccer available and knowledge can be acquired.
Before anything else, there are certain qualities a coach should possess to be able to undertake the role effectively. These qualities can be applied to any coaching role, at any level, not just soccer coaching. These qualities listed below are by no means exhaustive nor are they listed in order of importance as they are of equal importance:

  1. Patience - This quality is particularly important when coaching youth soccer.
  2. Commitment - Put the effort and the time in and you will be rewarded.
  3. Enthusiasm - You might not have the necessary technical knowledge however if you are enthusiastic, the players will also be enthusiastic as it is infectious.
  4. Trustworthy - You are in a position where you need to have the trust of the players as well as their parents.
  5. Open Minded - Be able to accept other’s ideas.
  6. Punctual - Don’t expect players to be punctual if you cannot. Set the example.
  7. Decisive - To be able to make decisions under pressure.
  8. Diplomatic - To be able to handle difficult situations that may involve the players or coach.
  9. Knowledge of how players learn - By this I mean, not everyone learns the same way. For example, at a soccer training session, if you are demonstrating soccer drills, some players will understand the concepts straight away while others will need reinforcing through repetition.
  10. Attitude – Having the right attitude is paramount to enjoying your role and hopefully bringing success.
 The qualities listed above are not meant to be a final list, they are just the qualities that are important in a soccer coaching role. Some are certainly harder to achieve than others at times!
These qualities are the same qualities most people apply throughout their normal day, especially as a parent. So don’t feel overwhelmed if you are thrust into a soccer coaching job, the personal skills you require are nothing more than what you are already doing in your daily life.
And remember - A good coach can change a GAME. A great coach can change a LIFE – John Wooden

The PDF version can be downloaded here