Tag Archives: Coaching

Getting Started as a Youth Soccer Coach

By Kory Barrett

From Soccer For Coaches 

Congratulations on volunteering as a youth soccer coach! Though you may be a bit nervous at first and unsure of what you’ve gotten yourself into, you’ll soon find it to be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.

The first thing to do is relax, take a deep breath, and tell yourself you can become a great soccer coach. This site is here to help, and this section is where to start. The links to the left will guide you through the following:

I. Coaching Philosophy – Keep the critical goals in mind: for your kids to have fun, develop their soccer skills, and want to come back next season! Everything else will fall in place if you keep your focus on these three goals.

II. Suggested Equipment – As a coach there are a few things you’ll need to run effective practices. Here is a list of items I recommend, along with links of where you can purchase them. Note – I am not trying to sell you anything, and am proud to offer all the information on this site completely for free. However, if you purchase these items by clicking on the links you’ll find, I do get a “commission” from the vendor. This is an easy way for you to help support this website, which I greatly appreciate!

III. Organizing the Season – By planning ahead and taking a little time to organize yourself and your team before that first practice, you’ll give yourself a huge boost towards a successful season. This page helps identify what you need to do first.

IV. Running Practices – Practice can be the toughest part of your job, but with a bit of forethought, they are a lot of fun for everyone. Here you’ll find the issues to consider, as well as a “structure” or “itinerary” for your practices that works really well.

V. Game Day – The culmination of your and your players’ hard work. Game Day is a ton of fun, but there are some things for you to consider. Find these explained here.

Already you may be feeling a bit more at ease by breaking down your task at hand into these five easy sections. Coaching does take a little time to get used to, but after reading the pages listed above, you’ll soon find yourself feeling really confident.

Kory Barrett, licensed coach (NSCAA and U.S. Soccer), currently coaching U11, U9, and U4 teams.



Zenergo is a free activities-focused social manager for active adults networking through their real-life interests. On Zenergo you can create activities, groups and events around Soccer and other sports and fitness activities — as well as health, social, group, family, civic, and hobbyist activities.

Zenergo’s Group and Event features, with full privacy levels and the ability to create subgroups, make it a good place to organize teams and leagues, have coach discussions, and manage relations with team parents.  Please visit the site at http://www.zenergo.com to learn more. Zenergo is free to use.


Four Quick Tips for Youth Baseball Coaches (and Parents!)

Jerry McClain, a one-time professional baseball player, has been coaching baseball at colleges and high schools for the past couple of decades, and specializes in training up-and-coming young pitchers. He has strong opinions about warming up before practice, about following the principles of Positive Coaching, and about the life benefits of learning how to coach well. We interviewed him recently, asking him for three helpful tips for coaches — and he gave us a bonus fourth tip.

1. Proper warm-up for pitchers is absolutely critical before games. Jerry has his pitchers perform an exercise routine using “sand bottles” — 16-oz drink bottles filled with sand (10-oz bottles for pitchers younger than 12). The warm-ups are aimed at increasing blood flow in the pitching arm and, especially, the shoulder.

“Just throwing the ball around or, worse, playing long-throw catch as a warm-up is a terrible idea,” says Jerry, “Yet too many coaches skip the real warm-up. You have to warm up the arm — get blood flowing in the arm and especially the shoulder — before you start throwing the ball around. You’ll ruin the kids’ arms while they’re still teenagers if you don’t pay serious attention to this!”

2. Read Positive Coaching, by Jim Thompson — “It’s the best book out there about coaching; I’ve read it many times.” Thompson is founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance, an organization to train sports coaches to deal effectively and positively with their kids — practical advice, Jerry says, not just for coaching — but for parenting, too. “I encourage everybody to read this book — even if you’re not a coach, you’ll learn life and business lessons.”

3. Understand that coaching is a skill set that is also an overlay for life skills and for business skills — Learning how to coach well helps you become a better manager — and a better human being.

Bonus tip: If you’re coaching boys teams, be sure to take the opportunity to coach a girls’ team  — “It’s totally different from coaching a boy’s team,” says Jerry, and it will expand your coaching ability, and your life skills too.

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Manage Your Team With Zenergo

Zenergo.com can be helpful to coaches trying to manage their teams and schedules, deal with players and with parents, and find support staff or even additional players.

Here’s a view of a baseball team’s group page; notice the “A Street Baseball Team Parents” at the bottom — that’s an example of a Subgroup for the parents of A Street team members.  You can create a subgroup for the managers/coaches/support staff, too.

Baseball team page with "subgroup" for parents

Joining Zenergo is easy and free at http://www.Zenergo.com — and in the Baseball Activity you can specify your interests and focus.

Better yet, you can then create a Group for your team — one central location where the kids and the parents can share information, check the calendar for practices and games, post photos, and save forms and documents. As coach, you can send messages to all the whole team, or just to subsets like the parents or the other coaches. You can even create a Group for the league, with SubGroups, one for each team. Groups can maintain privacy from non-members, which is important.

No more trying to juggle email, and calendars, and sending attachments, and posting pictures to someplace else, and worrying about protecting the kids’ privacy. Zenergo has everything in one place — perfect for the complex job of Coach!


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