How to give ownership of the team to the players

By RonUsher | Uncategorized

May 27

Kids having fun playing soccer

Typically, coaches have a hard time giving power away. They are the coach and they want to be in charge.

This is fine. And there are times when it is necessary.

But if you want your soccer team (or any team) to feel like they are involved in the program you have to give up some decision making. You have to let them make decisions and lead. They probably will not do it perfectly (especially when first starting)  but they will improve and get better at it.

And if you never give them chances to make decisions, make mistakes and even fail, how are they going to perform during a game? When they are playing ultimately it is there decisions and actions that will determine the outcome. I don’t know about you, but I want my kids to have practice and experience making those decisions.

There are three big areas that you can get kids involved during practice; pre-practice, during practice, and post practice

Here are six ways to involve the kids and get them feeling responsible for the success of the entire team:

  • At the beginning of practice always have a student lead the group in stretches and warm-up. Having a routine greatly helps in this. That way all the team knows what to do.
  • Give every kid an opportunity to lead; not just the captains. Involve all the team, not only your best.
  • After a drill, ask the team for feedback. Did the drill work? What could be done to improve it?
  • During this meeting have them “Give or Get”. This is where they can give a compliment to someone or get a complement back from another teammate.
  • At the end of practice always have a brief team meeting. Get team feedback.
  • Have a kid create a drill or even an entire workout depending on the age. Give them the opportunity at the end of practice and have them write it down for the next practice.

Spending time building a team pays off way more than in just wins and losses. When kids feel ownership, they take responsibility an enjoy the team more. This makes it more likely they will try harder, focus more and even continue playing.

The leadership and contribution skills they learn carry over beyond sports as well. It will make them better students, bosses and parents. And isn’t that what we really want?

Want ideas on exercises to use and how to use them for soccer skills and fitness? Then head on over to Athletic Skills for Soccer and pick up your copy today.

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