By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
July 25, 2023-I am now 61 years old and started refereeing when I was the transposed number, 16. So I’ve come across all sorts of youth soccer coaches and trainers in 45 years of refereeing. Here is my view what makes a good coach:
1) The coach greets the opposing coach and referee before the match
2) The coach emphasizes fun and fundamentals, not winning. Coaches who emphasize winning often have kids who play tight and are afraid of making mistakes. I overheard one good coach say during a parents’ meeting, “Try not to tell your child that this is an important game.”
3) No players linger on the bench
4) Any commentary to the officials is respectful and comes from a place of knowing the rules. Not something like, “He can’t play the ball while he’s on the ground,” which is generally not a foul for dangerous play. Players and parents get their cues from the coach on how to treat the ref so a good coach is ALWAYS respectful.
5) Not saying one thing and then doing the opposite. I heard a coach tell his players at halftime on an adjacent field, “Let the other team complain to the ref, you be quiet.” Too bad that he did not follow his own advice as the ref dismissed him with a red card several minutes later as he continuously started berating the ref. It even went downhill from there as that coach’s players started yelling at the ref, who spoke with an accent, to go back to what they perceived to be his native country.
How many of the five points above does your child’s coach fulfill? The more the coach fulfills, the better chance games will go smoothly plus there is also a much better chance that you and your child will enjoy youth soccer.
With approximately 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 10 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log onto http://www.enysoccer.com/