Becoming a Coach
Coaches are the heart of Mt. Diablo Soccer because as a coach you have the most contact with the kids during the season. Coaching requires a significant commitment of your time for coach training, practice sessions and preparing for scheduled matches, but it can be a very rewarding experience. Mt. Diablo Soccer appreciates your time, and will provide you with the training, advice, and whatever assistance you need to make your coaching experience a positive one.
Reasons to coach
- It's FUN.
- It's a great break from work.
- It makes you feel good.
- It's a great way to put something back into the community.
The rewards come in the form of watching the kids have fun at a game or practice, watching each player improve their soccer skills. There is also a great sense of accomplishment when you reach the end of a season and look back and see how far each player has developed.
Coaches have to put in a lot of work during the course of the season: in most divisions 2 practices per week, a game on Saturday and preparation time for each practice. Over the course of an 12 week season this is well over 50 hours of volunteer work. While there are other volunteer positions that require more time, coaching provides the greatest opportunity for you to have fun!
And for those who have "serious" jobs, there is no better way to regain your perspective than to watch a bunch of 5 year olds at practice.
Types of Coaches
There are generally three types of coaches:
- Social Oriented
- Task Oriented
- Goal Oriented
The social coach wants to go out and have a good time. If the kids want to have fun at practice (and not work on dribbling for 40 minutes), that's no problem. The social coach enjoys meeting the parents on Saturday morning. This may be the case for some parent coaches who did not grow up playing soccer.
The task oriented coach is looking to see players develop their soccer skills over the course of a season. Many coaches who played soccer as kids and/or adults, tend to be somewhat task oriented, since they have the skills that they want to share.
The goal oriented coach wants to see results. Sometimes this means winning on the score board, but it can often mean that the coach wants to see the team show some level of improvement as a team.
Of course, most coaches have some degree of the three characteristics listed above, but if you have no soccer skills and just want to be a social coach, attending a coaching clinic will help you gain enough knowledge to get by. If you already have the soccer skills, but are scared of working with a group of kids, we will give you some ideas about running a practice and having fun.
For those who are interested, a high school or college-aged assistant coach can be terrific role model for young players, since (s)he has typically grown up playing the game. We do require that an adult (or at least someone over 18) be at every game and practice, but Mt. Diablo Soccer strongly encourages youth coaches.
The coach side of the organization is managed by the regional coach administrator, with help from the coach coordinators, whose primary responsibility is the recruiting and training of coaches in the region. The coaches in each age group will have direct contact with their Division Coordinator, who serve as the primary point of contact between the teams and the region.
- Complete Safe Haven training prior to working with players. (This is a one-time, mandatory obligation.)
- Hold pre-season meeting with families. (Introductions, roster and schedule distribution. Discuss expectations.)
- Solicit volunteers, especially assistant coach, team referee, and team representative.
- Conduct pre-season and mid-season practices.
- Ensure the kids all have fun!