A friend asked me for advice about his toddler’s impending soccer “career”. After thinking about it, here’s what I came up with: My only advice is, whatever you do, find the best coach you can. It makes all the difference. 99% of coaches don’t know jack and their “coaching” is actually detrimental to your kid’s development in whatever sport they are playing. Of the 30 or so teams my kids have been on, I can think of two coaches (both volunteer dads) who I would consider good, one in basketball and one in soccer.
Unfortunately, a bad coach can kill whatever enjoyment or potential your kid my have. This includes the coaches you pay for, not just the daddy’s volunteering at the Y. I’ve seen it in baseball, flag football and soccer. Soccer is the worst, because there is so much money involved and so little history of it in our country.
Another friend chimed in, “that’s why YOU should coach”. I agree, if you are willing to put in the work. Don’t become one of the 99%. Become a 1%er. Educate yourself, scout games, watch other coaches. It takes work, which is why most parents don’t do it. It’s much easier to just write a check to the local club, then bitch about them on a blog or a soccer forum ;).