A Word From... is part of a series of monthly articles from Alaska Rush Soccer Club's Techinical Director and Directors of Coaching. Each week, a different Director will submit an article pertaining to Alaska Rush, Rush Soccer or even world football in general. It's an opportunity for our readership to gain more insight on the sport and understand further what Alaska Rush Soccer Club is about and what Rush Soccer offers it's Members.
A Word From... Director of Coaching Girls
As a Director of Coaching with Alaska Rush Soccer Club, part of my responsibility is to ensure sure we have quality coaches coaching our players. One of the main things I look for from our coaches is the willingness to improve as a coach. As I’m off this week on a NSCAA coaching course, this thought struck me as well as methods coaches can use to improve their practice moving forward.
The first thing coaches can do is to take every possible opportunity to take coaching courses. I think it is important coaches take licenses and diplomas to advance their skills. Just like we expect our players to learn from coaches with more experience, we as coaches can learn from coaches with more experience then us. The NSCAA, USSF, UEFA and many other organizations offer courses for coaches to improve their coaching practice. These courses range from overall coach courses to courses that focus on goalkeeping, youth players, adults, fitness, duties of DOC’s, etc. I believe it is important we have well-rounded coaches who take advantage of these courses to offer Alaska Rush players the best opportunity to improve.
The second thing coaches can do to improve is to learn from fellow coaches. Whether watching TDs, DOCs or other coaches, coaches looking to improve their craft should make an effort to notice what works well and what doesn’t. One of best opportunities to learn is from other coaches from other clubs on coaching courses. Most instructors will tell you most of what you learn is from other coach candidates as much as it’s from the instructors themselves. Coaching courses out of state offer an opportunity to observe coaching styles from coaches that you normally would never get a chance to watch.
The third thing coaches can use to improve is to learn from players. There will be times to allow them to coach the coach. If players are given the chance to explain why they made a choice in an exercise, a coach can possibly see the choice from a new perspective. This does not mean the player is always right, but maybe their choice actually makes sense. Another way to learn from players is to see how they interact with coaches, players and how they respond to a coach’s training. As a coach if you make a practice plan and it doesn’t seem to work, you may need to adjust. As a coach, I am always trying to watch how our players react to the training and adjust to make sure it benefits them. As coaches if we decided to coach without observing our players, we are not coaching to our full potential.
I honestly believe that as coaches we need to learn more then we teach. When a coach tells me they have learned everything they can and they think they know it all, I would tell them I think it is time they retire from coaching. If we are not improving as coaches, then we are only hurting our players. As Director of Coaching Girls at Alaska Rush it is my goal to make sure our coaches never quit learning adjusting and improving as coaches.