young men, soccer players, sit with their coach on field and discuss strategy and soccer fundamentals

Forget Fancy Footwork: Why Your Child's Soccer Coach Should Be a Child Person First, and a Soccer Expert Second

June 25, 2024

When it comes to choosing a soccer program for your child, it’s easy to get caught up in the hype of impressive resumes, flashy facilities, and promises of elite training. But amidst all the buzzwords, there’s one crucial factor that often gets overlooked: the coach’s personality and approach to working with children.

Steve Locker, founder of Locker Soccer Academy and a seasoned coach himself, emphasizes that coaching is “way overrated.” He believes that a coach’s ability to connect with children on a personal level and create a positive, fun environment is far more important than their technical expertise.

Why the "Child Person" Factor Matters

  1. Joyful Learning: A coach who genuinely enjoys working with kids fosters a fun and engaging atmosphere, making learning a joyful experience. This leads to greater motivation, enthusiasm, and long-term commitment to the sport.
  2. Confidence Building: Positive reinforcement and encouragement from a coach who cares can significantly boost a child’s self-esteem, both on and off the field. Confident players are more likely to take risks, try new things, and ultimately reach their full potential.
  3. Stronger Relationships: When children feel valued and understood by their coach, they develop a stronger bond and trust, making them more receptive to feedback and guidance. This leads to a more positive and productive learning experience.
  4. Holistic Development: A child-centered coach focuses on developing the whole child – not just their soccer skills. They nurture social skills, emotional intelligence, and resilience, which are essential for success in all areas of life.
  5. Lifelong Love for the Game: A positive experience with a caring coach can instill a lifelong passion for soccer. Kids who love the game are more likely to continue playing, practicing, and improving over time.

Locker Soccer Academy's Coach Philosophy

At Locker Soccer Academy, we handpick our coaches not just for their soccer knowledge, but for their genuine love of working with children. We prioritize individuals who:
  • Are passionate about youth development: They understand the unique needs of young players and tailor their coaching accordingly.
  • Create a fun and inclusive environment: They make soccer enjoyable for every child, regardless of their skill level.
  • Build strong relationships with players: They get to know each child as an individual and provide personalized support and encouragement.
  • Focus on the whole child: They nurture not only soccer skills but also social, emotional, and cognitive development.

Choosing the Right Coach for Your Child

When evaluating soccer programs, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the coaching staff. Look for coaches who:
  • Interact positively with children: Observe how they communicate and engage with players during practices and games.
  • Create a fun and supportive atmosphere: Look for programs that prioritize enjoyment and learning over intense competition.
  • Value individual differences: Seek out coaches who adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of each child.
  • Have a proven track record of success: Ask about their experience working with youth players and their philosophy on coaching.

Remember: The best soccer coach for your child might not be the one with the most impressive credentials (although Locker Soccer has those too). Instead, focus on finding a coach who is a true “child person” — someone who will nurture your child’s love for the game, build their confidence, and help them thrive both on and off the field.

Ready to find the perfect coach for your child? Contact Locker Soccer Academy today!
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