Second Leg of D License Course
By tdh on Jun 22, 2006
I'm finally recovered from the second leg of the USSF 'D' License for coaches. The first leg was brutal, it rained for the 1st day and we basically did two back-to-back 10 hour practice days. This time we had some kids out to help for 1/2 of the first practice day. It did keep our legs fresh, but by the end of the last day, we were all bushed.
Most of the coaches out there have been doing competitive coaching for some time and it shows. With Rec soccer, you have to play kids 1/2 the game, whether they show up for practice or not. The competitive kids (really their parents) have made more of a commitment and have higher expectations. Sometimes I'm lucky to get 3 kids to show up for practice. Having a limited number of kids makes coaching pretty difficult, i.e., how can you even do small-sided games?
So they get plenty of repitition at reinforcing their points. If a kid doesn't want to be there, they won't make the cuts during tryouts. With Rec, if you pay your money, you play. Even if you don't make any effort at all.
The course doesn't teach you what to teach, but rather how to teach it. If you pass the practical, you could walk out of there and never apply what you learned. But if you walk in without knowing what you are supposed to coach, it is going to make it hard for you. A daddy coach is going to have a hard time. I've been learning and studying, but I'm still having a difficult time intuitively knowing what my coaching points are supposed to be during a given lesson.
I'm going to need to start to play again if I want to progress further as a coach. I'm also going to either have to start coaching teams other than my son's rec team or see if I can get on somewhere as a competitive coach. The real issue with that is that I've focused on player development and not the win/loss ratio for the team. I know I'm effective at making kids better. I've seen it in baseball over the course of a season. But in baseball, parents are more likely to make their kids go to pratice. I just don't have a relevant history I can show to some Head Coach to get me a spot.
The age of the kids also makes a big difference - I'm coaching kids who can't do the points I'm being graded on. They are either not mentally or physically developed enough to make the coaching effective. You can get standouts, but you have to coach the age group. As you progress up the License structure, you are effectively increasing the age of the players. I haven't played in some time (and my rec coach never really coached, he facilitated practice at best) and I'm not seeing 8v8 or 11v11 games.
I'm at the point where I want to coach and I want my son to play soccer. I just don't know if the two overlap anymore. I.e., I'm past the point where I'm coaching because the club can't get volunteers for my son's teams. If he makes the next step to competitive, I'm done being his coach after this year. In many ways, we need to make the break anyway.
The course went okay. I know I did well on the Technical coaching exam. I went ahead and also did the Tactical. A bunch of people didn't, but I figured I wasn't there to not try. They really want you to succeed out there and you have to work hard to fail. In all honesty, the lack of playing/coaching experience does hurt when you do the Tactical. You can stumble past the Technical, but in the Tactical, you are really have to show more knowledge when you make that coaching moment.
Technorati Tags: Coaching