A friend and I have been coaching rec league soccer at the YMCA for our boys the last two years. This summer we decided to try and take some of our players and form a competitive team to play in local soccer tournaments in our area. We have a good central group of kids, and the the thought is we can find a handful of other good players from the Y teams in our age group to fill out our roster.
So far so good. We decided to sign up for the Illinois Class E Coaching License – a two day course focused on ages 9-12, sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation. We figure this will help us improve our training sessions and overall coaching. This weekend we’ll be at the course, but prior to that we had prep work to complete.
The prep work consists of three main assignments: Rules of the Game/Referee Introduction, Concussion Awareness, and Coaching Philosophy/Team Management.
The Rules of the Game/Referee Introduction is a flash-based course that takes you through the basics. It’s straight-forward, not overly complex, and not too long. The two sections will take you between and hour and an hour-and-a-half. If you really want to understand the off-sides rule in soccer and are still unsure about it, this course will set you straight.
Concussion Awareness, another flash course, provides about an hour of training on an issue that’s become more sensitive and more important in youth sports. The Federal government – CDC produced the content, which includes videos, scenarios, reference materials, and quizzes. This is really worthwhile as well. The training strikes a very cautious tone, but it also clearly articulates what we need to look for as coaches and parents and how to respond when the kids have those bad collisions and falls.
The final assignment is to write up a Personal Coaching Philosophy and answer some basic Team Management questions. I really enjoyed this section (no surprise since I like to write) as it helped me to define and structure a lot of the ideas in my head about coaching, training, and promoting the values of team sports in general, and soccer specifically. I spent a couple of hours on this last night, probably going into more detail than needed on the player development goals that will form the basis of our teams training curriculum. But again, this was a very enjoyable assignment, and I’m really hoping the Class E course this weekend helps me polish this philosophy and training curriculum as we get ready to start our team’s season over the next weeks.
I’ll add some new posts presently- reviewing the course itself and sharing part of the coaching philosophy and training curriculum.