Ten Qualities of a Good Youth Soccer/Football Coach


Time for a pop quiz – would you rather your child played on a team where the coach calls the game or practice for weather if there is thunder audible, or keeps the children playing through rain and nearby lightning strikes? How about a coach who offers equal playing time to all players, even though their win-loss record is abysmal, or a coach who only plays the best and leaves the other children on the bench?

Do you think you can tell the difference between an OK coach and a good coach?

Stage Equipe de France Chris Bonzon

Here are ten qualities you can look for:

1. A good coach demonstrates his knowledge of and commitment to physical health and safety. He is experienced in CPR, has a readily available first aid kit with him at all practices and games, and teaches the players about injury treatment and prevention.

2. He teaches and models, always, respectful behavior, fairness and good sportsmanship. He will not be teaching your child to respond to adversary with tantrums or cursing.

3. He demands and receives appropriate sideline behavior from parents. He ignores taunts and insults from abusive parents, and does not let a parent to berate a player, even his own child.

4. He understands gender differences, especially on a mixed-sex team, but does not adhere to stereotypes and allows each player to play to his or her potential. He is sympathetic to an all-female team, especially young teens who tend to be quite emotional.

5. He is patient and calm, and always positive. He leaves his personal life out of the gam, and does not take a bad mood out on his players.

6. He sets realistic and age-appropriate expectations for the players. He neither promises them too much, nor encourages them too little.

7. He makes both practices and games fun, emphasizing the “fun” quality versus winning. While winning is important, and everyone should strive to do their personal best, it is not the sole reason in playing team sports. Actually, studies have shown that “winning” does not even rank in the top 5 reasons when children are asked why they play team sports.

8. He adjusts his advice to suit the each player, and is sensitive to their needs. A good coach understands that a team is made up of individual players, and that some need a great deal of attention while others do not.

9. He actively seeks out team-building opportunities, and includes every player. Such activities can include team parties, fund-raising events like car washes, and special team-only pre-game and post-game rituals, like the huddle.

A good coach is someone who a parent should feel no hesitation to approach with any questions or concerns. He should be a good listener as well as a good communicator, and should take into consideration any constructive criticism offered by a parent. He should adhere firmly to his convictions, but he should also be flexible enough to consider new ideas. And lastly, he should be an effective motivator of his players, as well as an inspiring leader. His players should look up to him and want to play their best.

Author: Darcey Deeds

Ones to Watch European Under-17 Championship 2013 / Top 5 Hot Prospects in Football

Check out our list of the ones to watch in the European Under-17 Championship 2013. Five hot prospects who can claim the title Golden Player of the Tournament. The hot prospects of European Under-17 Championship will follow in the footpaths of former European Under-17 starlets such as Karim Benzema, Bojan Krkic, Stephan El Shaarawy, Wayne Rooney and Mario Götze among others.

Alberto Cerri, Striker, Parma

A Ceri

Alberto Cerri is the captain of the Italian Under-17 and can be recognised by wearing the number 9 shirt. He was born in Parma 6 April 1996. The 190cm tall, striker earned his professional debut at March 30th 2013 playing 16 minutes against Pescara making him the youngest debutante in Serie A in the history of Parma. He is one of the reasons why Italy Under-17 qualified for the final round, as he scored two decisive goals, one against Holland in the 78th minute and the other against Norway.

Alen Halilović, Attacking Midfielder, Dinamo Zagreb


He was born 18th of June 1996 in Dubrovnik and is regarded as a remarkable hot prospect. The 170cm tall elegant attacking midfielder became the youngest ever goalscorer in the Croatian First Division. The young wonderkid has recorded 2 goals in 16 appearances for Dinamo. He has also featured in the UEFA Champions League this season. A remarkable talented player, with a fierce left foot. Free-kick specialist and can be compared to Lionel Messi!

Fran Brodic, Striker, Dinamo Zagreb

F Brodi

The lethal striker born 8. January 1997 is regarded as the most hot prospect in Croatia. The new wonderkid have been followed by the best teams in the world. He got his professional debut for Dinamo Zagreb on 14th April 2013 and beat Alen Halilovic in becoming the youngest ever playing for the first team of Dinamo. Fran Brodic has recorded 4 assists and 2 goals in 5 appearances and have been the most important player for the Croatian Under-17 teams qualification to the final round of European Championship 2013.

Perhaps this young football talent should be on the list of the Top Talents for 2013?

Valentino Lazaro, Attacking Midfielder, FC Red Bull Salzburg


The elegant midfielder is regarded as one of the brightest Austrian talents. The 180cm tall hot prospect of Greek and Angolan origin is contracted to FC Red Bull Salzburg. He got his professional debut in start of November 2012 where he substituted Valon Beisha, the older brother of Veton Berisha who is described as one of the best talents in the Norwegian Premier League. The Austrian technical attacking midfielder wearing the number 10 shirt could be compared to Zinedine Zidane because of his excellent passes and flick ons.

Federico Bonazzoli, Striker, Inter Milan 


He is regarded as one of the best Italian talents coming through the Nerazzurri academy. In the last couple of weeks he has trained with the first team of Inter Milan. The left footed striker is remarkable lethal. Federico Bonazzoli, scored a hat-trick against Lichtenstein in only 10 minutes! He is one of the youngest talents in the tournament, but is definitely one to watch as he could become one of the best Italian strikers ever!

Author: Espen Hoegli