Private coaching wasn’t really a big thing when I was growing up, but I wish it were!
I remember when I started playing competitive soccer as a kid, when the coaches would gather everyone together and give pointers to the team as a whole – hoping that every kid was listening, that every kid understood, that every kid cared, and that every kid would be able to apply whatever was being taught into the next drill and into the next game. And you know how that goes… Johnny’s picking the grass, Jimmy’s picking his nose, Joe keeps tapping his buddy’s shoulder, Bobby’s watching the other team warm up, a few are listening very attentively, and the rest have great eye-contact but are only half-listening to what the coach is saying.
In a team setting, a lot of the pointers and drills ARE team-centered, and there is not nearly enough direction catered toward each individual.
So, as a result, good players can get bored with drills that are too simple for them, feeling that their coach is doing the drill to focus more on the less-skilled kids on the team, while, at the same time, someone who needs more guidance from the coach may not be getting it because the coach is sharing their time between the other 15 players (only giving each player about 6 minutes of personal coaching for the day!).
So what’s the trick? How can your kid put in just as much time, just as much hard work, but multiply the value they get from it? How can they learn quicker, more efficiently, and see clear results instead of going seasons long with little to no progress? How can they catch up to their teammates, or make it to the next level of the game?
IMPORTANT: Just showing up to required practices and games and “trying your hardest” isn’t enough. Whether you’re the best on your team or the worst on your team or somewhere in-between – there is more to be done if you truly want to stand out from your teammates.
(PS: Your “competition” should be far outside the scope of your team anyway. I always tell players to challenge themselves to look at the best players in the league as their competition, then the best players in their age group/in even better leagues, then at players who are a year or two older than them). What are your (or your kids’) long-term goals, and what steps are you (or they) taking to ensure you don’t come up short on those goals? It’s never too early to get ahead of the pack. And it’s never too late to start.
As I grew into my high school/college years, and soccer started getting even more competitive, coaches started pulling me aside for 15-20mins after practice to help me on whatever they thought I needed some improvement on (I wish they had done this when I was younger, too! And for longer than only 15 minutes!). Maybe I was behind on my defense in comparison to my teammates, or maybe I needed to practice my consistency with corner kicks, or maybe I needed help on 1v1 attacking, or maybe something strategy/positioning-based… whatever it was, my favorite coaches always had something for me to do after practice, on my own. And if they were willing and available, I took full advantage… but they weren’t always willing or available.
Luckily for kids today, there’s CoachUp.
The game-changer, for me, WAS those 15-minute 1-on-1 times with my coach because the value I got in those 15-minutes was like having 5 practices.
The information stuck like glue in that coach-player environment. I felt special. I felt important. I felt like my coach cared about MY personal growth instead of only in a team sense.
And this is all I ever needed – someone to believe in me, and someone to help me access my true full potential.
So what if those 15-minute “after practice sessions” that I was so grateful for were instead 90-minute private sessions, once or twice a week? I still dream about the endless possibilities… But THAT’S why I’m a CoachUp coach. I want to provide that level of value to players, to make them believe in themselves, to watch them grow every session instead of every season. I want to talk about their dreams and their goals and what they’re doing to get there and what I can do to help… CoachUp provides a platform for coaches to do exactly that, and for players to reach their true full potential.
Written By: Jacob Savino (Private Soccer Coach @ CoachUp)
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