Over the past few months we’ve been busy creating an online coaching course which we believe is missing from the world of coach education. In order to help the majority of coaches (and therefore, the majority of players), we need to arm volunteer coaches with everything they need to get started putting on great sessions for 6-12 year old players.
We know that the majority of coaches out there are volunteers – first time coaches, who may not have a background in coaching youth soccer. We also know that these coaches are likely to be time-poor; they probably work a full-time job and have children, which may be how they began coaching in the first place. These coaches don’t have the time to spend hours and hours searching for answers online about how to effectively coach soccer.
If this sounds like you, then read on.
You probably don’t have a lot of time to plan your training sessions, or to create new activities that will keep your players engaged. And for some first time coaches, there are other challenges, like communicating clearly with your players, dealing with difficult parents, or just making sure the kids have fun.
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When we looked around for other courses for first time coaches, many of them take 40-120 hours to complete and may have limited dates, or require travel to attend.
So we teamed up with the highly experienced, Rob Sherman – one of the best coach educators in the world, to deliver a 100% online course that you can complete from home, in your own time, on any device.
The course contains over 35 lessons and can be completed in just a few hours.
By the time you finish the course, you will have some clear principles to work from, great lessons to refer back to, practical sessions you can use, and a range of downloads to support your coaching.
Rob is a world-class coach educator, with decades of experience in the professional game. Rob has coached at both the FIFA Women’s World Cups and Men’s World Cup qualifiers, multiple Olympic Games, and helped to develop a range of national coach education programs in Wales, Australia and New Zealand. Now, he has utilized his expertise to design and develop a comprehensive course for youth soccer coaches.
Rob also calls in some professional coaches to offer their own insights during many of the lessons:
- Tony Readings, former coach of the New Zealand Women’s National Team and AFC Pro Licence holder.
- Arthur Brammer, Former Watford FC, Fulham FC & New York City FC Academy Coach & UEFA A license holder
- Dave Wright, Co-Founder of PDP and Former Academy Coach at Brentford FC, Fulham FC & Melbourne Victory FC & UEFA A license holder.
An Introduction to Coaching Kids Soccer uses a combination of instructional videos, live session videos with real players, PDF session plans, guides, checklists and quizzes to help you improve your coaching skills. Participants will also be invited into PDP’s exclusive online Slack Coaching Community where you can ask questions, share ideas and find further resources with the support of the PDP coaching team and our global coaching community.
Whether you’re taking your first steps in coaching soccer or you already have experience and want to improve, the Introduction to Coaching Kids Soccer course will guide you to becoming a better soccer coach.
Part 1: An Introduction to Coaching Youth Soccer
The course starts with the basics and is designed to build solid coaching foundations, guided by our four coaching principles, which are constants throughout the course. Rob discusses the course structure and how we recommend working through the content.
Part 2: Taking on a Team
What is the role of the coach? We examine the responsibilities of a youth soccer coach and help you understand the skills you already have which will help your coaching. We’ll outline the age-related characteristics of children throughout the different age groups of youth soccer and explain how you can establish the player-centered environment that children need.
Part 3: Communication in Youth Soccer Coaching
We discuss a range of different communication techniques to help your players learn, including expert advice from professional coaches. An understanding of communication is critical to your effectiveness as a coach.
You‘ll learn about setting guidelines and boundaries, and find out how to deal with questions, encourage good behavior, and address disciplinary issues. We’ll also show you how to motivate your soccer players while developing them as people: with our help, you’ll be able to provide constructive guidance in a way that’s supportive and encouraging.
Part 4: Pre-Session Preparation
Preparing for training sessions can often seem daunting. We need to consider how many players and how much time we have, what equipment we’ll need, and what activities we’d like to perform. In our unit on pre-session preparation, we teach you all about session planning, time management, how to effectively use your playing area, and how to utilize equipment.
Rob teams up with PDP Co-Founder and UEFA A Licenced coach, Dave Wright to talk you through the key moments of the game – such as passing and receiving, defending, or dribbling the ball – and some age-specific activities you can do with your players. You’ll also learn about picking the right activities, tailoring them to the number of kids you’re coaching, and how to adapt your sessions when circumstances change.
Part 5: Pre-Session Organisation
The essential steps for player and coach safety. Everything from assessing risks and setting-up your session to player registration and arrival activities. We also cover how best to use the area you have to coach within and how to easily transition from one activity to the next.
Part 6: Delivering the Session: How to Coach Youth Soccer
This section is where Rob puts it all into practice. Rob runs real sessions with real players, and he talks you through everything he is seeing and doing along the way.
You’ll learn how to engage players quickly at the start of each session and discover a range of soccer drills to introduce and practice different skills with a variety of age groups. With a complement of session plans and additional resources, we’ll show you how to design practices that are both challenging and enjoyable.
Part 7: Evaluation
The process of evaluating your session, understanding what went well, what went poorly, and what to change next time, is a crucial part of coaching.
By working through the evaluation approach taught in the course you can ensure your sessions continue to get better and you players have a great experience.
When you enrol in the course you will get a whole collection of over 50 PDF practices you can do with your players, and a framework for putting them into a whole session.
We have also included some valuable checklists that you can take to training to make sure you’re organised before the session, during the session, and when you design your next one.
And remember, when you take the course you will be invited to join our exclusive online Slack Coaching Community where you can chat directly with coaches who have taken the course, and with our own team of professional coaches who are there to help.
Coaching drills and activities you can use immediately — demonstrated with real youth soccer players
Besides a world-class course on how to coach kids soccer, participants will receive a collection of over 50 practices that can be used right away. These come as print-friendly PDFs, and we show you how to incorporate them into your own training sessions.
Selected practice sessions are also demonstrated during the course: videos of soccer drills being delivered to real youth players by Rob Sherman, will show you exactly how to run them for your own team — enabling you to enhance your coaching immediately.
Support and feedback from top youth soccer coaches
When you sign up for An Introduction to Coaching Kids Soccer, you’ll be invited to join our exclusive Slack Coaching Community. Here you can connect with fellow coaches and PDP Members, and communicate directly with PDP’s team of professional coaches. Ask questions, share ideas, and learn from a supportive network of coaches from around the world — ensuring that you never have to go through your coaching journey alone.
Quizzes to track your progress
The course is divided into seven key sections, providing a clear pathway that helps you to learn efficiently. Short quizzes at the end of each unit enable you to monitor your progress — allowing you to go back and recap anything you’ve missed and giving you the confidence that you’ve understood each section completely — optimizing your learning experience.
Coaches will also be awarded a Certificate of Completion upon finishing the course.
Your world-renowned teacher: Rob Sherman
Rob Sherman is a world-class innovator in the world of coach and player development. Beginning his journey in soccer as a professional player, he has subsequently worked with a number of international teams as a coach at a host of major tournaments. Rob has coached at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, U20 Men’s World Cup, Beijing Olympics, 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, and was Assistant Coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team that won Bronze at the London Olympics.
Rob has also worked as the National Technical Director of Football Australia, New Zealand Football, and the Football Association of Wales, and been heavily involved in the development of multiple national coach education programs, ranging from introductory qualifications to the Pro Licence level.
Rob’s expertise in the field of coach education is unrivaled, as is his passion for helping people to develop. Whether working with players or coaches, his mission is to get the best out of those he works with. This dedication to the game forms the basis of An Introduction to Coaching Kids Soccer.
An Introduction to Coaching Kids Soccer: What you can expect
- A world-class coaching curriculum: you’ll learn everything from the basics of coaching and taking on a team to session design, player development, working with parents, player evaluation, and the art of effective communication.
- An in-depth education in session planning: we’ll guide you on the fundamentals of time management, effectively using space, tailoring your practice to the number of players you have, how to use equipment, and how to adapt when circumstances change.
- Session plans you can use immediately, demonstrated with real youth soccer players: printable coaching drills, many of which are demonstrated with real players, that you can incorporate into your own coaching straight away.
- First-class support and feedback: you’ll be invited to join our global community of coaches, where you can ask questions, receive feedback, and communicate directly with members of PDP’s coaching team.
- A range of educational resources: around 35 individual lessons based on a combination of video and written resources, augmented by a selection of checklists, plans, and other supplementary material.
- Frequent opportunities to track your progress: Regular quizzes, opportunities for self-assessment, and a Certificate of Completion upon finishing the course.
- A world-renowned teacher: a course designed and delivered by world-class coach developer Rob Sherman.