We surveyed our audience on @SoccerGrlProbs of over 300,000 athletes about what makes a soccer coach great? What are the aspects of a coach that make them awesome? Coaches, get out your pens and paper to take notes!
Here are some of our favorite responses.
"They care about you beyond coaching on the field, but also care about what's happening in your life"
^A great soccer coach will care about each player as a person and considers that there are so many things happening off the field that impact the player as a whole.
"A coach that cares most about the well being of their players rather than winning"
^A great soccer coach will check in to make sure that each player is mentally healthy and overall happy to be there. It's not just about winning. It's about caring about the health of the team, which can lead to more wins!
"Strength in pushing players to do their best while respecting the person."
^A great soccer coach will help players push themselves out of their comfort zones...but will do so in a way that INSPIRES them rather than SCARES or PRESSURES them. For example, scaring your team into having to complete fitness after practice because they lost is not good coaching.
^This one is really important. Coaches naturally favorite certain players on the team who help them win games. It's extremely important that coaches do not show favoritism to specific players in front of others. This can be very discouraging to the rest of the team, creating divide amongst the players and the coaching staff. It's important that the coaches treat everyone with fairness and the same respect.
^YES! Coaches, we need you to bring the passion and love for the game! It's infectious in the best way! On the other hand, the players KNOW when you don't want to be there and they aren't going to perform their best. We NEED you to help motivate and inspire us on the hardest days!
"Never giving up on the player"
^A great coach will continue to help and support the player where they need it most to help them GROW. If you're a coach that makes a decision on a player based on a handful of poor performances, don't give up on them. Put your coaching skills to the test and inspire them to work on their weaknesses. They WILL surprise you...in the best way!
^A great coach will not SCREAM their head off, ruthlessly harass the referee on bad calls, and flip out on the parents. They will approach each situation appropriately like an adult.
"Someone who never stops learning and can inspire the players"
^YES! AMEN! A great coach is never done learning about the game and experimenting new teaching methods, drills, skills to their players. Not only are players supposed to be students of the game but great coaches are, too.
"A good balance between coach, mentor, and friend."
^Love this one. A great coach is someone who is respected as an authoritative figure but also seen as an equal who is approachable and always there for the player!
"Patient, understanding, putting a player's health before a win."
^We saw the word "PATIENT" hundreds of times in this survey. A great soccer coach is patient with their players, especially when teaching NEW things or guiding players to leave their comfort zones.
"A coach who listens to their athletes and actually hears them out."
^A great soccer coach listens to their players and actually asks them questions about how they are feeling on a subject/topic/etc. Teams that feel heard or "seen" become closer, on and off the field.
"The way they take their time to explain and get to know each and every one of their players."
^A great soccer coach gets to know each player individually and coaches them according to their coaching style. For example, screaming at one player may motivate them but another play may completely shut down altogether. You'd know how to coach them based on knowing them better as a person and understanding how they best respond to different communication styles.
"Helping to understand their players during their menstrual periods."
^YES! We know that not all players will feel comfortable discussing their menstrual cycle with their coaches. However, it's essential that ALL coaches, men included, are learning about the hormonal fluctuations that occur across the menstrual cycle and how each player's performance, energy, and motivation can differ depending on where they are at.
If you have no idea where to begin with educating yourself, we have amazing menstrual health resources here to read and send to your team:
After reading HUNDREDS of responses, we've compiled the top keywords that showed up when players described the aspects of a great soccer coach. Here they are.
Coaches, do you agree!?
Comment below and chime in with what you think makes A GREAT SOCCER COACH!