Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Soccer teams – one big family

Michael Ballack has put Chelsea’s recent resurgence since their Carling Cup final defeat to Tottenham down to skipper John Terry’s insistence on a team bonding paint-ball trip the following week. And I for one am a great believer in team bonding trips.

One of the wonderful things about grassroots football is the spirit and friendships it produces between the players. When I first started writing for Better Soccer Coaching it was because I felt such an affinity with the players and the sport that I wanted to put in words what I had experienced in reality.

With my first team that I set up so my son was playing from the age of 5, we had such camaraderie among the players and the parents that we went away for a soccer trip to Devon. We stayed in converted stables that had houses for each family and an indoor pool so we could all interact together as families and as a team.

The matches we played after that weekend away together were so much more intense from a team point of view, because we had got to know each other from a different angle. We had run through the woods together, gone out at midnight to find the headless horseman of local legend. We had played volleyball in the hot indoor pool that none of the kids wanted to get out of. We had for a weekend been one big family.

We made it an annual experience, something to look forward to in the cold winter months when soccer takes on a different aspect, a grit-your-teeth-and-keep-the-cold-out aspect, but we were going to Devon so we had a lot to look forward to.

I saw one of my players from that time the other day and it reminded me of those Devon weekends. He’s now much older but still remembers and still thinks about those trips away with his friends, his team mates and his coach.

You should try it with your team. Build them up into one big family, creating memories as they go.

Dave Clarke, editor, Better Soccer Coaching



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