Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


How do you reward your players at the end of the season?

dc1In my Soccer Coach Weekly publication issue 105 I wrote about how you should go about rewarding your players at the end of the season. One of my readers Guy in New Zealand wrote to me to tell me about how he plans the medals for the end of the season.

He gives specific medals to each of his players, so everyone wins an award for something they have done

So far he has used 15 categories but wants to know if anyone has any other awards that they use.

These are his 15:

BEST GOALKEEPER

BEST WINGER

BEST PASSER

BEST SHOOTER

BEST DEFENDER

MOST IMPROVED

BEST MIDFIELD

BEST TACKLER

BEST DRIBBLER

TOP GOAL SCORER

BEST DETERMINATION

BEST STRIKER

GOAL OF THE SEASON

BEST SKILLS

MOST GOALS IN A MATCH

If you have any to add please let me know.

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19 Comments so far
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One I might add is Best Header of the Ball. Could be a player who has scored most goals with his head, or a defender who is particulary strong in the air.

Comment by Frank

I HAVE DONE THE SAME THING FOR MY TEAM AND ITS A BETTER WAY TO AWARD EVERYONE INSTEAD OF JUST THE “BEST” PLAYERS.SOME AWARDS OUR TEAM HAVE ARE…BEST TEAM PLAYER{TO AWARD UNSELFISHNESS}…BEST LEADER{PLAYERS WHO WILL STAND UP AND BE COUNTED WHEN IT GETS TOUGH)…MOST CONSISTANT PLAYER…TEAM MORAL PLAYER{WHO BRINGS THAT BIT OF HAPPY SPARK TO THE TEAM}

Comment by david

I think attitude on the pitch is now very important, it’s not all about skill and scoring goals. With the way the game and the players are going at the moment where playrs are arguing with ref , other players and coaches, we need to reward players who accept referees decisions, managers actions and fair play on the pitch.
So an award for Player with Best Attitude.

Comment by Kathy

My only problem with awards like top goalscorer is that they rewad the ‘sexy’ end of the team, the strikers get the glory but can only score if there ae ten other players contributing. I prefer rewards in training and with this n mind I present a yellow jersey for best in training every week, based on the tour de france which is worn by the player at the next training sesion. This years yellow jersey’ was the Barcelona way kit… the boys just lovd wearing it!

Comment by Martin Cadman

I would like to know if the New Zealand guy’s team all get an award. I would be loathe to take his idea to make sure all get an award, because in my team I have players who are not the best at anything. Plus one player may be the best at 6 of the items, so it’s hypocritical giving somebody else an award just for the sake of it. So an annual trophy for being part of the team is Apt. I do like the idea, it just wouldn’t work in my team.

Comment by phil

With young players it’s vitally important that they get something out of playing a whole season. It’s easy to get turned off football if you see other players getting trophies and you don’t. To Phil who has ‘players who are not the best at anything’ – they never will be unless you reward them for doing well. You won’t be giving an award ‘for the sake of it’ you’ll be rewarding a player who probably needs some encouragement – perhaps more important than giving the start player all the awards. I had decided on 10 categories for my team ( 7 aside mini soccer), so all the players won something….
Most Improved
Most Promising
Top goalscorer
Goal of the season
Outstanding Performance
Clubman
Coaches Player
Supporters Player
Players Player
Team Spirit award
But then the top goalscorer was voted Players Player so I had to come up with another….
Man of the match winner (most times won man of the match)
I’m looking forward to our awards night, as I’m 100% sure all the players will be really pleased and that means they’ll be back again next year.

Comment by Rob

Best assist or “Play of the Year”. Could also have best juggler. I do like a Hardest worker category as well…..

Comment by John Hildebrandt

Sorry if I offended, I didn’t mean to in any way. But we just finished 7 a side and I had 12 players and they all played 25 minutes each game if they all turned up , regardless of ability.
It’s just my opinion and as I said I like your idea.

Comment by phil

We have been doing this for my team for a couple of seasons – I make the awards on the computer, print them out on 4×6 photo paper and stick them in a cheap frame – my kids are young (U9), but they absolutely LOVE these awards. Our awards include Season MVP, Tournament MVP, Playmaker Award, Smart Play Award, and others mentioned above. The biggie is our “Team Captain” award, which is given to the player the works hardest, complains least, and does the most things to support the team. These year’s Team Captain award didn’t score a single goal all season, but was still a leader by example.

Comment by Patrick

Save of the year? I am not taking goalie. usually a defender will make a great play to save his team a goal

Comment by bill

You could make them somewhat humorous, depending on you, your team, and what funny things happen during the season. Most likely to forget his uniform, best hand ball, etc… I know players will often remember the funny times.

Comment by Derik

Award for the most assists. Goals are not scored usually without a final pass or cross. This is as important as scoring

Comment by Rob

I also like to give out special recognition awards but find it difficult to do all players however some that I have used are as follows:
– Most Inspirational Player
– Warrior – a player that plays through adversity regardless of pains or harships they may have or battles to the end regardless.
– Sportsmanship – self explanitory

Well that is my two cents worth.

Comment by Neil Grant

Political correctness dictates that we don’t give “MVP” wards, so “Coach’s Awards” are the equivalent, plus they give a little more flexibility. Anyway, the awards I give include:
Most Versatile
Most Inspirational
Coach’s Award – Forward (Striker)
Coach’s Award – Defense (Fullback)
Coach’s Award – Midfield (Halfback)
Coach’s Award – Goal Keeper
Most Promising
Most Consistent
Most Hustle
Sportsmanship Award
Leadership Award
Most Resilient
Team Player Award
Most Spirited

Other possibilities:
Dribbler
Passer
Kicker
Effort
Attitude

I particularly like the “hustle”, “sportsmanship”, “leadership”, “attitude”, and “team player” awards as they reward values important to the team and not just the individual.

Comment by Coach James

How about an award for club mentor (the player who has done his/her best to make ne players feel part of the squad)

Comment by Pat

I coach girlsoccer teams in my club.
And one price that my girls loves(most applauce) is:

BEST FIGHTER
and
THE MOST LAZY

Best regards John, Denmark

Comment by John Agoe

Some good comments but I only have one goalie so he would get that one each year.
at our club we give out a players squad momento to all,then three specials Player of the year, most improved and sportsman. Still very hard to decied. Will look in to doing something else.

Comment by Larry

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Additional choices:
Best game reader (or “play anticipator”)
Best support player
Best communicator during the game
Most assists (as good as most goals)
Best “overlapper”
Best recovery player
Best counter attacker
Best “through-baller”
Fastest “thrower-in”
Most accurate with throw-ins
Longest “thrower-in”
Fastest putting the ball back in play after a foul
Best “one-touch passer”

Comment by Hector




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