Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

Magic moments in coaching

David Clarke

If I remember last season for only one thing, it won’t be that we finished second in the league, nor that we could have clinched the title had we played just a bit better in certain matches.

Instead, I’ll be thinking about the boy who joined us halfway through the season; a boy who had never played in a team before or attended a training session. He joined us because he loved playing football in the playground at school and some of his friends were in my team.

His mum brought him along to training one night and asked if he could join in – “he doesn’t want to join the team or play in matches,” she said. “He just wants to feel part of it”. Of course, I let him come along. “He’s not much good,” she whispered to me, as he went and joined the other boys. But who’s to know when he has never played or been coached seriously?

He worked hard in exercises but hid during the game at the end. He liked learning the skills like hook turns and step-overs, and would always watch and listen when I was showing the players how the skills work.

As he became more confident around the squad he came out of his shell more and began to talk and ask questions about what we were doing during training. He took part in some games but was still shy, and it wasn’t until last week that he really made his mark.

One of the opposition players was running towards goal with the ball and our new lad suddenly moved to block the run. He won the ball, then executed a perfect hook turn before passing to a team mate, who ran on and scored. The look on his face was a picture – you could see how thrilled he was.
He grew about 10ft in that game and I’m looking forward to seeing him at training this week.

Coaching gives you the ability to change the lives of children. Never mind winning or losing, we all do that. But to give a child the skill that helps them become more confident in the game they love is something I will always cherish.


3 Comments so far
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Sounds great coach, you must have felt so proud. “Well Done”

Comment by Danny

David, Cheers to your comments about changing the lives of children and not focusing on wins and losses. That moment is something you’ll both share whether he becomes a soccer superstar or not. It’s a huge life lesson that his other mates could learn about listening and focusing during practice. That should be why we all coach. Great Post!!!

Coach Glenn, Pennsylvania, USA

Comment by Glenn Moeller

Great story. I understand that joy. Keep them coming to remind me why we do what we do. – For the love of the game and if we’re lucky for the love of the game for the child

Comment by roxane

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