Discussion in 'Coach' started by smithxi, Aug 26, 2006.
Who is a yeller?
As a youth coach, I would yell alot at games. All cheering and congratulations. I am really big on the no negative comments approach. Negative comments kill creativity.
Negative comments kill a kid's enjoyment of the game. It is a game, remember? It the kids aren't having fun then they will go play lacrosse or field hockey or nintendo or something.
As a referee I have become less and less tolerant of the "yellers" amongst coaches. Today, in a very laid-back tournament, a G13 coach was screaming at one of his players. I had the misfortune to be the bench-side AR. Or maybe it was his misfortune that I was the senior AR. I promptly told him that should he feel the need to yell at his players again then he should not do it in my ear. He took the hint.
One of my regrets as an official was allowing a Chelmsford coach to continuously verbally abuse his U10 players some 15 years ago. The poor kids were getting beaten by a clearly superior team. The coach never used "foul language", but it definitely fell into the "abusive" category. I've been trying ever since to make up for my failure that day.
When I ref'ed for youth games (over 20 years ago) in the US coaches were restricted in youth matches by National youth organization supplements to the LOTG to staying in the middle third of the touchline and positive comments only. Coaches generally complied although on one occassion I had to verbally warn a coach for negative comments. Times change. About 8 years ago in a different state, I saw an adult male coach run 20 years onto the pitch to confront and scream at a fullback after missing a tackle in a u15 boys recreational game. The referee who was about 13 y.o. and half the size of the coach wisely ignored the scene. The league officials did handle the matter satisfactorily after the fact. In another generation, the problem will be solved in the US because we will have fathers coaching youth teams who play the game themselves. Players make far better youth coaches than fans.
Because they know the game is fun.
Ditto. As my team gains a better understanding of the game I try to yell less, but I doubt I'll ever want to stop cheering good play
But the best youth team that my daughter has played on has a coach who scolds mercilessly, and has private conversations with the team after their rare losses. He violates many accepted coaching best practices and yet has a dedicated team with better players than many teams two or three years older.
On the other hand, the last time my daughter played with him he criticized her for playing defense the way I taught her instead of his own style (which I've always thought was incorrect -- his team generally wins because of their dominance in the attack). She now thinks she's a terrible defender and is reluctant to play the position. Before that I thought of her as my best defender.
So they're world-beaters at U13, but will anybody still be playing at U17?
This sort of dovetails with the U-littles thread. A coach can brow-beat and micro-manage a group of kids to act as a team up to maybe U14. After that the individual talents of the players are what make it a winning team, not the style of play.
Nope. Unless there's bad sportsmanship or a threat to my players' safety.
I let em play. They need to learn how to make on-field decisions for themselves.
Couldn't agree more. Fast decision making is a part of tactical speed. Hesitation and lack of confidence reduces tactical speed.
I try to keep everything positive for my u-11 rec girls team. They just want to come out and play even if they aren't that good. Twice a year we have what we call "silent sidelines". This means that no talking from the coaches (both sides) or parents during the game. The referee has the discretion to card, etc based on any speaking by either side. It's very interesting and I think a good thing.
I have to agree with this comment, but the statement in bold in particular.
Having recently started my coaching career, dealing with these 15-17 years old has been one of the most awesomely fun experiences of my life. And, conversely, one of the most surreal.
A few days ago, a coach of a U12 team training nearby us came up to me and asked me how I kept the boys organized. He said he'd been coaching for over 10 years, and working with young ones is best. After being with him for four or five years, the individual talents started rearing their heads more. And with them, the egos and attitudes. Anyway, what his point was shocked me. He said, "Good luck." Told me it'd be hell to deal with kids in their more formative early-teenage years.
Sure enough, dude is right. Just 'bringing it in' is a problem sometimes. Even though they all respect me, some of the little "stars" have a more rebellious attitude. Is it just me, or do kids rebel just for the sake of rebelling? I'd like to think so. I mean, it wasn't that long ago that I was their age. And I know from personal experience that you shrug off conversation and reasoning for the mere purpose of being a "grown up" kid. F the world. That sort of thing. For example, I could be next door playing videogames all day. Yet when my parents asked me where I was, I would say, "Out." When they'd ask me what I was doing, I'd reply with "nothing." When they asked me who I was with, I'd calmly say, "friends." The most innocent of behaviors, and yet the most blocked off of explanations.
Point is, I find myself strongly talking to my boys and having them call home if we're out on a team adventure (like, pizza and bowling).
And on the field? Psh. I yell my lungs out. But it's never a "What are you doing, idiot?!" More of directions as to where to position, how to play the ball, etc.
Of course, the referees receive tons of abuse. But I never curse at them, nor do I allow my players to even talk back to them. Let me do the dirtywork.
I gotta say you are the kind of coach that is a problem. Giving the refs abuse?? Ridiculus. Also if you are telling 15-17 year olds how to play the ball, where to position?? again ridiculus.
I really do not think the kids hear half of what a coach yells at them. And the half they do hear, I think they ignore half of that. I have heard kids (while reffing) on the field look at one another and say "what did the coach say?" the other answers " I don't know" and they go on with the game. Kids (especially at 15-17) have to figure out how to play the game themselves. You can't be telling them when to pass the ball and who to pass it too and where to play. Let them play the game. If you want to give them instruction, tell them in training or at half time.
When I say abuse, I'm not talking about a 15 minute verbal assault, but rather slight corrections that I deem necessary.
I also do not outright instruct them. Instead, I assist in pulling a player closer to the line so as to shake his marker and explode up the flank.
So far I'd say we're doing okay.
And I don't exactly feel I'm detrimental to their progress as players.
I played the game, I watch the game, I study the game, I feel the game, I live the game.
My players have approached me and told me that my winning mentality is contagious.
It's all uphill from here.
This thread has me thinking about what I say during games and whether it is appropriate for the kids' age and skill level.
I've coached my daughter's coed rec team from age 7-10. Most of the time, my yelling from the sidelines is encouragement ("great job," "nice play," "good defense," etc.), and I'm am never abusive. But, I often do shout general instructions from the sidelines to specific players, such as "challenge the ball," "step up," "let's hustle," "watch out for the cross," "mark number X," and similar comments for players who are out of position, don't know what to do, or appear disinterested. Nothing nonstop, but maybe once every couple of minutes (about the same frequency as my general encouraging comments). Is this appropriate?
What are you trying to teach the kids? Your comments should support your objectives. To inexperienced players, a game can be very confusing. Things happen fast and its hard to see everything. That is why on field communications are usually one or two words: "man on" or "Collin's ball" for example. Ideally you want the kids to be organizing themselves. Does your comments from the sideline discourage them from communicating or provide a helpful example? As a player, I hate teammates telling me to make an obvious play with the ball. It too often happens as I am faking and alerts the defense to my best option.
Once play starts, the coaches role is basically reduced to controlling the substitutions. Trying to teach the kids while the game is going on is usually ineffective and may be counterproductive. So I suggest that you try to limit your communications during play (to onfield players) to the same communications that you teach the kids to use on the field (and cheering of course).
You can be a lot more effective explaining things to your subs while play is going on. Comments to the whole team (keeping in mind the age group) can and perhaps should be made before the game, during half-time and after the game. It is important to notice the weaknesses of your team and the individual players so that you can work on those areas during practices.
Does my own son count?
Why is that? Are 15-17s too stupid to be taught anything? Or are they so knowledgable about the sport that they don't need to be told anything?
they're immature. hormones are flaring, brains still growing, personalities still growing.
While coaching I don't yell at players and I don't tolerate parents who do.
I will cheer and give some directions if they are confused or not seeing something. But these are rarely during the run of the play. Heck during play they have enough to concentrate on without me telling them everything to do. If as a coach you are continually yelling instructions it can be detrimental to the development of a player. Either you confuse the kid, or you make them act like a robot.
At the young ages, you have time to talk to the players on the sidelines and with free subs and short halves, there is rarely a need to shout to the players on the field. At the older ages, kids have a clue and should be allowed to make more of their decisions. Once again, if you have to... give some direction... but do it in a positive manner and do it when there is a break in the play or on the sideline.
And for goodness sakes.... don't yell "SHOOOOOT"....
My name is Coach and I'm a Yellaholic. I am current enrolled in Yellaholics Anonymous.
I've coached and assisted for my son's teams the last 6 years starting at U6. I love working with the kids (I'm a high school teacher). I started out with a kind of stream-of-consciousness set of instructions flying constantly at the kids. I've got a loud voice and you could probably hear me 3 fields away. Our teams have consistently finished at or near the top of the table.
Every other year my kids are in the same age group. I ask them if they want me to coach those years. So far they keep on saying, "Yes". The years they aren't in the same age group, I referee. In the years I referee, I tend to notice those "loud coaches" who constantly yell at their players. I also began realizing I am one of those coaches. Funny how it takes a little distance to see your own faults.
Anyway, I'm working at being reformed. Practices are for teaching. Games are the tests. Let the kids work it out. Talk afterward. If you really need to teach in a more game-real environment, schedule scrimmages and agree with the other coach to stop for teachable moments.
My name is Coach and I'm a Yellaholic.
I coach 13 year olds. Saying little or only encouraging comments seems extreme to me. But I do agree that coaches that yell all the time are annoying and are eventually tuned out. I try to pick my spots on giving instructions.
The concept is not less communication during a game, but more effective communciation in two ways. You use a short phrase to communicate a larger concept, like "man on." Comments are not limited by subject, rather phrased differently. The listener will be more receptive to communications that are presented positively instead of negatively. An example: I frequently use this comment with my adult team after a failure to execute such as a missed shot, "Good idea; do it again." It recognizes the good tactical decisions and encourages the player to not be afraid of failure. He certainly is well aware that he missed the shot without someone complaining about it. As a teammate explained last week to another during a game: "It serves no purpose to criticize someone for poor execution." A suggested improvement (a/k/a correction) is less likely to be preceived as a negative comment by the listener if it is preceded by praise.
These concepts apply to any communications, not just soccer.
I taught college for a couple of years. I developed what my wife refers to as my command voice. I don't think I am loud, but when I'm in that mode, my voice carries. I don't have to be mad, just excited for it to occur. So people on the next field tend to know which of my players are doing well.
I've finally gotten to a silent sideline with my U10s. I'm working on one ex-coach parent to tone it down. I've driven away another. He thought I should be micro-managing the team. In the first game I asked him to stop coaching my team because they needed to hear my instructions. I was waiting for him to tell me that I wasn't instructing them. My reply would have been that I did that at practice.
I'm enjoying the game more. I got to hear my son, in at goalie, direct the formation of a wall.
In the last two games, first my wife and then the asst coach yelled out my son's name to give instruction. He turned his head to face them, which took him out of the play. On one, that resulted in a goal. I did my one bit of yelling to my son, "Don't listen to anyone but me!" The asst later told me he got my hint to be quiet. I hadn't realized I was saying that, I was really focued on helping my son develop his mental game.
A contribution to making the silent sideline happen is that we moved to unlimited subs from quarter based play. As pointed out earlier by another poster, it is much more effective to sub a player and provide instruction on the sideline.
I am a U10 rec coach and a reformed yeller. This is my third season coaching. The first two seasons I would yell encouragement and positioning to my guys and made sure I was never negative. This season, after reading many coaching manuals and articles, I realized that I was doing nothing but distracting my players and confusing them even further by coaching from the sideline. Now, the only times I yell anything is when the Kids don't realize it's a corner kick or penalty kick or something and I let them know they need to get in position because our refs seem to think 8 and 9 year olds know everything about the game and don't communicate with the players well. I also cheer wildly when they shoot on goal, whether they score or not. Other than that, I coach on the bench and during practice or when a kid is close to the sideline and I can talk to them quietly rather than yell. Then I give them a pat on the back, a high 5, and let them go.
My players have responded amazingly to this new style of coaching. I have even discussed it with them and they have thanked me and asked me to talk to their parents and shut them up as well.
This past saturday at our game we had one parent on our team, and the coaches and 3 or 4 parents on the oppossing team who yelled and screamed so much kids on both teams were so confused and upset they simply quit trying. My guys, win or lose, are all smiles and full of energy after a game and are disappointed when a game ends. Saturday, they couldn't go home fast enough.
For those coaches and parents who think they are helping by yelling, shut up. The kids will thank you.