Coaching the Coaches

One of the benefits of volunteering to coach in RSA is attending the annual coaches clinic. Trainers from Sports Domain Academy (SDA), the company that conducts training for our players, spent 90 minutes this evening addressing coaches from various divisions.

Neill Miles, staff development officer for SDA, began the session by talking about how to speak effectively to young players and showed methods to get them moving in a fun, engaging way. He even got the volunteer coaches running around Veterans Field to simulate a real RSA session.

With coaches from many age groups, general coaching topics were discussed, along with tips and techniques for game-day situations when the trainers are no longer running the show. For our younger players, trainers conduct the first three weeks of Saturday sessions and then our parent volunteers take over. That’s why clinics such as this are invaluable to our volunteers. RSA appreciates their commitment and offers training and support to help every step of the way.

Simon Krivor, a volunteer coach in Division 6 2nd Grade, said one valuable lesson he learned from Miles was, “Don’t single out a particular kid when praising them. Instead, praise the defense, the offense, the team.” Miles explained that by singling out players for praise, all players will expect similar praise at some point during the session. Since RSA is a recreational soccer league, we want every player to feel pride in their performance on the field. So, if you praise certain players, you may leave others out. It’s important to give equal encouragement to all players, even when they make mistakes.

Most of all, Miles said it’s important to make sure the kids have fun, while learning how to play. “It is 100% about the children seeing soccer as entertaining, while creating a challenging environment, with reachable objectives,” Miles added. “It is not about winning and scoring goals, but keeping players involved in soccer and developing skills through progressive practices, enforced with lots of positivity.”

RSA would like to thank all coaches who attended tonight’s clinic. We can’t run the program without you and we are grateful for your support! If you haven’t signed up to coach, it’s not too late to volunteer. Please log in to your family’s account at www.ridgewoodsports.org and select your own name as an “Adult Coach” in your child’s division, or talk to your child’s coach and have them contact the division coordinator.

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