Why Do You Do It

Growing up in Elgin Illinois, I lived at the Elgin Sports Complex. I would hop on my bike and ride as fast as I could so I could to play a pickup game, watch a game, or do some training soccer myself. Soccer was and is my addiction! Fast forward to today and I wonder to myself what made me love the game as much as I do now? Where did it come from? Simple answer, my parents for signing me up in the first place. But no, it was way deeper than that. It was the energy that surrounded me which started from my coach. Coach Kari had this unique way of getting us fired up whether it was for games or practices. She created the atmosphere to fall in love with this beautiful game. READ MORE

COACH’S CORNER: Nurture a love of the game!

As a recreation coach, you might just be a first introduction to the beautiful game of soccer for many kids and their parents. This is an opportunity to provide a positive initial experience for families that can nurture a love of the game and help grow lifelong players and fans (no pressure!). Here are some quick and easy tips to create some hype and help you on this mission:

  • Have a competition with the kids at practice and add extra incentive by telling them you will do something silly, like star jumps or singing Twinkle, Twinkle, if they “beat” you.
  • Give some fun homework: recommend that they try to get 200 touches on the ball before the next practice, spend two 5-minute sessions practicing passing with perfect posing form or work on increasing the number of juggles they can get by one.
  • Keep parents in the loop about the things you are asking the players to work on so they know what to emphasize with praise too (I love the way you tried that drag back, you really locked your ankle when you passed today, etc.).
  • Encourage players/families to watch a professional or college game – live or on TV – and give them ideas of things to look for during the run of play: count how many passes one team can string together before they lose possession or how many times they see a certain move, for example.