An important aspect of the development of any child into a professional soccer player, is the quality of soccer coaching they receive. It is of pivotal importance that the parents identify a quality coach, who will be a mentor by coaching their child on a regular basis.
The early years are the most important in the development of a professional player, and a poor coach can cause unrepairable damage by failing to identify or ignoring poor habits. The coach can also be responsible for coaching bad habits. If these habits are not dealt with early, they will fester within the player and become incurable as time goes on.
If the soccer coach is competent, he will strive to eradicate all bad habits and only promote good habits within the player. This will create a solid foundation for success, where the other building blocks can fall into place.
To determine whether the soccer coach is able, you need to assess his coaching philosophy, methodology and background.
1) Does he understand that mental and physical fitness should be combined with ball work?
Many amateur soccer coaches will place players under strenuous physical development regimens without the ball. This is unsuitable for soccer players and will cause irreparable damage. The player should always train without the ball when working on physical fitness.
2) Does he continually use the same drills, repeatedly?
It is essential to be aware of coaches who copy coaching material by reading books and watching DVDs. When drills are not applied by highlighting coaching points, they pose a serious hazard to the development of a soccer player. They also become boring and demotivating for the player, as he is repeating drills that are not addressing a particular aspect of his game that needs to be addressed.
3) Does he motivate the player and inspire confidence?
There are many soccer coaches who have received coaching qualifications but are not of a coaching background. Many become coaches as a form of entertainment, whilst their main career line can be painting, building, plumbing or even a factory worker. You do not want to trust the development of your child to these individuals – who are merely experimenting. The coach you select, should have a professional coaching background in the game.
It is critically important to the chances of your child being a professional soccer player that you assess all their coaches by the above three points. If you determine that the coach is failing on either of these points, you should seek the services of a professional soccer coach who will place your child on the correct path and attempt to repair existing damage.
Constant correct and corrective soccer coaching, that is creative, entertaining and results driven is necessary. All these factors are equally important, you cannot have one without the other. They are the pillars of the player development foundation and act in unison. Short cuts cannot be taken and are detrimental. Take careful consideration of who you entrust the playing future of your child too.