As a new coach you want to appear as the expert. You will have players and parents depending on you to help them improve. Make sure you know all the rules of the game and any special rules that are specific to the league your team will be playing in. Below are four things that you as coach will want to have with you at each practice. Check with your organization before making any purchases to see what is already available for you to use.
Don’t be the newbie coach who shows up with only one ball. Despite what your plan is for practice you are going to want multiple soccer balls at hand. Most practices will be spent working on various drills. You will end up splitting up your team into smaller groups to allow for more practice. The more balls you have, the smaller of groups you can have. Always be prepared for a ball to end up going flat or missing.
Whether you are coaching five year olds or high school students you need a whistle to get players attention. Invest in a quality whistle so everyone on the team can hear it no matter where on the field they are. You are going to be talking a lot so save your voice by using a whistle instead. A few minutes of explaining what various whistles such as one long whistle or two short whistles will mean can help practice run a little smoother. This is something you are going to want to buy new.
Purchase lots and lots of cones. You will use these for a variety of purposes such as agility drills, goal posts, and field markers. Train your team on how to set them up when they arrive at practice to help save you time.
Make sure you have a purpose for each practice. Take time before each practice to decide on a focus for the day. Plan out warm-ups, drills, and cool downs for each practice. Build on the skills your players know to help them become better. Clearly communicate with your team what they will be working on. If you are coaching younger players allow all players a chance to try different positions. If you are coaching older players, use drills that will help players become better in their specific positions.
Regardless of whether you share a field with other teams or not you will want to mark your gear. Take a few minutes to write your name or organization name on soccer balls and cones. This will help players and families know not to take your equipment home. Show up early to practice and plan on staying until the last player is picked up. Encourage parents to be involved and support their player while leaving the coaching up to you.