10 Tips For Coaching High School Soccer

Here are 10 tips for coaching high school soccer. Many schools require high school soccer coaches to be licensed before they are hired. Once you have the proper licensing and are brought on by the high school to coach, meet with the administration to find out what they expect from their sports coaches. You should also ask how often you will be able to conduct practices, and how long the sessions can last.

  1. Get a copy of the soccer team’s schedule from the school’s athletic director. Ask the director to help you assess which games will be the most difficult. Make sure to also get a copy of last year’s roster from the athletic director.
  2. Ask the athletic director about the soccer team's away game transportation. Most schools provide buses for their teams. This may not necessarily be the case with your school, depending on the size of the student body and the athletic budget.
  3. Hire assistant soccer coaches, if necessary. Some schools may already have assistant soccer coaches in place, so find out of this is the case from the athletic director. Meet with the coaches if they are already on staff, and set a game plan for the season.
  4. Find the soccer team’s equipment manager. If the manager is returning from the previous season, have them show you around the equipment and training room. Ask if there are any supplies the team will need, such as soccer balls or other school-issued gear.
  5. Hold open tryouts for the upcoming soccer season. Post a notice in the gym, and have the principal make an announcement specifying when and where the soccer tryouts will be held. Work with your soccer assistants to set up the tryouts, and find out how many players the school allows on the active soccer roster.
  6. After tryouts are over, set up the soccer practice schedule. Let the players know the days of the week you intend to have them practice, as well as how long each soccer practice will last. Make sure the soccer players have any permission slips signed by their parents.
  7. Identify the starters during soccer practice sessions. Find out which players are returning from the previous soccer season, and meet with each player to discuss their post-high school soccer aspirations. Once you settle on the lineup, work on the team's soccer formation, including how many players to use at forward, midfield and defense.
  8. Decide on a basic soccer game strategy. For example, if you have a young team of mostly underclassmen or juniors, or if the roster is not filled with talented players, you may want to design a less aggressive attack-oriented game plan. If you have a strong team that has a lot of depth on the roster, be more aggressive in your attacking strategy.
  9. Try to arrange a few scrimmage soccer games before the season starts. If there are schools that are not on your schedule that are nearby, contact their soccer coach to set up a scrimmage. You may need parent permission for scrimmages, so ask the athletic director to find out that information.
  10. Make changes to the soccer lineup as needed during the season. If some of the younger players are outperforming the upperclassmen, you may need to reduce the older students' playing time. Try to play the seniors as much as possible however, especially in soccer games where the team has a sizeable lead.

US Youth Soccer


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