After spending the better part of my coaching career working with boys’ club and high school teams, I was offered a position last year for a local high school girls’ team that had been struggling for some time. Morale was down, players weren’t trying out and there wasn’t a lot of happiness on the team. I liked the idea of creating a new beginning – for the team and myself – and took on the challenge.
My first order of business was to find a younger female assistant coach. I have become a mentor to her, and now I feel the desire to share some insight from my 30+ years of coaching this wonderful game with her and here is ”My Message to Sarah…”
1. Be yourself. Don’t imitate other coaches. Read about, observe, and learn from them, but in the end you have to do what is natural to you. Just make sure enthusiasm is a part of it all – if you’re not excited by it, your players won’t be either.
2. Say at least one nice thing to each player each day – it may be the only nice thing they hear that day. A very wise friend once told me that, and I try my best to remind my students and players daily of the good qualities they possess. It has paid huge benefits over the years, as many of my former students and players have actually said that I was the only person who believed in them or noticed the good in them. It has led to strong connections and friendships long after their playing days were over.
Tony Filicchia, McQueen High School, USSF “A” Licensed Coach,
To read more of Coach Filicchia’s “Insights” go to: www.fundamentalsoccer.com