Philosophy of the Coaches
We offer these thoughts on our vision for the girls’ soccer development and how we think that coaches and parents can help each girl continue to progress with the Galaxy.
Our goal is for every Galaxy player to develop the individual skill and confidence to take on opponents one-on-one and also to develop the tactical awareness to use her teammates to achieve cooperatively that same goal. Against good competition this typically involves precise passing to a teammate. The ability to deliver an accurate pass or to receive one, especially in the hectic swirl of opponents, is a difficult thing to do. There is no easy path to a high level of proficiency in these skills—it requires many repetitions with lessening amounts of time and space.
For the Parents:
The role that parents play in the life of a soccer player has a tremendous impact on her experience. With this in mind, we have put together some points for all of you to consider as we approach the upcoming season. As your daughter’s coaches, we want you both to feel free to approach us to discuss any matter. You may reach us by phone or by e-mail. Our goal is to be open and accessible.
These are offered to help you in your task to provide your child with the most positive support:
1. Let the coaches coach –This includes motivating, psyching your child for practice, after game critiquing, setting goals, requiring additional training, etc. You have entrusted the care of your player to these coaches and they need to be free to do their job. If a player has too many coaches, it is confusing for her and her performance usually declines.
2. Support the program – Get involved. Volunteer. Help out with carpooling or anything to support the program.
3. Be your child’s best fan – Support your child unconditionally. Do not withdraw love when your child performs poorly. Your child should never have to perform to win your love.
4. Support and root for all players on the team – Foster teamwork. Your child’s teammates are not the enemy. When they are playing better than your child, your child now has a wonderful opportunity to learn.
5. Do not bribe or offer incentives – Your job is not to motivate. Leave this to the coaching staff. Bribes will distract your child from properly concentrating in practice and game situations.
6. Encourage your child to talk with the coaches – If your child is having difficulties in practice or games, or can’t make a practice, etc., encourage her to speak directly to the coaches. This "responsibility taking" is an important part of becoming a successful and confident player. By handling the off-field tasks, your child is claiming ownership of all aspects of the game – preparation as well as playing the game.
7. Understand and display appropriate game behavior – Remember, your child’s self esteem and game performance is at stake. Be supportive; cheer; be appropriate. To perform to the best of her abilities, a player needs to focus on the parts of the game that she can control (her fitness, positioning, decision making, skill, aggressiveness, and what the game is presenting to her). If she starts focusing on what she cannot control (the condition of the field, the referee, the weather, the opponent, even the outcome of the game at times), she will not play up to her ability. If she hears a lot of people telling her what to do, or yelling at the referee, it diverts her attention away from the task at hand.
8. Monitor your child’s stress level at home – Keep an eye on the player to make sure that she is handling stress effectively from the various activities in her life.
9. Monitor eating and sleeping habits – Be sure your child is eating the proper foods and getting adequate rest during the season. This is particularly important on the night before games.
10. Help your child keep her priorities straight – Help your child maintain a focus on schoolwork, relationships, and the other things in life beside soccer. Also, because your child has chosen to make a commitment to soccer, help her fulfill, as best she can, her obligation to the team.
11. Reality test – If your child has come off the field when her team has lost, but she has played her best, help her to see this as a "win". Remind her that she is to focus on "process" and not "results". Her fun and satisfaction should be derived from "striving to win". Conversely, she should be as satisfied from success that occurs despite inadequate preparation and performance.
12. Keep soccer in its proper perspective – Soccer should not be larger than life for you. If your child’s performance produces strong emotions in you, it is very important to learn to deal appropriately with these emotions. Remember that your relationship will continue with your children long after their competitive soccer days are over. Keep your goals and needs separate from your child’s experience.
13. Have fun – That is what we are trying to do with the girls. There are few things more satisfying for parents than to see their children, through persistent hard work and determination, learn how to perform in a challenging situation. We will try to challenge your child to reach past her "comfort level" and improve herself as a player, and thus, as a person. We will attempt to do this in environments that are fun, yet challenging. We continue to look forward to this process. We hope you do, too!