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Take a Time Out, Coach

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Right now, many youth soccer coaches are in that in-between space. Teams finished their fall season, and tryouts are still out on the horizon. While you wait for the next season to emerge from the wintery darkness, be sure to take a moment for yourself.

Coaches spend a great deal of time thinking about their players, team formations, strategies, game plans, gear... but who's thinking about you, coach? Chances are, coaching is not your full time job, but it is your passion, your hobby, or your outlet. In order to be able lead, you need to be your best self. Follow these tips to help you relax, recharge, and ramp up for a new season.

Chill, Bruh

Soccer is stressful - watching it, playing it, coaching it. You love the game, but when even your hobbies can heighten your anxiety, be sure take time for respite.

  • Say Yes to Yoga: If you've been paying attention, we recently recommended yoga for soccer players, but yoga can be very beneficial to coaches too. Practicing yoga regularly helps with calmness, reduces anxiety, relaxes the mind, and sharpens concentration. Check out this list of 9 free guided meditations for coaches.

  • Say Yay to a Vacay: Travel experts say "2023 is poised to be the year of reinvention." If you're short on vacation ideas and want to travel beyond Ocean Shores, here's a list of vacation trends for 2023. Set-jetting, anyone?

  • Get Your Binge On: Experience soccer from a different point of view. Ted Lasso may not revolve around youth soccer, but if a former American football coach can convert himself into a English Premier League coach without any experience, you may find a tidbit to transform yourself. At the very least, you'll get a belly laugh/stomach workout. Find Ted Lasso on Apple TV. You should also watch Welcome to Wrexham on FX and Hulu. It's a docuseries centered around a Welsh futbol club purchased by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney who have no soccer experience. By the end you'll be cheering for a team you'd never heard of before. Turn your focus back to youth soccer by checking out Save Our Squad with David Beckham on Disney+. The show centers on the Westward Boys U14 team in London, led by new coach and legendary player, David Beckham. You'll binge, you'll laugh, you'll cry and maybe you'll be inspired to be the next Coach Beckham.

Ready to Ramp Up

Once you've recharged your battery, take advantage of the downtime to ramp up your knowledge and gain inspiration. Nothing beats a good TED Talk to motivate and inspire.

  • Did you may know that 70% of kids drop sports by the time they're 13. Want to know why? Watch this TED Talk by John O’Sullivan on the great race to nowhere and learn how to reverse the trend.

  • Given the time and connection coaches have with their teams, we can do a lot more to help kids from every circumstance with nutrition, anger management, socialization, leadership, and much more. The NPSL blog is a great resource, but you can also watch More Than a Game TED Talk by Anna-Lesa Calvert.

  • Transforming the win-at-all-costs mentality to make youth sports a "Development Zone" to create better athletes and better people. Watch Youth Sports as a Development Zone by Jim Thompson.

Fill your social media feed with tips from experts to take some of the effort out of your research.

And don't forget to breathe. See you at tryouts.

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