Updated: Oct 22, 2019
Coaches have a massive influence on the sports they are a part of. Anyone that has played sports can most likely recite a laundry list of good and bad coaching experiences. One of our continued hopes is to be a resource for the community. Today, we are enlisting some help in the area of coaching expertise.
The following content that is italicized has been contributed by Andrew Bradham, Executive Director for Liberty Soccer Academy:
1. Effective Communication
“Effective communication skills are imperative to becoming a source of encouragement and growth to young aspiring athletes.”
“Create Believers! Remember that it’s not enough to just say the right things, but to take time to invest in the individual to build trust and gain access to their heart or spirit.”“Remember to merge these 3 things in every training and game environment: Discipline, Structure and Fun. We perform at our best when we’re having fun!”“It’s a privilege and divine appointment to be able to influence a future leader. Cherish the moment and be thankful!”
2. Establishing Culture
The culture of an organization is sort of like an engine in a car. If you build a bad engine, you won’t perform very well. Culture requires constant monitoring and upkeep. In the context of a youth sports organization, you’re looking to instill the following motives for your players so they are contouring positively to your organizational engine.
Empower the Player
“Begin and end every practice and game with a greeting and closing. Explain the day’s activity, explain the goal of the activity, and empower the group to believe in themselves as individuals and believe in the group as whole."
“Construct confidence by building your priorities. Most aspiring athletes do not come preprogramed with the innate ability to see beyond what is keeping them from building confidence. Build a culture of confidence by teaching the athlete how to celebrate their individual wins instead of highlighting their failures. Instead, teach them to consistently look for how and where they are doing well. Conversely train the player to recognize where they have fallen short and embrace whatever methods you choose to help them improve in that area.”
“Avoid cliques and higherarchys within a team. You always have a top third, middle third and bottom third in every team. That’s normal. What’s unhealthy is when a team segregates itself. Segregation can look like the top third dismissing the bottom third due to athletic ability or performance. It can also look like the bottom third lacking the confidence and therefore keeping themselves from stepping up to the challenge when it comes along. Either way this is unhealthy for team culture.”
“Remain consistent as a club coach or program leader. Your consistency as a coach is very important to how the various individuals and groups interact with each other. Remember to treat everyone with respect and encourage all players based on their talent and ability level. Managing athletes based upon ability or talent level will grow confidence at a much faster rate.”
3. Selfless Attitude:
A team sport provides one of the best examples of what it means to be selfless. The best players recognize that every decision could be the opposite of what they want, but if it betters the team then they’re better people because of it. This mantra needs to be most prominently exemplified by the coaches. Coaches model behavior first.
- “Use “we” vs “I” when addressing the group. This will help everyone subconsciously associate with what it means to be there as part of a group with a collective goal.”
- “Take opportunities to assist other coaches and directors in the presence of your team or group. Setting up cones, moving goals and supporting other teams or groups within your organization will demonstrate to the athletes you are over that you are about serving the greater population around you regardless of having a direct influence over them or not. This example is powerful and will naturally set the tone for the athletes directly under your leadership.”
Andrew Bradham Bio:
Andrew Bradham is a native of Cary, NC. As an avid youth soccer player, he developed through the years and went on to play for Liberty University and Clemson University. After college, Andrew played professionally for the Minnesota Thunder. Upon finishing his playing career, Andrew founded Liberty Soccer Academy. As one of the nations most competitive soccer regions, Andrew saw a need for a new kind of academy in the Raleigh area. Bradham is proud to have coached and mentored thousands of players over his tenure seeing his prospects go to Div 1, 2 and 3 schools all over the country. Recently, Liberty Soccer Academy has expanded into the Sandhills community and has established a partnership with 365 Soccer Academy. With a focus on the familial aspect of club sports and an emphasis on community, Liberty and 365 are redefining the way the Sandhills’ see youth sports.
Liberty Soccer Academy Facebook
Liberty Soccer Academy Instagram
Great Coaches Do These 3 Things
October 19, 2019
Writer: Jameson MacFarland-Hall
Guest Contributor: Andrew Bradham
Editor: Katherine Meakem