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Coaching Your First Team Tip #4: First Comes Love, Then Comes Soccer

"There's no real schematic on how to develop a great player, but we know if you give a kid a love and passion for the game, who knows, they may become the next Rick Davis," says Ouellette, citing the former AYSO National Executive Director who played for the New York Cosmos and captained the U.S. National Team.

"Our philosophy for AYSO through U-10 is just let them play," says Ouellette. "They get to U-12 and we'll do some technical cleansing, and then teach them to read the game."

In other words, you may be called "coach," but what you're really doing is very similar to taking your child and his or her friends to the playground. You're supervising playtime while allowing the children to explore the fun on their own terms. When coaching a young team, don’t spend your first season stressing about ability and technicalities. That sort of thing will come later. Inspire your players to fall in love with soccer.


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