All You Really Need to Know About Coaching

The following post comes from Karl Dewazien, CEO/Internet Clinician at FUN SOCCER Enterprises. Koach Karl is the author and publisher of the world-famous “FUNdamental Soccer” book series, the cornerstone of Youth Soccer practice and Small Sided games. Find out more at www.fundamentalsoccer.com.


For many years I have set myself to the task of writing “short” articles on developing a personal coaching statement: A Philosophy.  In the past such attempts resulted in the writing of my FUNdamental SOCCER book series.  I tried to cover every aspect of coaching with no loose ends.  I thought that words and pictures could resolve all the dilemmas that arise in youth coaching.

So, once again, I am setting out to get a philosophy down in simple terms and in less than a book’s length.  The inspiration for working on this project came to me while reading Robert Fulghuam’s book entitled, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”

The author stated, “I managed to fill an old car’s tank with super-deluxe high octane go-juice.  My old hoopy couldn’t handle it and got the willies – kept sputtering out at intersections and belching going downhill.  I understood.”

A youth coach’s mind and spirit can get like that from time to time.  In some cases, it is because the coach has too much soccer knowledge; in other cases, because her or she does not have enough.  In either case you must realize that you already know most of what’s necessary to be a successful youth coach – that it is not that complicated.  Coaching knowledge is not found in any special, book, dvd or coaching course.

You Know It and you have known it for a long time.  However, no one may have pointed this out to you…All you really need to know about how to deal with your players; what to do in practices or at games and how to do it … You Learned in Kindergarten.

 These are the things you already know:

  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Share everything.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Shake hands with everyone.
  • Learning the FUNdamentals is good.
  • Say you are ‘sorry’ when you hurt someone.

Coach a balanced practice by:

  • Learning and Teaching Some & Letting them Play Soccer!
  • Demonstrating and Explaining Some & Letting them Play Soccer!!
  • Correcting and Complimenting Some & Letting them Play Soccer!!
  • Experimenting and Repeating Some & Letting them Play Soccer!

 Be aware of progression and that everything is learned in Stages.

FUNdamental Learning Stages:

  • Beginning Stage -vs. Stationary opponent
  • Intermediate Stage -vs. Walking opponent
  • Advanced Stage -vs. Game Speed opponent

Be aware of progression and that everything is learned in Games.

FUNdamental Learning Games:

  • Beginning Games -vs. One opponent (1vs1 game)
  • Intermediate Games -vs. More opponents (Small Sided Games)
  • Advanced Games-vs. Team (Scrimmage)

Finally apply the first word you learned in the Dick & Jane book which is the Biggest, Boldest and Most Important Word for coaches to apply – LOOK!

Yes, Observe your players in Action –&- Help only those that need help.

See, everything you need to know about coaching youth is in there somewhere from following the Laws of the Game to sportsmanship and even gamesmanship. Take any of the items and change them into sophisticated coaching terms; apply them to your team or the opponent and they will hold true and clear and firm every time.  It is just a matter of attitude and application. 

Final Note:  Thank you for taking the time to read this article and Sharing it with your soccer community. Clicking Like and Commenting on this subject is also very much appreciated

Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)

Can be reached at: koachkarl@fundamentalsoccer.com