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Coaches Blog

Sam's Blog is a bi-weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam Snow is the Coaching Director for US Youth Soccer.


Your Child's Playing Future Is At Stake: Part IV

Sam Snow

Since the coach decides: Who plays? When they play? How much they play? How they play? Where they play? You must attempt to cover each and every one of these topics and be satisfied with the coach's response.

During this 'two-way' conversation make sure you cover mutual goals both short and long term. This should include topics such as sportsmanship, technical development, tactical development, practice results and season results.

Find out what the coach expects of your child so that you can reinforce those expectations at home. For example: Many coaches use buzz words such as, "Push-Peek-Pass" when training the children to pass the ball properly. In other words the player is asked to "Push" the ball slightly forward to give themselves the time to "Peek" (read the game) find the teammate or space into which to "Pass" the ball. Then, when you are passing the ball back and forth in the backyard you can reinforce the coach's buzz words.

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Segments & Illustrations were taken from my book:


Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)



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Your Child's Playing Future Is At Stake: Part III

Sam Snow

Here is some advice that may help in your 'Getting To Know Your Child's Coach' and building a good working relationship with that individual:

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Approach the face-to-face meeting with the proper attitude. Your goal is to build a relationship that will benefit your child, you and the coach. This is not a grilling to assure that your child will always be in the starting line up on a winning team.

Greet the coach with a firm handshake and a big Smile. The handshake helps convey certainty, confidence and competence. The smile is an instant energizer which makes you appear approachable, friendly, relaxed, open and comfortable.

If possibly find out and greet the coach with their first and last name. However, if you do not know the coaches name then volunteer your own name and listen for the coach to give his/her name. Because a person's name is to him/her the sweetest and most important sound in any language you must remember it after the initial greeting. To do this, it is best to repeat their name in comments you make to the coach in follow up conversation. When you get a chance you may even want to write down their name on a piece of paper.

Become a good listener and encourage the coach to talk about him/herself. I'm sure you are aware that when you are talking you will hear only things which you already know; but when listening you will hear things that you did not know. You would, therefore, be wise to keep silent and yet very attentive to find out all about this prospective role model for your child.

When you feel satisfied and comfortable with the coach's personal background then you must guide him/her toward more specific subjects and you will want to ask some of the following questions:



  • How many years has he/she been involved in youth soccer?
  • Why/how did they get started?
  • What age groups and genders have they coached?
  • Their feelings on winning and losing?
  • Their position on Development vs. Winning
  • How they plan on improving each player and then specifically your child?
  • Cover everything from: Practice rules and regulations to Playing time..!
  • Segments & Illustrations were taken from my book:
  • FUNdamental SOCCER –GUIDE

Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)

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Your Child's Playing Future Is At Stake: Part II

Sam Snow

Let's assume that anyone who is given the title 'soccer coach' by the local soccer association is qualified to work with children. But, is he/she good enough to work with your child?

You will not know that answer unless you have a one-on-one meeting with the prospective coach. I urge you to insist that the coach meet with you before the season begins.


  • Get to know each other on a personal basis
  • Freely and fully discuss your mutual needs, concerns and expectations

Your child's coach, if you are not aware, is a very influential person in your child's playing future. The stimulation and support he/she provides can instill a desire to play soccer for years to come. Conversely your child's interest in playing may decline and playing for its own sake can be sacrificed. Therefore, it is extremely important that you find out, before the season begins, if the coach will be able to create a learning environment that is also FUN for your child.

Segments & Illustrations were taken from my book: FUNdamental SOCCER –GUIDE

Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)

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Your Child's Playing Future Is At Stake: Getting Started

Sam Snow

We tell our children, "Do not talk to strangers!" And then, we turn around and hand our child over to (in many cases) a total stranger. We justify our actions by assuming that this 'stranger' is qualified because he/she has been given the title 'soccer coach' by someone in the local soccer association. Someone who is a stranger to us but they have been approved by the local soccer board a board consisting of yet another group of strangers. Strange!!!

It is your duty, as a parent, to take the time to get to know as many of these 'strangers' as possible before handing your child over to them.

Ideally, the local organization should make your task easier by holding a 'Mandatory Parent Introduction Night' prior to the season. During this function the local soccer board members introduce themselves, describe their duties, give their interpretation of the goals for the organization and give you instructions on how to communicate with them throughout the season.

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Begin judging if your child should become involved in soccer by observing and listening to these leaders. You must feel comfortable that the board's overall goals and your goals, for your child, are compatible. Help yourself by taking into consideration the number of times words such as 'children, fun and development' or 'winning, trophies and travel' are used. Then, make a conscious decision if the environment proposed fits the standards you want for your child.

Segments & Illustrations were taken from my book:



Your FUNdamental,
Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)

- Emeritus Director of Coaching - California Youth Soccer Assoc. 1979-2012
-? Author - Internationally Published FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series
Producer - highly acclaimed ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ DVD.
Clinician at:

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