Twenty-one questions: Are you over-coaching?

By Dave Simeone (Part two of three)


  1. Do you find that you are hoarse and your voice is strained following a game?
  2. Is the information that you give your players during half – time emotional but non-specific in terms of assisting them solve the problems they encounter?
  3. Do you utilize catch phrases such as “suck it up, boys” or “no pain, no gain” in attempting to motivate youngsters?
  4. Do you find that you are sweating and running just as much during the game as the players?
  5. Are your pre-game, half time or post-game speeches similar to the president’s state of the union address? In addressing the players do you ramble and cause the players to wonder “What’s his/her point”?
  6. Are your remarks and instructions made during the game and to players repetitive and redundant?
  7. Is this information general, non-specific jargon and cheerleading altering the player’s performance?
  8. Are you reluctant to allow players to make their own decisions during a game? Are you constantly barraging players with instructions during the game?
  9. Do you coach in absolutes such as always or never?
  10. Do you choreograph and arrange players into strict positions with instructions such as “never go out of your zone” or “defenders never cross midfield”?
  11. Have you instructed players to refrain from passing the ball to certain teammates because their present level of ability is, from your adult perspective, inadequate?
  12. Do you spend an excessive amount of time in practice on throw-ins, kick-offs, corner kicks or penalty kicks?
  13. Are you utilizing methods of training that do not allow for players to acquire and improve technical skill, tactical decision making, physical stamina and confidence? (i.e. – dribbling through cones, standing in lines awaiting a turn)
  14. Do your practices resemble games or activities that produce the same degree of movement/stimulation as a soccer game?
  15. Are you attempting to improve the team’s level of fitness by minimizing the time the players have contact with the ball?
  16. Do you view the game as a contest based only on fitness that leads to a preoccupation with running?
  17. Are you openly emotional or upset when addressing the players to the point that they stare at you while thinking “what is he/she so disturbed about”?
  18. As the coach do you have difficulty accepting a realistic approach to winning and losing? Do you believe that winning is synonymous with player development?
  19. Do enjoy and have fun coaching youngsters?
  20. Are you consistently aggravated and apprehensive about coaching?
  21. Do the players seem to enjoy playing because of the input and involvement of you, the coach?

Dave Simeone brings over thirty years of coaching and managing experience combined from youth, college, Olympic Development, U.S. National Teams and the National Coaching Schools. Simeone earned his “A” license and National Youth License from U.S. Soccer and the National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

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