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As the end of the summer draws to a close, so starts the beginning of a new soccer season. All across the world, coaches and players are beginning to train for the new season whether they are youth teams, high school teams, college teams or professional teams.

As an assistant coach for the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville men’s soccer program, preparation for the coming season is extremely crucial for the success of our team.

Before practices even begin, it is important that the coaching staff gets together and has a beginning-of-the-year meeting. At this meeting, the coaches need to organize everything. For example, at SIUE we have to make sure that all of the practice shorts, shirts, shoes, socks, and other gear are ready for the first day. This meeting is also a good opportunity to discuss the goals and expectations for the coming season. Setting goals for the season will ensure that you follow an organized and structured path to trying to attain these goals.

Once you have your goals set, it is a good idea to develop a plan. Included in this plan will be the steps that are necessary to give the best possible chance of reaching the team’s goals. In this plan, the coaches can organize practice sessions and talk about what formations and systems of plays will suit their team best. By looking at the resources and players that are available, the coaches can decide what system of play will suit their team best.

After the coaches have met to discuss the upcoming season, it is a good idea that the coaches plan individual meetings with the players and a team meeting after tryouts or before the season if their are no tryouts. Communication with players and the team as a whole is very important. Individual meetings will help players know where they will fit into the team for the coming year. A team meeting is important for establishing goals for the upcoming season and following a plan to execute those goals.

Preparing for a season requires a lot of work of the coaching staff. Whether you are a coach for a youth, high school, club, college, or professional team, it is important to be organized and goal-oriented for your team.  Remember the words of Henry Hartman: “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.”

Good luck to all of the coaches starting their new seasons!


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