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It is important to realize that although we as coaches are permitted to instruct from the sideline, this is not a license to take over the game from the players. Coaching is best done during practice time, not during the game.
A Few Things to AVOID:
1. Don’t continually shout instructions - they often reach the players too late (the action has moved to a new situation), and may be distracting.
2. Don’t send one of your assistants to instruct from the opposite touchline to "cover the field". It is doubly distracting to the players (often the instructions coming from opposite sides of the field differ!), it is irritating to the other team if they are located there, and it is also against the rules if only one coach is allowed to instruct.
3. Don’t send a parent or assistant to coach from behind the goal line; coaches and spectators do not belong there! The coach can be "carded" for permitting such a violation of the rules.
A Few GOOD IDEAS:
1. Your sideline coaching should be limited. Prepare your players to think for themselves as much as possible. Take notes of situations and skills that your team has problems with and work on them during practice.
2. Watch how the opposition plays and point out to your substitutes anything that can be to your team’s advantage (e.g. all their goal kicks go to a certain area, their defense plays far back or far forward, etc).
3. Remind the players going in who they are substituting for and what their duties are at that position.
The less time spent shouting and the more time observing the better understanding you will develop of your team, and the more information you will have to help them during your next practices.
Remember that as coaches we are in a supporting role. It is the kids’ show!