SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN

Neither is word vomit.

There is a war right now.

One side believes that coaches should sit quietly during games and let the players demonstrate what they learned at practice during the week. The other side is vocal during games. Who is right? I don’t know…

But riddle me this…

A team practices twice a week and plays one game on the weekends. That is approximately 4 1/2 hours of total supervised soccer each week. But if you subtract 90 minutes from that, the 90 minutes that a coach is supposed to sit quiet on the sideline while his team plays, you get about 3 hours worth of supervised soccer during which the coach interacts with players and gives instruction. Now, if you’re anything like me, there are brief moments during practice that you aren’t barking orders. So that 3 hour estimate is actually pretty high, but we’ll stick with it for the sake of this example.

At the end of the month a team will have had approximately 12 hours of supervised soccer in which instructions were given. The team also played 4 games which equals about 6 hours worth of time the coach was watching, but not instructing. So the total time of supervised soccer is 18 hours, but during 1/3 of that time a coach is ‘supposed’ to be quiet and let his team attempt to display what they learned during the limited practice time they had during the week.

That makes no sense. Why would anyone waste 1/3 of their time just watching their team?

We need to change the way we view games here United States. Yes, they are games, but we need to treat them like extra training sessions.

Now, word vomit is not the golden ticket, but complete silence, in my opinion, is just wrong! What you say, how you say it, when you say it, who you say it to… those things are all part of why coaching is an art. You should not be trying to reinvent the wheel during the game from the sideline. You should be giving instructions that your team are familiar with. Your team should have a good understanding of the tactics and what they are expected to do. You need to know what to watch for in order to have an idea of what you should be saying.

Me? Well- I have my own style. My style is a loud, projected voice that echoes throughout the empty high school stadiums that my teams play in. The content that I relay always has substance and almost always relates to something my players already know. And if you’re thinking that because I am ‘telling them’ what to do during the game means that they wouldn’t do it without my help, you’re wrong.

Here is an example. Turn your volume up…

An organized press executed to near perfection in our very first game of the season last year after the very first kick off. I’m ‘telling my team what to do’ the entire time. But watch and listen again. Do you really think they are doing that just because I am telling them at that very moment? Or is it because they’ve been taught what to do and have worked through that situation many, many times before? My girls demonstrate a perfect press again around the 2:20 point in the video. Again, you can hear my voice.

Around 1:40 you can hear the other coach yell ‘Come on, White!’