Robert Kusel isn’t just a soccer coach; he’s an advocate of mentorship, personal growth, and character development in the world of athletics. In the following article, Robert Kusel soccer discusses the impact coaching has on athletes, both on and off the field. The activities people participate in as children can help shape the trajectory of their entire lives – be it sports, performing arts, or other hobbies – though this is particularly true with the rigorous, time consuming and rewarding pursuit of competitive soccer.
Robert Kusel explains that youth soccer coaches have tremendous influence and responsibility in fostering skill development, teamwork, and character building. Below, more on how youth soccer coaches can shape future athletes and citizens through their work with children and teenagers.
Robert Kusel Discusses Building Transferable Skills
Participation in a team sport like soccer can help children build skills that will serve them well in school, in their careers, and in their everyday adult lives. Kids learn through playing, so the soccer field is a perfect spot for them to begin to develop new proficiencies. It is the responsibility of the coaches to ensure that children are benefiting from the full range of educational opportunities the game has to offer. They include:
- Responsibility – Children learn that every team member has something to contribute, and they show up for others and pull their weight.
- Perseverance – Even when a team loses, they have to get back out on the field and try again.
- Decision making – Robert Kusel says that soccer is a fast-paced, high-intensity sport that requires quick thinking and the ability to weigh all possible options quickly and effectively.
- Anticipatory thinking – The best soccer plays involve thinking several steps ahead, so children learn to plan and map out strategies accounting for multiple possibilities.
- Sportsmanship – The social aspect of soccer is hugely beneficial to children’s development – learning how to play well together and treat opposing teams with kindness and respect.
- Teamwork and leadership – Young soccer players learn how to play well together and pull their weight.
- Physical fitness – It is a full body cardio workout – great exercise for young people, for both physical and mental health.
- Resilience – Children who play sports learn to persevere in the face of adversity.
- Self-discipline – Soccer requires lots of practice, showing up at a specific time every day whether or not you feel like it.
- Communication – Good communication is the foundation of teamwork. Youth soccer players learn to communicate quickly and effectively on the field with a variety of personalities.
Robert Kusel explains that through their work, coaches can help children develop each of these skills. The best coaches will recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each child and approach their individual work with them accordingly, to help not only the whole team thrive, but to ensure that the child is getting the best possible “on the field” education.
Teaching Important Life Lessons
Each game – and even each practice – brings new challenges as well as new opportunities for growth for young players.
Robert Kusel says that taking on a particularly challenging team, attempting to learn a tough new move, or trying to win when you’re short a few star players can help young people learn about overcoming adversity. The challenges faced in team sports can mimic the challenges faced in everyday life and overcoming them or at least learning to face them head on will build a resilience in children that will serve them well for their entire lives.
Experiencing a steady string of losses, but still going out there on the field with every intention of succeeding teaches young people to stay positive. That upbeat tone must be set by the coach, as players always look to their leader, and children to their adult guardian, for guidance and perspective. It’s vitally important that the coaches themselves maintain perspective – understanding that a youth soccer game is not life and death, but instead a fun activity that children should participate in for the love of the game, not just winning. A good coach will demonstrate how to win and lose with dignity and grace.
Robert Kusel notes that coaches can also set an example of how to work together for a common goal. This doesn’t only teach the skill of teamwork as noted above, but also instills a sense of community spirit and civic mindedness in children that will shape the caring adult humans they grow up to be.
Robert Kusel says that youth soccer coaches have the power to shape their young player’s hearts and minds, teaching important life lessons and valuable skills that will translate to academia, careers, and players’ lives far beyond the soccer pitch.