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Adjusting To A New Coach

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"Our girls select youth soccer team had a very dynamic coach for three years, but now he is leaving the area. What tips or suggestions can you give our team and parents for transitioning to a new coach?"

PCA Response From Joe Scally, PCA Trainer-Chicago
Transitions can be difficult for any of us. It would not be surprising if players don’t immediately warm up to the coach who is replacing a coach they liked and with whom they were comfortable. They may have many questions: How will this new coach evaluate me? Will she change my position? Will she want me to learn new things? Can I trust her not to embarrass me? Will she help me to learn and grow? How will my teammates react? and so on.

Each parent should be open to talking with his or her child about the particular concerns the child may have. Reassure her that she can handle whatever changes inevitably occur. Some changes may be seen as positive, at first, and some not so. The lesson for each player is that by demonstrating a teachable spirit, working hard, and continuing to learn they will become better at both soccer and life.

To paraphrase Phil Jackson, who uses this phrase about basketball sometimes when he’s speaking on behalf of Positive Coaching Alliance, "there’s a lot more to soccer than just soccer." Change is a valuable opportunity to learn life lessons. But these lessons are not always easy, so the parents should be open to continuing dialogue with their children about the challenges they face.

Download a printable version of this resource, including any additional commentary from PCA, by clicking the PDF below. To read more questions and answers like this, or to submit your own question to the Ask PCA blog, click here.

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