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Coach Reflection: Are Your Kids Looking Forward To Practice?

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Charlie Slagle is a long-time soccer coach at many levels, most prominently for 21 years at Davidson College, where he is a Hall of fame inductee and was named D-I Men's National Coach of the Year. Charlie also served for 12 years as CEO of Capital Area Soccer League and is now CEO for Tampa Bay United and President for United Soccer Coaches (@UnitedCoaches).

Slagle adamantly believes a coaches’ top priority should be to assure their players are having the most fun. Evaluating excitement of kids at and before practice are both good ways to know if you're doing your job right. If kids want to play again the next year, that is the true measuring stick for coaches on how they have performed. Slagle suggests evaluating coaches by the percentage of kids they retain to the sport the following year. Slagle wants to see retention of youth athletes, and getting kids to come back to a sport starts with fun.