Welcome to the fourteenth installment of a small series of serialisations of my book “A Guide to Surviving Youth Football” If you like what you see and want to read more please do go and purchase a copy of the book by going to amazon.
As a coach it is up to you whether or not you get the services of an assistant. Some coaches couldn’t work without one and to some they just get in the way but in youth football I personally find an assistant coach is well worth their weight in gold if you can find the right person for the job.
When getting an assistant you have to make sure they are right for the team and that they will be committed. Just because someone was a good player it won’t make them a good coach, and just because someone is good with children it won’t make them a good coach either.
In an assistant coach you have to make sure you find someone who can take orders and who won’t overrule you or undermine you. An assistant coach has to be able to provide feedback and ideas when asked for so they have to know about football and coaching as you want to be able to tap in to their ideas and get the most out of them.
When selling an assistant coaching position to someone you have to stress the importance of the role. Just because it is an assistant position it doesn’t mean you want someone that is there only half the time and never contactable. They have to be reliable because if anything happens to you, you have to be able to have faith in them to stand in and to know that they will do the job.
You have to be able to work well with your assistant coach and get on with them on a personal level as when dealing with your team you have to be able to show a united front. If there are any tensions between you the players will be able to spot it right away. You have to both go in with the same philosophy because if your assistant coach is telling a player something different than you did when they asked you a question the player is going to get confused or even worse play off the fact that they can get one of you to say yes to something.
You and your assistant form a team. You both need to know what you expect from each other and what your responsibilities are. As time in training is so short and because game days can be chaotic you both need to know what each other are going to be doing so you know that everything gets done.
(Image courtesy of Ale Vasco)