By Alex Kos
I first heard the term “Joystick Coaching” a few years back. What a wonderfully descriptive term. As with video games, joystick coaches want to dictate and control the movement of all their soccer players on the field. Hence the term “joystick.”
However, there is very little joy to be had by soccer players when they are coached in this manner.
Joystick coaching has reached epidemic proportions on many a soccer field across the country (and parents are just as guilty). Why is this happening?
Besides early soccer player retirements (everyone has played soccer in their younger days but many move on to other sports) there are other consequences of this “helping” behavior.
These are some simple tips that will help soccer coaches curb the joystick epidemic and truly help players.
Soccer coaches (and parents), leave your joysticks hooked up to your game consoles at home for use with FIFA 10. Yes, there are a ton of adults out there who play video games. If you don’t, you’ll be using the actual joystick much more since Saturday mornings will soon be free.
Soccer is a creative game and kids should be allowed to express themselves on the pitch, not always told how they should play.
(Alex Kos’ experiences as a player, coach, referee, parent and fan are shared in his blog, Improving Soccer in the United States, where this article first appeared.)
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