Running Up the Score and its Consequences

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As a coach, nothing is more wonderful then watching your team absolutely dominate a game.  Youth soccer matches often result in lopsided scores because one team simply has an unstoppable player or the other team is just terrible.  As exciting as an 8-0 victory may be, there are a few concerns that need to be taken into account, and there are a few things you as a coach can do instead of high fiving the parents and rubbing it in.

One thing you need to be sure and avoid is false confidence being developed after a big win by your players.  Sure, they probably all think they’re on the verge of joining a professional European youth team after the win, but you need to help keep their heads on straight.  Make sure that you’re not the one celebrating the victory the most.  Remember, you are never as bad as you seem when you lose, and you are never as good as you look when you win.  Therefore, smile and pat your team on the back but do realize that you may suffer a defeat like his as well.  If your team gets too cocky, such a revelation may come sooner than you think.

Another thing you can do as a coach is to prevent the score from getting out of hand.  If you have one really great player who has scored a hat trick and is looking for more, sub him or her out and make the game a bit more even.  If the opposing team suddenly looks on the verge of making a comeback, just put the player back in.

Players are always hungry to score goals and will be licking their chops if an opposing team looks weak and ripe for the plucking, so I don’t recommend telling your team to ease off the gas.

One issue you will run into during a blowout will be anger from the opposing parents.  No one likes to see their children demoralized after a heavy defeat and as coach the frustrations will be placed squarely on your shoulders.  Therefore, don’t gloat or invite such resentment.  Be honorable in victory and refrain from insulting the opposition.  Remember, youth soccer is about fun and when a team gets obliterated, that fun goes away real fast.  Keep this in mind and realize that the responsibility of this often lies in the hands of the coach.  Do your best to make your team great, but do know when to refrain from crossing the line and try not to invite angry parents to get mad.

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Nicholas Spiller

Nicholas Spiller resides in LA where he dreams of musical super-stardom on his bass guitar. He also writes for and is an avid Arsenal fan!

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