What to look for when searching for a new team

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Finding a new team can be a daunting process, there are so many great teams out there it can get overwhelming quickly.

With Sports Bridge we make it easy to find a new team and do your due diligence on those teams and coaches, arming you with as much knowledge as possible before having to make that choice.

The Coach

A good Club is the beginning part of your search, a Club breaks down into individual teams, and at the helm of each team is a Coach. Just because a Club has a good reputation or is competing at a high level, does not mean every team under that umbrella is going to live up to that reputation. Like everything in life, there are some good ones and some bad ones.

A great Coach can make or break a team.

Think about it, your child is going to be spending multiple hours a week with this Coach, multiple training sessions, games, and tournaments, and we can also factor in communication to the mix here. That all adds up to a lot of time you and your child are spending with that Coach.

Let’s break down some of the things to look out for when checking out a new Coach. (All of these are available to view on Sports Bridge)

Qualifications

Qualifications aren’t the be-all and end of all of a Coach but they do help to understand where they are in their coaching journey.

Just like having a degree doesn’t make the best employee a high qualification doesn’t make for a better coach. Let’s break down some of those qualifications, we’ll start by putting them in order of, lowest to the highest level.

  • License D
  • License C
  • License A Youth
  • License A Senior
  • License Pro

Now, what do those licenses mean?

A license is acquired by a Coach from U.S. Soccer and is required by all Clubs to be affiliated with that team.

Soccer coaches license types
Image from U.S. Soccer

These licenses are often made-up of classroom-style lessons over a series of days, after which when the course is completed a coach is presented with their license and can use that license to apply to work with a Club in their area, as a coach moves up the ranks with their licenses the more studying and learning they do.

Experience

This is one that divides a lot of people, but it’s still worth mentioning as it may be a factor for you.

Does a Coach have playing experience?

Let’s break down some of the pros and cons of this one.

There are plenty of professional international coaches who have never played and coach at the highest level possible, some of them have played themselves.

At the end of the day it depends on what type of coach you are looking for, some parents love the idea that a passionate professional has moved away from playing the game to teach it. And some who don’t care if they’ve ever kicked a soccer ball as knowing technically what to do is enough.

Professionalism

This is one that Sports Bridge can’t show unfortunately. You can by utilizing and reviewing the coach bio, profile photo, and welcome video, get a rough understanding of what a coach is like before moving forward with communication.

When you start that initial communication with a team’s coach you will quickly see how professional they are. How they interact with you on the phone, how they message you with follow-up information, and how they treat you and your child at the tryout.

These are all key indicators to pay attention to before locking down a team.

Happy searching parents!