I'm helping coach a U10 youth soccer team and ONE of the pain points for me is how frequently kids are subbed in. While all players play roughly half the game, there are only 2 substitutions made during the whole game such that kids sit on the bench for 10 - 15 minutes straight, then play 25 minutes and sit on the bench again for another 10 - 15 minutes.

Depending on the group, this results in the unlucky group playing 50% and the other 2 groups playing 75%, a significant disparity. Additionally, he always starts the same lineup and the same kids sit on the bench. At least if doing this, he should rotate the starting lineup such that even if the kids get 50% one week, they'll get 75% next week. In any case, I feel the disparity shouldn't be that significant.

I understand that trying to manage kids' playing time is a logistical pain point, but I coached 1 game since he was out and it isn't terribly complex. It does require more work, but I didn't have kids sitting on the bench for more than 8 minutes and we didn't have a disparity that wide.

The coach and I have differing opinions so my influence is rather limited. He supposedly coached U14 or U16 a while back though some of the stuff he's teaching the team is either incorrect or not age appropriate.

One such oddity is to get more power out of your kicks, you need to jump and land on your kicking foot. As a player, I was never taught anything along those lines, instead, I was always taught to plant your non-kicking foot in the direction you want the ball to go. At the U10 in-house level, the last thing we need to be thinking about is driving the ball. I mentioned this because I didn't hide the grimace on my face when I saw him teaching kids at the start of practice so he could easily see that I didn't think that was worthwhile or appropriate for the age. Body language is a great communication tool, but perhaps I should have masked my expression.

That said, I know he is unlikely to respond to direct criticism and asking a question would also be futile. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn't matter, but from a player perspective, the last thing I would want is to sit on the bench for 15 minutes straight, play, and then sit on the bench again for another 15 minutes. Additionally, as a coach, I feel that is a missed opportunity to coach the players. When the players are on the bench, you can instruct them right then and there as they're watching play. I tend to limit the amount of coaching I do from the sideline to the players on the field and instead let them play. When I do coach the kids that are on the sideline, having them sit there for so long means they're much less likely to recall what I just said.

  • 1
    Well... communication. Everything else is pretty much subjective and speculative.
    – dly
    Sep 26, 2023 at 13:09
  • Hmm, perhaps my concern is that the person is already closed off in their responses that I am hesitant to even say anything as it will have the opposite effect. I prefer to be as direct as possible to avoid ambiguity, but in this case I was thinking I would be indirect. I prefer others to be direct with me rather than try to give me a run-round.
    – John Doe
    Sep 26, 2023 at 20:51
  • I feel like your edit should be an answer to the question rather than an addition to it.
    – F1Krazy
    Oct 1, 2023 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


I will step back from coaching as having 4 coaches with differing opinions is challenging. While 1 coach is fairly easy going and open to discussion, the other 2 are not.

While this is an opportunity to improve my communication skills by opening both myself and him up to conversation, I feel that chasm is unable to be filled.

  • 1 coach + 3 assistant coaches for a U10 team? Is that correct? How does that even work
    – Don_Biglia
    Oct 4, 2023 at 11:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.