What sort of soccer coach are you?

Do you ever wonder how to evaluate yourself and your coaching style?

This test – provided by the National Institute for Child Centred Coaching – should give you some idea if you are a traditional, PE teacher type of coach, a child centred facilitator or somewhere in-between.

Make a note of the response that best reflects your thoughts about each statement. Don’t think about it too long, it’s your first, instinctive response that gives the best indication.


The major reason children should be involved in sports is for fun, not winning.

A. No. Winning is important to young children and older children.

B. Sort of. Winning is important but not necessary.

C. Yes. Enjoyment is the key; winning is only secondary.


It is important for children to learn how to compete at an early age.

A. Yes. They stand a better chance of being successful later in life.

B. Sort of. Competition is important, but it shouldn’t be the basis for playing sports for young children.

C. No. The earlier young children learn to be competitive, the less enjoyment they might have playing.


A good, strong self-image can be developed in young children with a no-nonsense approach to coaching.

A. Yes. They need to be told “who is the boss” and to follow the rules.

B. Sort of. Children need to be managed with a firm yet reasonable approach.

C. No. Children need to be encouraged to try their best.


Praising a child’s ability is OK, but a coach shouldn’t overdo it.

A. Yes. If praised too often, they’ll develop a false sense of their abilities.

B. Sort of. Children need to be told accurately and honestly about their weaknesses.

C. No. If it’s honest praise, there is no such thing as “overdoing it.”


Children who develop too high of a sense of self-esteem grow up being spoiled.

A. Take any one of those high-priced superstars in today’s sports, and you’ll see what a spoiled child is like.

B. A child must be taught humility; a child with high self-esteem often acts conceited.

C. Children with high self-esteem often make the best players.


Most parents want their young children to win — not necessarily to have fun.

A. Agree.

B. Some do, but not all.

C. Parents need to be educated.


Disciplining a child in front of the team sets an example for the others.

A. Other children learn to do the right thing really fast.

B. Peer pressure is the most effective form of team discipline.

C. Disciplining a child is a private issue between the coach and child.


Team rules should be set by the coach and given to the players.

A. A coach needs to show who’s in charge; children need to respect authority.

B. A coach needs to demonstrate leadership; children need to comply.

C. A coach needs to provide guidance; children should be empowered.


The coach sometimes acts like a teacher; sometimes like a parent.

A. A coach should not be confused with a parent or teacher; a coach is a coach.

B. A coach might sometimes take on the role of a teacher or a parent but should remain first a coach.

C. A coach is at times a parent and a teacher.


A parent’s role in children’s sports should be:

A. To be mildly involved.

B. To be moderately involved.

C. To be involved to the maximum level.


To score your responses, give each “A” response 1 point; each “B” response 2 points; each “C” response 3 points. If you totalled:

10-16 points. Attitudes of traditional coaching: Believes winning is the primary reason for playing sports; takes a hard line in discipline; uses an autocratic approach to coaching; finds little value for parental involvement. Need a lot more instruction in child-centred coaching philosophy and techniques.

17-23 points. Tendency toward leadership, not autocratic rule; problem solving, not ruling; motivating, not commanding. Needs continued study and practice in child-centred coaching philosophy.

24-30 points. Believes in making the game fun; is willing to be both a parent figure and teacher; offers guidance, encouragement and support and maximizes parental involvement. Needs to continue practicing skills.