Why do you coach? Somewhere in there may be love of the game, love of competition, passing it forward, giving back, serving the community, serving the players, enjoying the relationships, trigger love of the game in others, and just plain fun. All good.

I continue to choose to be a teacher-coach to assist people’s growth into independent, autonomous human beings for a lifetime as responsible, contributing spouses, parents, employees, neighbors, leaders and citizens as they so choose. Soccer is the vehicle. Make no mistake, my passion and pure love for playing, watching or participating in soccer in myriad ways runs deep. Yes, I am a proud soccer nut. But my purpose in the profession of coaching is to serve the player’s lives. Such a responsibility may not be taken lightly and requires constant scrutiny. My encouragement for all coaches is to explore your “why” without ceasing. Perhaps you will find some helpful insights from the collection of aphorisms and maxims presented. They represent my coaching education from childhood to now, taken from many coaches, mentors, friends, colleagues, my observations, and my father … with whom I shared soccer and decades of association annual conventions as he earned his 60-year membership pin in 2019.          


Good communication is essential to success.

Assertiveness is more valuable than aggressiveness.

The players dictate the quality of the experience, not the officials.

Attitude matters.

Effort is rewarded … and respected.

Confidence enhances performance.

Team success is not possible without individual contribution.

Individual accomplishment is not possible without team contribution.

Once beaten, you must recover.

Competition can bring out your best … and your worst.

Playing together is more fun.

All must stay within the boundaries.

Talent alone is insufficient to excel.

Opportunities not seized are worse than unsuccessful efforts.

Risk must be taken in order to attain a goal.

The risk you take must be appropriate to the time and the place and the circumstances.

Talent, work, and skill create success much more often than luck.

Accentuate your strengths and work to minimize your weaknesses.

It is aesthetically pleasing when all participants stay within the letter and the spirit of the law.

Having achieved a goal, it is necessary to focus on achieving the next.

Success should be met with humility; failure should be met with grace.

When it’s all said and done, you’ve got to face the man in the mirror.

Individuals can’t win by themselves.

A few key decisions in a few key moments can make all the difference.

Sacrifice is necessary to truly excel.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

Retaliation is always punished.

To succeed, each must be able to trust and rely upon those around him.

Never let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

In its purest form, it is a thing of beauty.

The beauty in it results from coordination and cooperation among many.

Character counts.

The worst decision is indecision.

Desirable outcomes are the result of right processes.

Preparation prevents poor performance.

Early work avoids disasters.

Intentional celebration of successes builds success.

We become what we celebrate most.

The best team does not equate to the best talent.

Your position matters little compared to how well you play your position.

The habit of urgency is the quickest path to improvement.

Success requires adapting to new circumstances.

Make friends with the failure, a great coach.

Prepare to defend while on the attack.

Prepare to attack while on defense.

You must believe in yourself before others will.

Be wary of blind spots; they will ruin opportunities.

Team success depends upon individual responsibility.

The toughest situations reveal true character.

Egos in full bloom ruin the garden.

Players become the messages they hear the most.

The best players are their own best coaches.

The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare to win.

It’s never about how good we are, but how good we can be.



Kevin Sims
United Soccer Coaches President
Member Since 1981