The Youth Sport Podcast
How the pandemic impacted youth sport for the better. Steve Pecher, former US National Men’s Soccer Athlete joins me to discuss what his club, St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club, discovered over the pandemic. The staff at the club did some incredible things in order to keep kids involved with their friends as well as to help with their physical and mental health.
Steve shares his story of growing up in a big family, having relatives that played soccer professionally, sitting at an MVP table with Pele, and what he’s learned coaching for over 20 years to help other coaches working with kids right now.
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Here’s what we discussed:
- Getting coaching licences
- Steven’s younger years as a soccer athlete with relatives in the St. Louis Hall Of Fame
- How life took the right turns to play soccer professionally and how he ended up sitting at an MVP table with Pele!
- Playing as an amateur in order to qualify to play on the Olympic team
- How youth sport has changed since the 70’s
- Even though he wasn’t seen as being the most skillful, there were other reasons Steve was successful
- National team “red card” stories
- What it feels like to represent your country in sport
- How and why Steve started coaching
- Going from playing strong to coaching girls and the lessons learned over the years to become a better coach
- Tips for a young coach starting out
- “Don’t worry so much about the things that you can’t control, and worry about the things that you can control”
- Why the pandemic highlighted positive things in youth sport
- The mental health importance of keeping the kids seeing each other…even virtually
- “Our numbers have stayed pretty much the same through this whole process and we think a lot of it was because of what we did for them during the down time”
- Giving kids “homework” to keep them engaged, to stay accountable and to have goals
- Keeping kids motivated with a leadership program and motivational speakers
- “We didn’t find any transmissions in the team…being an outside sport was a huge benefit for us”
- Teams have the option to serve the community
- “What’s the worst thing about your sport?” “The ride to or from the practice or game.”
- Reflecting back and being ok with changing bad behaviour in order to be a better coach
- Respecting the officials in youth sport
And now…the full conversation