Teaching Methods

This section covers the most comprehensive and difficult aspect of coaching to master—how to develop player skills. Covered first are methods for instructing your players, followed by an explanation and discussion of the techniques necessary to perform the skills.

P. I. E. Positive Instruction & Encouragement

This concept is so important to AYSO’s coaching philosophy, it was written into the National Rules and Regulations. Positive Instruction and Encouragement should always be used to instruct and motivate your players. They will respond better to you and it will help keep AYSO a happy, positive place for all.

Say, Show, Do and Review

This method is effective for teaching any age group. Simply follow these four steps for the technique you are working on with you team:

  • Say: Explain the skill or technique.
  • Show: Demonstrate the skill or technique.
  • Do: Have players perform the skill or technique.
  • Review: Review, correct and confirm proper technique.

Remember to keep explanations and demonstrations brief and that young children will only want to work on the same thing for a short period of time.

See, Show, Say Method

Soccer coach and teamThis process can be used in conjunction with the Say, Show, Do and Review method described above. Once you have taught the technique, you can observe and correct your players as described below.


Coaches must learn to be observers of their players performances, looking to see if the skills, tactics and strategies they have learned are being properly utilized and executed on the field.

Observation is a silent activity. Instead of trying to coach or correct immediately, let them play uninterrupted for a time while taking notes:

  • Make notes (preferably written) on what your players do.
  • Make notes on the positive outcomes.
  • Make a note (ONE note) on how they can improve.

Through the act of seeing (without speaking or directing), you can focus on analyzing the players and their performance. This analysis is the basis for the next step.


Showing consists of two complementary parts: description and demonstration.

Description involves briefly telling the players what you saw in terms of their execution; then provide them with attainable modifications to correct one or two deficits. This is called analysis and application. Don’t try to describe every error or apply every remedy.

Demonstration comes after the description of what you saw, and involves showing the players what modifications they can employ to improve their technique most effectively. If you are unable to demonstrate the technique yourself, utilize a player who can.


Once all of these steps have been followed, if the players perform the skill, tactic, or strategy effectively, it’s time to let them know! Say it out loud, so everyone can hear.

That’s the whole thing: See, Show, Say using Positive Instruction and Encouragement.