Leading a group of 5u, 6u, or 8 year olds through a season of practice is no small feat. Youth soccer coaches do not sign up for the glory or leading a team, but instead for the chance to be involved with their kid’s development and hopefully impart some great lessons to others.
Still, many teams try to show their appreciation for a coach with a small gift. The time spent building practice plans (they are easier with our guide to running 6u practice), running drills, pacing the sidelines, and herding the team is a benefit of itself, but a simple coaches gift can be a great way to remember a solid season.
In general, practical usable gifts are great especially when they can be personalized to also serve as memorabilia. For longer term and higher level coaches, the traditional placards, medals, and trophies are also a great option.
Below are some of our favorite youth soccer coach gift ideas. Each of these sends a different message including a few that encourage continued coaching.
Customized Mini Soccer Ball
There are dozens of outlets that will personalize a ball with a team name or logo. Mini balls are great teaching tools as well, and this gift is well tailored for the coach who won’t be afraid to bring it on a trip, to the field, or use it in tight spaces to still enjoy the game.
Personalized Coffee Water Bottle
Coaches are often pacing the sidelines with an early morning coffee or an afternoon water. Even for those that will not be back on the pitch next season are likely to find themselves at a field as a fan for an early morning game. These personalized mugs are well suited to find their way into a coaches hand season after season.
Gift Cards or Thanks a Lotto Gift
This is an ideal gift for everything from an office party to an end of season pizza get together. Thanks a “lotto” scratch off presents give coaches some excitement and can be done for any increment of gift budget. Simple gift cards to a relevant area coffee shop, brewery, or sporting good store ensures that the gift is used on the best item of choice.
Engraved coaches whistle
Youth coaches are more often than not new to the sport. For those that have the potential to move up as kids age, a dedicated and personalized whistle sends the signal from a team that their coaching style is truly appreciated.
At the younger ages it can be intimiating to get, or use a whistle. As players get older and the field on which they play gets bigger the need for a whistle becomes practical to communicate easily. These customized whistles make it easy for the coach to take the plunge, and will be worn with pride.
Shadow Box with Team Mascot
Many kids teams are named after east to find action figures. Team chosen names like the “blue power rangers”, “pink sharks”, or “silver hot wheels” all lend themselves well to a simple collectible that can be placed in a small trophy case.
Especially for coaches that have stuck with the same team and name for more than one season, a piece like this, tastefully done, has the potential to become a staple on display in a proud coaches home. A simple shadow box can be signed or decorated by the team too.
Custom Coaches Bag
Lugging gear to and from the field can be a pain. Helping out with a purpose built soccer bag will be appreciated by any coach who is towing pinnies , cones, first aid kits, lineup cards, clipboards or anything else.
A simple duffle bag will do just fine, and is a great idea when coupled with other items (including some on this list). Step it up a notch by adding an iron on patch or logo, or getting a name put on the side.
Practice Accessories or Goals
Often a coach will wind up gathering their favorite practice gear over time. Helping offset this cost is a practical way to help a coach while showing support for them continuing to volunteer or coach. There is a variety of great accessories for coaches, just pick the one that speaks to what the coach has experienced.
Cones become a consumable over time on the fields. They get stepped on, kicked, and generally take a beating. If this happened to your coach, replacing or updating their gear is a nice move. A coaching board is a great idea for a volunteer who is ready to draw up plays. This is not always the most exciting gift, but it is practical and thoughtful especially when delivered with a heart felt note.
It gets hot and sunny out on the pitch. A coach will have a shirt or jersey based on the team, but go to headwear for being on the field is also needed. A solid visor, either with a simple logo or some personalized embroidery, makes for a great option for someone pacing the sidelines.
The visor is a bit of a look, made popular by top coaches across sports. Even Ted Lasso sports a visor on the sidelines. As a gift this lets coach live out the dream of being one of his idols, Lasso or otherwise.
Players are known to be seen in slide on sandals, which are a great option for letting the feet rest after a match. Since many youth coaches are just as active running around the field as players, getting them a cool pair of sandals will help them fit in.
If you are done looking for a coaches gift, you may be interested in these other topics: