Growing up, I was never able to do private soccer lessons, and very few of my teammates did. Back then, there was limited information and opportunities for private soccer lessons.
Despite my experience as a professional soccer player, I still feel behind in some basic skills. As more and more families seek out private soccer lessons, and I have begun to coach them myself, I’ve often wondered how they would have impacted my development as a player.
Undoubtedly, soccer lessons can get expensive, especially on top of team and travel fees. For coaches, they are an additional time commitment that you want to make sure benefits your coaching career and the players you train.
So, are private soccer lessons worth it?
Private soccer lessons absolutely can be worth it for players and coaches, if the player can find the right coach with a focused development skillset plan. Improvements in key areas must be gained. Plus, it needs to be enjoyable and of good value.
Not all soccer lessons are worth the money or the time. It’s all about finding the right coach and player combination and making sure the lessons address the skills that the player needs.
Are private soccer lessons worth it?
Parents considering private soccer lessons will wonder if they are worth it, and they certainly can be. Club soccer in the United States is already a substantial financial commitment, costing between $2,760 and $11,810 per year. So, you want to make sure you are only paying for private lessons that will be valuable.
Benefits of private soccer lessons for players
During team training, there are only one or two coaches for dozens of players. No matter how good the coach is, they can only direct their attention to so many things at once.
Even when a coach offers feedback, they may not have the time to dedicate to correcting a very specific issue (like striking form).
During private lessons, the coach will give the player full attention, which means they can provide more individualized feedback and instruction.
Work on key areas of improvement
Coaches run team training for the team. The focus is on team needs, with minimal time given for individual areas of weakness.
During private lessons, the player can work on their specific areas of improvement, allowing them to better develop their game and contribute more to the team.
With private training, you can work with a coach that is an expert at your primary position or desired skill. This provides a great opportunity to develop position-specific skills.
Players can also benefit from getting the perspective and expertise of another coach.
Ideas for self-development
Players will learn many drills and activities that they can also do on their own for additional practice which will further help overall development.
Develop at your own pace
Players that are either significantly behind, or far more advanced than their team can get a lot from private soccer lessons because they can learn at their own pace.
For kids struggling with a certain skill, this is extra time to hone that skill and catch up. For those well ahead of their team, private lessons are an opportunity to try new, challenging material and progress freely without the restriction of the team.
Benefits of soccer lessons for coaches
Players are not the only ones that benefit from private soccer lessons. Private soccer lessons can be extremely beneficial for coaches as well.
- Earn additional money. We will dive into what to charge for private lessons shortly, but in general, coaches can make great money per hour with private lessons.
- Build your coaching resume.
- Work with a variety of players that you may not typically be able to with your dedicated club team. This will help you become a more well-rounded coach with more extensive experience.
- Play a significant part in player development.
- Improve your ability to quickly identify and correct players on various skills.
Qualities of soccer lessons that are worth it
Private soccer lessons can provide many key benefits for player development, but they don’t always. Here are some qualities of soccer lessons that are worth it:
- An engaged coach that is attentive and paying close attention to the player(s).
- A coach with experience, expertise, and knowledge. Many of the best private soccer coaches have significant playing AND coaching experience.
- Player-specific training geared toward the areas of improvement of your child.
- Noticeable improvement in the player over time, in both skills and confidence.
- A well-paced lesson without much stagnant time.
- Player(s) that are committed to getting better and focused on the lesson.
How to start private soccer lessons
Soccer lessons can be great for players and coaches, but it’s not always easy to know where to start. Here’s some advice for starting private soccer lessons for both players and coaches.
- Come up with a list of areas of improvement to work on during private lessons.
- Determine the frequency of lessons you are looking for based on available time and budget. Typically, during the middle of your season, it will be hard to do frequent lessons, but during the offseason, you can spend more time on private lessons.
- Research the average cost for private lessons in your area.
- Consider individual vs small group lessons. A mix of both is often very effective for players.
- Start looking for potential coaches. You can search online, ask your team coach if they do private lessons or have a referral, and inquire with other players who do private lessons.
- Contact potential coaches and find out the details about the price of lessons, what their lessons entail, and their specific experience.
- Try a lesson. You should not commit to a large bundle for lessons until you know that the particular coach and format are helpful.
- Talk with other coaches about private lessons. Inquire about how much they charge, how they run their lessons, how they got clients, etc.
- Gather all necessary equipment. When running private lessons, the coach supplies equipment. Make sure you have a set of balls, a pump, cones, a stopwatch, and any other equipment you may need.
- Determine your availability. Figure out the days/times you are available for private lessons based on your current schedule.
- Find a space. If you work with a club, you may be able to use that field on certain occasions. Otherwise, community parks are great (often free) spaces for private lessons. During winter in cold states, it may be more difficult to find a free space, but a gym, unfinished basement, or heated garage are all options.
- Start with someone you know. Before advertising your services to the world, it’s best to get some private lesson experience under your belt. If you have a team, start by letting them know you are offering private lessons. You can also tell family/friends to see if anyone is interested.
- Advertise your lessons. Once you have a bit of experience with private lessons, start to spread the word. Making a simple website can help, but you should also share it on Facebook/social media, community boards, and flyers around the community. Ask your current clients for referrals as well if they find the lessons helpful.
Private soccer lessons for youth
Private soccer lessons for youth are some of the most common. The purpose of youth soccer lessons should be to:
Work on the basics. Help kids nail down the technique for passing, shooting, dribbling, and trapping.
Grow a love for the sport. Youth private lessons should be effective, but they should also be fun. Part of the goal is to help kids fall in love with the sport.
Keep kids engaged. Youth soccer players may struggle with focus, especially in private lessons. A great coach knows it’s as much about skills as it is about engagement.
Youth players should feel like they are doing fun activities and not necessarily realize that all of these games are working on important skills.
Private soccer lessons for beginners to advanced
Private soccer lessons are not just for beginning players, they can also be very important for advanced players. The activities and structure of the lesson should be appropriate for the age and skill level of the player.
For beginners, the lessons will focus on basic skills and concepts. As a player develops and grows, so must the private soccer lessons. Advanced players will continue to benefit from lessons that challenge them.
For advanced players, private lessons will address more complicated skills and topics. Consider the pass. At first, the focus will be on a basic inside-of-the-foot pass up to about 15 yards.
Eventually, the lesson may include instruction on a 30-yard pass with the instep (laces) of the foot, as well as the purpose and appropriate situation for such a pass.
How much does a personal soccer trainer cost?
While private soccer lessons can be incredibly helpful for players, the cost is a consideration. However, there is no universal standard for the cost of soccer lessons.
Many different factors impact the cost of a personal soccer trainer, so it’s important to talk to others in your community for an accurate estimate.
The average cost of private soccer lessons
Understanding the average cost of private soccer lessons will give you a basic framework for what to expect. The average cost of private soccer lessons is between $55 and $130 per hour, but it can be less or more.
Factors that impact the cost of private soccer lessons
- Location. The cost will vary with the cost of living, soccer landscape, and competition in your location.
- Experience. Coaches who are just starting out will be more likely to charge less for lessons. Coaches with extensive experience, high coaching licenses, and many clients are likely to charge more.
- Distance. If you come to the coach, you may pay less than if the coach must travel significantly to get to your location.
- The number of players. Private soccer lessons do not have to be individual. Small group lessons provide many of the same benefits and often lower the cost per player.
- Specialty training. Goalkeepers benefit most from goalkeeper-specific training, which is a specialty form of soccer training. It often costs more than general private soccer lessons.
How much should I charge for soccer lessons?
Setting your price for soccer lessons is very important, but it can be tricky. If you charge too much, you may struggle to get clients. On the other hand, if you don’t charge enough you may get a lot of clients but the lessons may not be worth your time.
Find out how much other coaches and programs in your area charge for individual lessons. Then, consider your experience. Based on the average cost of private lessons and your experience, adjust the price to what you feel is fair.
Considering offering reasonable discounts for lesson packages (like purchasing 5 or 10 lessons upfront), and slightly reducing the cost per player for small-group lessons.
You can find many websites that show private soccer lesson prices for different areas around the country, but make sure you also factor in your location and experience when setting your price.
Soccer lessons can 100% be worth it for the player and the coach when they are done properly. Both players and coaches should research reasonable prices before starting soccer lessons.
The most effective lessons address the unique needs of the player and are engaging for the player and coach.
I’ve played soccer across the U.S.A, Europe and I’ve coached many teams. Soccer is life for me, and with my experience in the game, I want to share my insights into the beautiful game with you.
Joel Powel – Soccer Blade