WYC 060 – Youth Soccer – Creed Larrucea talks The only rule you need and PCA’s ELM tree of success

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Creed Larrucea shares stories and discusses his journey to becoming a successful youth sports coach.

Creed is a physical therapist in Sacramento, California by day, and a stud youth soccer coach by night.  He coaches youth teams and the local high school team. He is married and has 2 daughters ages 12 and 10.

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‘Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out’ – John Wooden

Coaching your own kids

  • The first key is open communication – ask your kids – ‘Do you want me to coach your team?’

My Cringe & ‘Ah-Ha’ Moments

  • Inaction – could have started 2 teams since he had great demand for his team – but he didn’t have the confidence that he could pull it off  (he since has done this.)

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Patience and understanding the age-level you are at are key
  • Say less, have them do more – make it fun and have ‘hidden’ teaching in there
  • Soccer shooting drills:
    • Knockout
    • Bring out different style balls – tennis ball, big huge ball

Self-Confidence and teaching kids to achieve peak performance

  • Positive Coaching Alliance’s ELM tree of success:
    • Effort – is one of the main things you can control
    • Learning – is what we’re here for
    • Mistakes – are normal and part of growth

Culture – Discipline/Rewards/Teambuilding



  • One rule: ‘Don’t let your teammates down’ – this one universal rule can apply to almost any situation
  • Have fun games right at the beginning of practice – this is a great way to encourage kids to get to practice on time


  • Set team goals


  • Coach Creed gives effort scores – scores based according to their effort capability

The One that Got Away

  • Writing down mistakes is one of the best ways to not let history repeat itself
  • Creed had one girl on his team who had a family member able to attend one of her games for the first time – so he tried to get her extra opportunities – but he didn’t really put her in the best position to succeed and probably added pressure to her.

Best Stolen Idea

When teaching skills – 3 steps:

  1. Show how to do it
  2. Let them practice with slight opposition
  3. Let them practice in game-type setting

Using this you can see progress every practice, not just at the end of the year

Best Quote/Book

  • Quote: ‘Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out’ – John Wooden
  • Book: The Double Goal Coach – Jim Thompson from Positive Coaching Alliance

Parting Advice

  • Make sure you’re winning twice

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