Should I take private soccer classes? Are they worth it?

At almost every tryout I am approached by a proud parent who wants to share that they have bought private soccer classes for their kid. However, at the tryouts, nothing confirms that. It looks like a theft when looking at how technically deficient the kid is compared to the other players who have never had a private lesson. Let me be clear, I am not saying that you should never take a private soccer class. But nobody tells you when you should take one. At worst, it’s the team soccer coach trying to get extra money from the parents by offering individual classes to the same players, because the parents cannot coach their kids soccer as it is something they don’t know. At best, it’s a knowledgeable soccer player who knows little about actual coaching. Either way, it’s not what we want.

Should I get private soccer classes?

Whether or not to get private soccer classes depends on your specific goals, budget, and learning preferences. Private classes can offer personalized attention and faster progress, but they should only be used as a supplement for the group lesson and the self-guided practice. They should be used to fix a particular problem that the player needs help with and not to think of them as a substitute for team practices, individual practices, or without a purpose.

The levels of experience the players need, at any level and any age, are these:

  1. Game experience – Even at the highest professional level, players move clubs to get playing time. There is no way a player can progress if they don’t get competitive playing experience. I recommend playing pickup games and rec leagues if possible. This is in addition to the team games and practices. I recommend a significant amount of unstructured playing time. Please make sure you make that happen.
  2. Team practice – If the player is more serious about soccer, join a team at least for a year. That will bring some structure and some experience in both practices and games. Don’t judge immediately based on the quality of the coach, the teammates, and the opponents. It is likely that there will be much variation in the talent and commitment of the players at an early age. Adjusting for the right coach and teammates will never end. Just look at Ronaldo and Messi moving continents!
  3. Individual practice – Kids don’t understand that individual practice is related to performance. So, we need to make sure we show that to them. When a player understands that they need to start doing the individual drills themselves, they will start to progress rapidly. If they enjoy doing them, then we have the next soccer superstar in our backyard. I show individual drills at team practices. However, it will be up to the players to do many, many repetitions on their own. Especially when they are very young, they need to make a game out of it with soccer toys.
  4. Private lessons – Only once we are done with the first 3 buckets and are hungry for more, do we need to look for private soccer classes. Good private coaches will ask what you want to fix and if you barely play soccer, how would you know? So, make sure you spend lots of time playing, going to team practices and games, and doing your own individual practices before looking for private lessons.

How to determine if the private soccer classes are worth it?

Let’s assume that the player has been trying something specific, like a goalkeeper doing long kicks. If they have been trying for weeks, have worked with their coach, and tried to make it work on their own time, but keep failing to execute. If a quality coach can solve that issue in a class or two, then that’s a good use of time and money. However, when the private coach starts teaching the same drills over and over again, just to get through the time, it’s time to move on. They see soccer coaching as a side job to make money and that’s it. In fact, if the lesson is “Let’s do the same with our other foot”, then it should be the last class. Instead, when I coach, I give homework to repeat the drills with both feet. Then, I ask to come back once that is done.

How much does a private soccer class cost?

Depending on the location and reputation of the coach, prices can vary from $35 to $200+. The price variation can be steep. But high price doesn’t guarantee results. Coaches often offer a discount when signing up for multiple classes at once. You can find coaches on various platforms, but the best is word-of-mouth recommendations. Feel free to reach out to us and we might be able to help looking for a coach in your area.

Note that while reputation and quality are often correlated, they are often not linked. You need to judge the coach’s character. Firstly, are they here with the purpose of significantly improving the player? No, we are not talking about keeping them active. They need to make substantial fixes to individual elements of the player. Secondly, they need to have a plan. When I coach a team, I always have a plan on what to teach them. I can change that if I see something more pressing, but I always have a plan. Finally, they need to admit when they don’t know something. While I coach all positions on my team, I ask the goalkeeping coach to do individual practices for my goalkeepers. You don’t want wrong advice to be the only advice because of the price paid for it.


I hope this helped you decide on your private lessons. We wrote a clear step-by-step guide to help you decide when to get individual soccer classes. It’s not an easy decision and you might get it wrong. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to experiment. I always try to see where I can learn and get value. However, when it doesn’t work, I am happy to move on. So, be open to changes and make sure you follow the structure. Get lots of unstructured play, join a team, and do individual practice. Only then consider getting private lessons with a clear goal in mind. Good luck and feel free to reach out for a question or a chat!