Role Reversal: Coaching a former Coach

September 2nd, 2012 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

Lukaku checking back to the ball in front of his defender.

One of the most amazing things about growing up playing soccer your entire life is the relationships you form with different players and coaches.  A little over 10 years ago I was playing club soccer for a team called Leeds United in little old Lancaster County Pennsylvania.  We had our head coach and two assistant coaches, one being my dad, and the other who I can call one of my really good friends to this day.  We play in fantasy soccer leagues together and seem to always be the two teams at the top at the end (he has managed to edge me out every season thus far).  He supports Manchester United, while I support Chelsea.  I know, sometimes it can be tough to manage.  One of the biggest things we share is our love for the English Premier League.

Recently I received an email from him stating how he’s been playing in an over 40 league and the captain told him he thinks he needs him as a forward this year.  In previous years, he was playing as an outside midfielder and he was really comfortable with the position.  He continued by saying he’s beginning to get a better idea of his positioning and making runs through the midfield, but he can’t grasp playing with his back to the goal.  Let’s just say, he came to the right place!

One of the biggest things as a striker is being able to read the game and when you should be making runs and when you should be playing as a target forward.  If you playing on a counter attack, you should be timing your runs to make beyond the last defenders.  An easy way to make sure you’re on-sides is to make your runs in line with the last two defenders.  You want to make sure you are getting in between the two defenders so a ball can be slotted through to you.  One of the hardest runs for defenders to pick up is diagonal runs through the midfield.

An advantage of being a natural midfielder and playing as a striker is you know where the pockets of space should be.  You want to be able to provide your midfielders with an option for them to play into you so you can either A.  give it right back or B.  feel for your defender and spin around them.  The most important element with playing as a target striker and being able to feel where your defenders are located.  Obviously with your back to the goal you can’t see what is behind you but if you use both of your arms to feel for the defender, it gives you “eyes on the back of your head.”  Your teammates should also be communicating with you by telling you “man on” or “turn.”

As a striker, you want to make sure you are not hiding behind your defenders.  Many strikers can get lost in a game if they are not active and continue to make identical runs, it becomes too easy for the defenders to predict your next move.  If you make your run and you don’t get the ball you need to check back to your midfielders and give them another option.  When you get on the ball, you should not be taking more than one or two touches unless you teammates let you know that you have space to turn.  If you can feel for your defender and notice that he’s cheating to one side, fake like you are going to that side and quickly turn the other way.  You will most likely get fouled or you will be able to get away from your defender and find some space to attack.

If you want to be successful at playing as a striker you need to be able to read the game and to determine what runs you should be making.  You need to continue to stay active even if you don’t receive the ball.  You need to understand that even if you don’t receive the ball, by making those runs you are drawing a defender with you and opening up space for someone else.  It is vital for you to give an option for your midfielders.  Mix up your runs and time them so you can get in behind your defense.  Once all is said and done, make sure you put in the finishing touch.  Because you are a striker, and that is your job! 

Soccer Classroom

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Lessons Learned from Coach Joe Falana [600 Game Winner]

November 3rd, 2011 by Admin

Joe Falana (Image: CourierPost)

My high school coach, Joe Falana, earned his 600th high school win this past week placing him among the elite coaches in the country. The NSCAA high school rankings (slightly out of date) shows that he should be in the Top 10 or so for all-time wins in the nation. Obviously, not a bad guy to learn under and absorb his passion.

I played when he won his 200th match and was on teams that won him his second and third state titles. I think this makes me officially old and reminds me of Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days.” Anyway, that only proves my playing days were a long time ago since he’s now at 600 wins and seven state titles. I’m just happy to have coached a number of youth teams who experienced success under Joe. And, I chuckle now as I remember one parent proclaiming 20+ years ago that Joe should retire because the “game had passed him by.” Hope that guy is still practicing elder law because he knows nothing about soccer. Laughable.

When a coach succeeds for such a long time, it’s worth taking a look at the “formula.” Not only has Joe been a top soccer coach, but he has also been a successful entreprenuer – opening a soccer store in 1979 – when the sport was only in its infancy. You can’t have the best players and teams consistently for 37 years, but he finds a way to succeed each and every year. Mr. Falana is a master of instilling focus, motivation and confidence into adolescent high school players to consistently get the best out of his small community of 13,000 (and high school of about 600).

I still distinctly remember the end of year middle school sports meeting heading into high school. We were handed the “Haddonfield Soccer Playbook” (yes, a soccer program with a playbook – hint: we scored LOTS of goals on restarts) that detailed exactly how we played soccer and included “Falanaisms” – special Falana sayings to inspire. We were simply told to memorize it and that practice started on August 27th at 9am. Typical of Joe, the meeting lasted about thirty seconds before we were dismissed.

Here are the coaching and playing lessons I learned from Joe Falana:

Passion: Anything worth doing and achieving is worth being passionate about.

Soccer Priorites: Family, Church, School then Soccer. The only one that could be changed was church before family.

Be Specific, Have Roles & Give feedback: Everyone on a soccer team has a role. And, you’re expected to fill that role. Joe can make your ears bleed. How? Simply don’t fulfill the specific role he’s laid out for you as a player. He’ll give you that feedback straight away – lots of time screaming onto the field, “Who’s man is that?” I don’t think there’s ever been a player on Joe’s sideline who thought, “I don’t know what I have to do to play more.”

Do Something I’ll Remember: A Falanaism to do something remarkable. I have a few stories that aren’t available for public consumption. But, I think I did at least 2 things he remembers. Maybe 3.

Be a Master Storyteller: Joe could inspire or make you laugh by telling stories of previous teams and players – building on the program’s legend that already inspired young players. He spun tales and said things that only a charismatic leader could get away with on a field.

Care about the things you control: Don’t worry about the referee, the other team, the weather, the field conditions. You can’t and won’t control those things, so put it out of your mind. Focus instead on your performance and the impact you can make on a match. A great example of a master motivator providing the “internal locus of control” and focus in order to conquer any challenge.

Win Each Game, Not Every Game: While I was in high school, we were 81-9-8, won four conference, two sectional and two state titles. Our goal was never win a conference, regional or state title – not even to win every game. Our single-minded goal was to win each game – today’s match. After all, you can only play one match at a time. It didn’t matter who we were playing next – the best team or the worst team. Discussing anything other than the very next opponent was grounds for dismissal at practice. It’s why Haddonfield rarely trips up in games it “should” win. And, the ultimate theory was that if we simply win “each game, one game at a time” then everything else takes care of itself.

Don’t be “newspaper” tough: Simply put, we were not allowed to read the newspaper. And, if he ever caught wind that you read the newspaper, the wrath of God fell upon you. This played back into the single focus. Reading the paper talks about yesterday. We have to worry about today. Besides, why would you care about what a washed-up former athlete covering high school sports really thinks anyway? Good point.

Outwork the opponent: “It’s not how good you are…it’s how bad you want to win.” We certainly played against teams that were more skilled than us. But, our relentless dedication to “out-everything” the opponent willed us to wins. A hallmark of Joe’s team through the years is relentless determination.

Operation Rough and Tumble: Joe’s teams have toughness personified. (Chalked up to great storytelling: The player who was told he needed to be tougher to play more and had to be willing to run through fences to win the ball…only to have the player take off from the spot and try to run through a fence. He left a dent in the fence and started the next match.) You have to be tough and courageous to consistently win 50/50 balls. A rally call: “To and through and everything in between…” The reality is that the team that wins the ball controls the game, possession and opportunities, so the forumula was simple: win more balls than the other team. After all, a Falanaism proclaims, “The meek shall inherit the earth, but I say they won’t win the ball.”

And, they wouldn’t win 600 soccer games. Congratulations, Coach, on your well-earned 600th win.

Soccer Classroom

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11 Questions Every Parent Should Ask Their Soccer Coach

August 23rd, 2011 by Admin

Soccer Classroom is all about helping create great experiences for soccer players. With a player-first mentality, parents and coaches should work in harmony to support one another. The only way to foster that understanding is for parents to ask questions. Hopefully, your son or daughter’s soccer coach will conduct a proper pre-season meeting to explain his or her philosophy about the season. The appropriate time to ask questions of the coach is during this meeting, so be prepared.

Unfortunately, if the coach doesn’t have that pre-season meeting, you will need to take the initiative to get these questions answered. As a parent, your job is to walk that fine line between advocating for your child, but not becoming “that” parent. No matter what, asking the following questions will provide you with the necessary insight to your soccer coach, so you can support their efforts. Hopefully, before signing your son or daughter up for a sport, you’ve covered the basics of appropriate level of play and understanding the practice and game schedule. I’m also assuming a baseline of knowledge about practices, number of practices and costs. These questions are structured in a collaborative way to provide insight into the coach’s philosophy and how you can assist the coach to ensure an enjoyable season for everyone. (Note: If you disagree with the coach, be prepared to support him his season. And, raise your hand next season to coach.)

  1. What are your goals for the team?
  2. Are you planning any additional activities for the team (camp, gear, tournaments)? How much additional time and money do you anticipate it to cost?
  3. What is your approach to developing players?
  4. What is your philosophy towards playing time? Does the league mandate playing time?
  5. What is your approach to playing different positions?
  6. What is your policy towards player and parent interactions? What is the appropriate time, method and place if we have questions? (Note: You can recommend setting up a Facebook Group for your soccer team to easily communicate)
  7. How do you handle player feedback for improvement?
  8. What is your policy regarding missed practices or games? Are there acceptable circumstances for missing practices and games?
  9. We respect you stepping forward to coach. How can we as parents make your job easier?
  10. What is the emergency medical plan? Do you have a proper medical kit? (Every team should have one. If you don’t have one, the team should get one or put one together at a drug store.)
  11. What is your expectation for parent’s sideline behavior?

As I researched and thought about this article, I found a number of questions from other websites that I thought were ridiculous (or at least misguided at a coach – but perhaps more appropriate for a club). These questions basically put the coach on the defensive and immediately set up a confrontational relationship between you and the coach – instead of a collaborative, “How do we create the best experiences and how can we help you?”

Among those questions I thought were unfair:

  1. How much training do you have (i.e. do you have a coach’s license or certificate)? This person has volunteered and you haven’t volunteered. It’s an arrogant question. I’ve worked with many questions with little soccer background or training who were great with kids and provided an excellent environment for growth.
  2. Will an automatic external defibrillator (AED) and someone with up-to-date certification and training in first-aid, sports safety, and the use of an automatic external defibrillator be present at all practices and competitions? This is better guided at a club. And, perhaps you’re up-to-date with all your first-aid training and are willing to volunteer to be at every practice and game. I think this is unfair because I always wonder if those parents asking the question are certified themselves for the birthday parties they host or when they have kids over.
  3. Will you agree to set clear boundaries to prevent the possibility of abuse or harassment? Confrontational, for sure. Certainly a better way to phrase that one – like, how are you going to create a fun, developmental atmosphere?
  4. Do you follow a two-adult rule to eliminate the possibility of sexual abuse? Basically, you’re saying, “I think you may be a pedophile.” Again, better ways to phrase that one.
  5. What should we do as parents if we notice that our child is not getting the minimum playing time? If you’ve structured that question better, you’ll understand what the playing time requirements are for players AND you’ll understand how to approach the coach with questions. This assumes that the coach is going to short change players of playing time.
  6. If you cannot make a game, will you let us know who is going to be the coach? Uh, really? No, I’m not going to tell anyone or have any assistant coaches.
  7. Do you plan to emphasize having fun and skill development, and if not, why not? Again, confrontational. You’re not building a relationship, you’re creating an inquisition.
  8. Will you agree to never emotionally abuse players, such as by angrily yelling at players for making mistakes? Talk about assuming the worst. Ask about their method to developing players and you have more insight.
  9. Will you agree to respect officials and not, for example, angrily yell at them for making what you believe to be bad calls? Again, ask about their coaching and developmental philosophy and you have a better perspective.

Asking questions of coaches should always be aimed at how you can build a relationship that keeps a player-first mentality for everyone. Using the driving principle of creating the best experiences possible, we can all work together to create that environment.

Soccer Classroom

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Become A Soccer Coach – Several Very Simple Techniques To Be Successful

August 4th, 2011 by Admin

Become a Better Soccer Coach

It is a fact there are many trainers who struggle a lot to locate effective along with free soccer drills for their players. Really what they are looking for are youth soccer drills that could be performed by the kids on it’s own without any guidance.

You Become A Soccer Coach once you be aware of a few issues:

The drills that do not require any equipment are usually of great help to be able to jump start the training program.
As well as that, these soccer training is designed to fit the performer’s age, learning potential , and also the role they plays to the team.

There’s one great drill to show players your skill for you to dribble a soccer basketball and at one time, be aware of what’s going on around these people.
This drill continues to be used successfully by numerous coaches, and that i can guarantee that it must be so much exceptional than having your players to be able to dribble through cones.

I’ll help you to organize this kind of drill.

In the first place, mark a square around 20 back yards by Something like 20 yards. The quantity of players and their age decides the size of this kind of square.

The identical number of participants should be placed evenly alongside the rectangular. All the players should encounter inwards and every gamer and should have a new ball of their own.

With the coach’s whistle, each player may dribble the basketball to the contrary side and prevent the basketball on the line reverse to them.
This is one of those no cost soccer drills that is straightforward yet successful in instruction the players dribble making use of their n to stay away from ramming directly into each other because they move over the square.

You can add more fun by making players dribble over the sq . and rear which makes them to change 180 certifications with the ball. Keep numerous how frequent gamers have to dribble over the square. In end of each run, a new player is taken away and this carries on until just one player remains. In addition, when the number of avid gamers are few, one can make players operate with the soccer ball and not in order to dribble it.

Your coach will surely have great fun using this drill and also simultaneously train the children many important techniques of dribbling a basketball with the basketball. Some tough and light youth soccer drills are generally added in the particular soccer training packages to make the wedding interesting. One can possibly add some drills which are not directly from the soccer game but are added just for fun.

It is important in soccer coaching that youngsters shouldn’t perform too much of anything.

Become a Soccer Coach – Any time these totally free soccer drills are used in your coaching programs, you’re making the kids to master the essentials in the game swiftly.

Also, each of our youth soccer coaching group is stuffed with such knowledge in the form of articles, notifications, videos and so on. Register as a member right now and get the best edge.

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What Every Coach Needs to Know to Develop Fast Agile Soccer Players

July 6th, 2011 by Admin

soccer agility

Speed Dribbling Past Defenders (Photo: WoodleyWonderWorks)

In the first article in this series the secrets of soccer speed, I briefly introduced three aspects that every coach should know and do to help develop fast & agile players. Over the coming weeks I will go into greater detail in all of these areas, starting with the scientific justification for developing speed skills. The importance of developing players that have speed and agility cannot be overemphasized. Their ability to contribute, cover for mistakes on the field and be totally in control are benefits from this soccer training. As a coach, here’s what you need to know to develop fast, agile players:

  1. The human body consists of over 600 muscles that act on the 206 bones of the skeleton to stabilize and produce movement.  The skeleton therefore provides the framework on which muscles can act to produce movement about a joint.
  2. Dependent on the movement required, some muscles contract to produce the movement, while other muscles work to support the skeleton, and in particular the spine, to maintain posture and prevent movement of other joints.
  3. Muscles are able to contract and develop force either concentrically (by shortening), eccentrically (when lengthening) and isometrically (with no change in length).  It is through a combination of these actions by various muscles that movement is produced, controlled and stabilized.
  4. For example, when your foot hits the ground when running, all the muscles of the lower body first work together eccentrically to stabilize your leg and prevent your leg from bending too far and collapsing (force reduction).  This is immediately followed by powerful concentric contractions to push-off the ground and propel you forwards again (force production).  Whilst all this is happening in the legs, the muscles of the trunk are contracting isometrically to stabilize the spine and help transfer force through the body, with the muscles of the upper body working in a similar pattern of eccentric and concentric contractions to pump the arms forward and backwards to assist the movement of the legs.
  5. All speed & agility actions such as acceleration, deceleration and change of direction go through this same cycle of force reduction followed immediately by force production, which is referred to as the stretch-shortening cycle (SSC).  During the force reduction phase the muscles contract eccentrically, increasing in length while absorbing the force (stretching).  This also stores elastic energy in the muscles that can be utilized to increase the force produced during the shortening, concentric contraction phase.
  6. Therefore, it is vital to train the body to reduce force as well as produce force to enhance the SSC mechanisms.  It is also during the force reduction phase of movement that the risk of injury is at its greatest, making force reduction training ie landing/stopping an essential aspect of all good speed programs.
  7. All muscular contractions require input from, and are controlled by, the nervous system.  The nervous system can both send and receive signals to create and control movement and the rate and magnitude of force production/reduction.  Small electrical impulses are sent to the relevant muscles along the complex network of nerves that run from the brain through the spinal cord (central nervous system) and out to the muscles (peripheral nervous system).  This triggers a series of chemical reactions within the muscle to release energy and create movement, and at the same time receiving signals from sensory receptors within the muscles and joints that detect joint movement position, speed, rate of stretch, that can trigger reflexive muscle activation to protect the joints and muscles and maintain posture and joint alignment.  This sensory feedback process is known as “proprioception.”
  8. The key factor to remember is that the brain does not recognize individual muscle activity, it only recognizes patterns of movement.  The brain looks at the movements that are required and creates a coordinated sequence of muscle activity, with all the muscles working together to produce the desired movement.  This is known as a motor program.
  9. Over time, the more a motor program is used, the more efficient and refined it becomes, like a well trodden path through the nervous system.  Once mastered, these motor programs can run almost unconsciously, freeing up vital processing space in the brain to concentrate on the problem-solving and decision-making elements of a match or practice.
  10. Therefore, it can be seen that the ability to move with speed & agility demands a high level of nervous system control and co-ordination, requiring many hours of practice, guidance and development to master these movement skills and perform them efficiently and effectively during a match.

Remember, speed & agility are skills that must be taught, learned and developed just like any other skill. What are you doing to help your players become faster and more agile?

Soccer Classroom

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Soccer Coaching Q&A with Coach Cip #2

June 9th, 2011 by Admin

Here’s part two in our series of video responses to soccer coaching questions from our subscribers.

The second question we discussed was as follows:

“What is the best way to get players to communicate on the field?”

Here’s the answer:

Tap into the latest coaching techniques and learn how to dramatically increase your players’ skills quickly & easily…CLICK HERE to find out how…

Please  comment below to let us know what questions we can answer for you. Show us you are alive!

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Related posts:

  1. Soccer Coaching Q&A #3 – Introducing the Flat Back Four
  2. Soccer Coaching Q&A With Coach Cip #1
  3. Understanding the Offside Rule – Part 2

Ultimate Soccer Coaching

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Five Awesome Things My Disobedient Dog Taught Me About Being a Great Coach

April 18th, 2011 by Admin

Our New Dog Blake

My family always had a dog. We’re dog people. Growing up, we had three dogs: two German Shepherds and a French Poodle. While I’m a little young to remember Bootsy and Chip, I do remember the loveable French ball of fur, Fluffy. It’s what inspired me to want another dog.

When I finished college, my friends approached me about taking their Golden Retriever/Lab mix. With a second newborn and 900 square feet of duplex to share, it was just overwhelming. I didn’t realize when I took on the challenge of Kita that she was single-handedly putting me through “Coach’s Boot Camp.”

I loved Kita. But, she was also a pain in the ass.

Kita was a demanding dog that would double cross you the second you turned your head. Through our experience together, Kita taught me five critical things that prepared me to become a great soccer coach.

1. Set Expectations

As we transitioned from our friend’s home to our home, there were different expectations. For instance, Kita was allowed on their furniture; she was not allowed on our furniture. We had to set that expectation early and reinforce that each and every time she tried to get on the couch. And, inevitably, she would almost always want to hop on the couch if you were on it.

Transitioning a dog from one home to another is much like a team changing coaches or forming for the first time. Their previous habits aren’t the same as the ones you want in your home.

Your expectations must be backed up with consistent behavior. It was only through months of consistent expectations and behavior that we created a new pattern of behavior.

Coaches make their lives way harder by not setting expectations. Here are three ways I set expectations with my team, which allows the season to flow beautifully and efficiently:

  • Starting Practice – First players to practice knows to meet me at the car and grab the balls and other coaching gear
  • Setting up Practice – At the start of the season, I will setup the playing grid areas. I will also communicate clearly with my players to look around and pay attention. I set the expectation that they will setup the fields with me in the future and will mention “We’re in a 20×20 grid” along the way. In the future, I can ask players to help efficiently run the practice, so I can address players on the sidelines during a break and others can keep practice moving. It is a shared experience.
  • Ending Practice – Many coaches get turned off because they feel like their job is to clean-up. My players know that I expect them to have everything gathered, cones picked up as they exit the practice field, balls in the bag and all gear dropped by my car. I’m their coach, not their maid.

By setting clear expectations with consistent adherence, we can build teamwork community and know our roles for success.

2. Give Attention to Get Attention

Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason. They have boundless energy and excitement over you simply showing up. But, I learned there is a threshold to that point.

I was traveling a lot for work and my dad was sharing the duties with the dog. Slowly, in time, Kita lost her enthusiasm for me. She no longer greeted me at the door. At times, I felt a little bit like a jilted lover. Kita stopped giving because I hadn’t return the favor.

As coach, you can’t have endless goodwill and enthusiasm “just because” you’re the boss. You have to come to practices mentally prepared to give some attention. It’s the only way you’ll get attention.

If you want to get the most out of your coaching relationship, be prepared to give first…then get.

3. Develop A Common Language

For Kita and me to have a successful relationship, I had to teach her simple commands. Sit, stay, no, good and come were about as far as we got…but it allowed us to have a common language. Instead of looking at me like an alien, our common language allowed us to communicate and interact.

As coaches, I’m sure you’ve seen that, “What is the alien talking about?” look a few times. We need to develop our own language with our players. Just like my dog, short, simple commands work best (so does short, simple feedback). To allow everyone to feel success and on the same page, here are a few words you should be introducing to your players:

  • Square
  • Man on
  • Turn
  • Through
  • Flag
  • Dummy
  • Pressure

Develop a shared language with your players and you relieve a lot of tension and set yourself up for success.

4. Trust, But Pay Attention

With all the work I put in with Kita, we really developed a trust and a bond. Sometimes, that trust and bond was tested.

Kita suddenly started getting out of our backyard. I scoured the backyard for holes in the fence. I checked and double checked the latch on the gate, which was always closed despite her roaming the neighborhood.

Despite the trust we developed, I had to keep an eye on her. I watched one of the most athletic feats from a dog I’ve ever seen. It was the damndest thing. Kita would wait for me to walk back in the house and she would scale a five foot fence like she was a nimble ten year old kid. Front paws ¾ of way up fence, pulled hind legs up, steadied, front legs to top of fence and one leap over. Outrageous.

Now, Kita knew she shouldn’t be jumping out of the backyard – it’s why she waited for me to leave and she never did it while I was out back. Your players are going to test you and will push the envelope at every turn. Trust your players, but also know they’re going to do dumb things, so pay attention and hold them accountable.

As a side note (since coaching is always interrelated), during these episodes, our communication broke down because I stopped using our shared language and instead started screaming her name, “Kita, Kita, Kita.” I wasn’t communicating anything. It was just noise. About the fifth time this happened, I simply and sternly called, “Come.” Amazingly, she did. Duh!

5. Love and Affection Works Way Better than Hitting the Snout

Like all dogs, Kita loved to be in the moment and please me. She loved nothing better than being petted, play catch with the ball or just simply hang out. Life is good.

I had learned that by providing positive feedback when she was doing right that she wanted to do it more often. The joy was in the pleasing and the fun interactions.

But, like everything we make mistakes.

My sister loves to bake cookies for Christmas. She always made this twenty-four inch catering style tin of cookies. It was certainly more than a human could possibly eat during the holiday season– and I loved to eat her cookies. As I found out, Kita loves to eat Jen’s cookies, too.

When I showed up on that fateful “Cookie Heist” day, instead of hitting Kita’s snout, I ignored the behavior. She knew exactly what she had done since she was cowering in the corner when I arrived home. Besides, I’m sure the three day spell of upset stomach gave her a good indication not to do it again.

Kids know when they’ve messed up on a soccer field. You don’t have to tell them. I cringe when I hear coaches and parents yell, “Why did you [insert: screw up, miss] that [insert: shot, tackle, head ball, move, save]? I find it stunts their creativity and confidence.

I had learned that by reinforcing good behavior consistently, Kita became a better dog and did less frustrating things – even though there were slip-ups along the way. By creating a fun environment with positive expectations and rewards, our relationship became enjoyable for all involved. Even though Kita has passed, her lessons to me live on…little did I know that my coaching foundation would be formed by a dog.

Soccer Classroom

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Soccer Coaching: 7 Ways To A Better Coach

April 7th, 2011 by Admin

Soccer coaching

Have you ever imagined how lack of soccer coaching and playing experience can affect the proficiency and confidence of a coach? Allow me to present different angles of a coach’s persona that can aptly be called the traits of a soccer coach.

Personality: Experience is an effective tool but it’s not nearly as important as personality. How successful a coach is, is determined by his/her personality, whether the end-result is a fun game without any physical and mental pressures or the creation of a consistently strong team.

Knowledge of the game: It’s imperative for a coach to be ready to learn new strategies and latest techniques in soccer. Understanding of the game’s rules, strategies, and tactics is a basic prerequisite for gaining player’s respect.

Enthusiasm and interest: In the course of a soccer training program, become a salesperson. When they begin to like the session, inspiring them becomes an easy task. It’s also vital to be open to a player’s needs with respect to team goals, no matter what their age. If the kids freely ask questions, their interest in the game is sustained.

Soccer Coaching

Persistence and Patience: It is bad to ignore the inability of the player to perform soccer drills. When a player cannot perform well, he or she does not show the inclination for lessons. Putting up unreal goals leads to frustration in young players. Therefore, be patient and persevere as players try to motivate themselves in moving from one session to another.

Ability to manage priorities: Devise a step-by-step method of learning that meets the needs of all players in the team. During soccer coaching, players must get sufficient time and opportunities to practice the lessons learnt during training. Only after the old skills have been mastered, should you move to the new skill.

Single-mindedness: A coach must take a genuine interest in the skills and social and moral behavior of each player. If you remain sensitive to their needs and aspirations, you will surely win them over. In order to be a great player, strength of character in victory as well as in defeat builds the foundation for a player’s success.

Understand the learning process: A concise understanding of the process of learning results in overall team development. Inspire the players to go all out in doing exercises that make a difference to their thinking and acting.

Motivate the players to learn soccer skills through participation, demonstration, and guidance. The learning process ends only when the kids do what they have been taught. Learning requires active experience and not just plain teaching.

Imagination: Make situations that challenge the player’s imaginations, bring them pleasure in performing tasks, and serve important game drills. Cheer up the players to make their sessions more innovative and pleasing.

In your own interest, use these soccer coaching attributes and you will see yourself rise to the heights of soccer coaching. You can subscribe to more of such simple yet effective tips and techniques on our youth coaching community pages, so join today!


Andre Botelho is a recognized authority in youth soccer coaching and has already helped thousands of youth coaches to dramatically improve their coaching skills. Learn  how to explode your players’ skills and make training fun by downloading your free ebook at: Youth Soccer Practice.


Coaching Soccer Drills

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Become A Soccer Coach – 10 Lethal Sins

March 19th, 2011 by Admin

Become a Better Soccer Coach

It is true that we now have many instructors who wrestle a lot to find effective as well as free soccer drills for his or her players.
Really what they are seeking are youth soccer drills that could be performed through the kids all alone without any direction.

A person Become A Soccer Coach as soon as you notice a few issues:

  • The drills that do not effectively require any kind of equipment are generally of great help for you to jump start the training program.
    Apart from that, these soccer exercises are designed to go well with the player’s age, mastering potential , and the role he or she plays for the team.

There exists one wonderful drill to train players the particular skill to dribble a soccer soccer ball and at once, be aware of what is happening around these people. This routine has become proven to work by many coaches, and i also can guarantee it is so much superior than getting your players to be able to dribble through cones.

Sure that this drill demands far more involvement via players however it makes sure of it in soccer train.

I’ll allow you to organize this specific

To begin with, mark a new square around 20 metres by 30 yards. The amount of players as well as their age makes a decision the size of this specific square.

The identical number of gamers should be situated evenly together with the rectangular. All the participants should encounter inwards and every gamer and should have the ball of their.

With the coach’s whistle, each player may dribble the golf ball to the reverse side which will help prevent the ball on the line opposite to them.
This really is one of those totally free soccer drills that is simple yet effective in training the players dribble with their heads up to keep away from ramming into each other because they move over the square.

You can add more entertaining by making players dribble along the sq and back again driving them to to turn 180 degrees with the soccer ball.
Keep varying how often players have to dribble across the square. At end of every run, a new player is eliminated and also this carries on until only one player remains. In addition, if the quantity of avid gamers are number of, one can increase the risk for players run with the soccer ball and not in order to dribble it.

Your coach will surely have great fun using this type of drill along with simultaneously teach the kids many important approaches of dribbling a basketball with the ball. Some tough and light youth soccer drills are usually added in the actual soccer training programs to make the big event interesting. It’s possible to add some drills which aren’t directly of this particular soccer game but they are added just for fun.

It is crucial in soccer coaching that youngsters shouldn’t accomplish too much of anything.

Become a Soccer Coach – Whenever all these free of charge soccer drills are employed in your instruction programs, you create the kids to learn the essentials with the game rapidly.

Also, our own youth soccer coaching group is stuffed with this sort of awareness in the form of articles, notifications, videos etc. Register as a member nowadays and get the cutting edge edge.

Tryouts Soccer

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Become A Soccer Coach – Tactics Unveiled!

March 13th, 2011 by Admin

Become Soccer Coach

The truth is that there are many coaches who have difficulty a lot to discover powerful and also free soccer drills because of their players.
Truly what they are searching for are youth soccer drills that may be performed with the kids on it’s own without any guidance.

You Become A Soccer Coach any time you learn a very few things:

  • The drills which do not require just about any equipment are of great help to be able to kick start working out program.
    After that, these soccer work outs are designed to match the performer’s age, studying potential , and also the role they plays for that team.

There is certainly one fantastic drill to teach players the skill for you to dribble a soccer basketball and at one time, be aware of what’s going on around them.
This punch has been used successfully by a lot of coaches, i can guarantee it is so much outstanding than having your players in order to dribble through cones.

Certain that this exercise demands much more involvement through players nonetheless it makes sure from it in soccer train.

I’ll enable you to organize this drill.

In the first place, mark any square around 20 meters by 20 yards. The amount of players and their age makes a decision the size of this square.

The same number of gamers should be located evenly alongside the sq .. All the participants should deal with inwards and every gamer and should have the ball that belongs to them.

With the coach’s whistle, each player will dribble the golf ball to the contrary side and prevent the basketball on the line reverse to them.
This is one of those free soccer drills that is basic yet efficient in education the players dribble using heads up to keep away from ramming into each other as they move throughout the square.

One can possibly add more fun by making the members dribble across the rectangular and again driving them to to show 180 degrees with the basketball.
Keep various the number of times participants really need to dribble over the square. From end of the run, a new player is eradicated and this remains until just one player remains. In addition, in the event the number of gamers are number of, one can result in the players manage with the ball and not to be able to dribble it.

The particular coach may have great fun with this drill and also simultaneously show the children a lot of important approaches of dribbling a basketball with the golf ball. Some tough and light youth soccer drills are usually added in the soccer training plans to make the big event interesting. You can add some drills which aren’t directly for this soccer game but are added for entertainment.

It is crucial within soccer coaching that youngsters shouldn’t do too much of anything.

Become a Soccer Coach – While all these free soccer drills are used in your education programs, you are making the kids to find out the requirements of the game rapidly.

Also, each of our youth soccer coaching community is filled with such knowledge in the form of articles, newsletters, videos and so on. Register as a member right now and get the key edge.

Coaching Soccer Drills

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