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SPREAD OUT! PASS!

*very personal opinion forthcoming! We all hear this at the weekend, and most of us are likely ‘guilty’ for shouting such commands. Does it work? I don’t think so. Why? The question of why is why do you tell them to pass or to spread out? It’s not in the rules. Of course its not in the rules, but yes one would say that those are 2 key elements to the game. Yet they are not told in relation to the game that is being played by the players. So, spread out. Why? Stop taking the ball off of each…

Parents and their questions

Coaches, Here a quick post on an article with regards to the parents on your team… The claim that the parents do not know what is going on, or understand the game, is fading. Most parents by now have played the game, or perhaps even just watched enough of their other children or professional games, to know what they are seeing and if it is appropriate for their kids. A large part of the resources we have been providing this spring have been focused on the appropriate level of player development, the focus of sharing with the parents, and a…

What is going on in this game?

The sidelines are awash with emotion. Cheering, applause, encouragement, COACHING, willingness for the ball to go in the goal from your player, questioning of the coach or the officials, and generally a lot of commotion that adds the atmosphere of being on the sideline of your players youth soccer game. We are still a generation or two away from a sideline of people that truly understand or have played the game. We are also a long way away from a generation of people that understand what todays Soccer looks like (see previous articles and clinic wrap ups on playing out…

SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 5 PART 2

Rolling over from part 1, into part 2 we continued along the lines of the development of the keeper, but in this instance it is about their importance in helping the team to build an attack by – Playing out of the Back. Why? Maintain possession, draw in the other team to create space further up the field. Developmental focus – give the players the ball at their feet to learn and develop their body position when receiving, first touch, reaction to pressure vs space, ability to make decisions under pressure.* Part 1 of the practice was a simple 1v1,…

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SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 5 part 1

Week 5 was a wonderful finish for the spring season clinics. Part 1 was the goal keeping clinic that was rescheduled due to the rain. 8 coaches and almost 30 players came out and took part in the circuit training for the keepers. The clinic was based on the Master Coach training the coach, who trains the keeper/player. The main points for all of the stations were to encourage the keeper to keep on their toes, to be ready with their hands out, and push off the foot closest to the ball for best reach. Observations show the amount of…

SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 4

Week 4 is in the books. Coaching with small-sided games. The clinic developed from the pre season coaches meeting, and this slide of information. There are many positives to using small-sided games in practice. US Soccer reformatted to small-sided games for young players as they realized the benefits attributed to less numbers on the field – Info right here. Some of the benefits to small-sided games: Players are playing the game, in one format or another. More touches on the ball. More mistakes. More goals to be scored. *Players are in ‘control’ of the game – even if they don’t…

SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 2

Yes, week 2 is posting after week 3, but that’s ok. Possession. We have the ball. If we have the ball, the other team cannot score. We can score if we have the ball.┬áPep Guardiola: Everything starts with the ball and finish with the ball. Sometimes we forget that this is a game with 11 v 11, WITH ONE BALL, and we try to keep this ball, we try to play with the ball, we try to make everything with the ball. Then we get to your game, or the game going on next to you, and the ball rolls…

SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 3

Well, the rain got the better of us. It doesn’t mean that your goal keeper should be forgotten! How can you start training your keeper now? Chances are that you are already doing so… Do you scrimmage for a lot of practice, as advised in the classroom clinic? If you do, then you also probably use keepers. First off – how do I find out who are the keepers, or do I just ask who wants to be a keeper? Suggestion – With all of the extra scrimmaging you are now doing in practice, rotate keepers every 5/6/7/8 minutes. If…

Spring 2017 Coaching Clinic Wrap Up. Week 1

Week 1. Moves like Messi. Messi. We created this clinic around Messi, as one of the greatest players* to have been on the field, to demonstrate what a player could achieve. We also structured the clinic in this way to encourage the coaches to encourage and create environments where players can learn to be as creative and as unpredictable as Messi. Moves like Messi. What are his moves? What does he do? He scores goals – an obviously wonderful move. He scores goals using his laces, as is always coached, but he also scores with his toes, with flicks, with…

Are we scared of using small-sided games?

Upon reflection of the coaches clinics, and other experiences, it is becoming apparent that there is a fear for many coaches to use small-sided games and scrimmages as the main content of their practices. One coach has mentioned a ‘fear of letting go’ from the structured command style skill development used in academies like Ajax with players working in their spaces and working on an isolated skill – the 10,000 touch approach. There seems to be a ‘rule’ that you have to break down the skill to teach the player before they can use it in a game, or have…