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    • #736

      SF Youth Soccer has updated its Resources pages.
      Have you a link to recommend? Please post here.
      Coach & Team Resources
      Referee Resources

    • #55143
      Lee Dunne

      Take a look at the newest post in the Category of ‘Coaching’ (over to the right). We use an NSCAA article regarding the thoughts on coaching youth soccer.

    • #55160
      Lee Dunne

      A new post coming today about learning, as a coach. Too many times a coach takes on the role and forgets to learn for themselves from experiences, situations, or from available resources. Many coaches assume the role because they may just know it all… Check point 8 in the article.

    • #55171
      Lee Dunne

      SFYS are providing spring pre-season coaching clinics.
      It all begins in the office on 2-15 and 2-16 (specifics can be found on the home page).

      The office clinic will cover:
      Information about the Season
      Programs coming from SFYS
      Field clinic schedule and topics
      Formation suggestions
      Practice suggestions
      Discussion and team/coach opportunities

      No matter what year of coaching this is for you, we encourage you to come along for multiple reasons. Above all, you will be meeting other coaches! We have an exciting opportunity that will support you and your team for further playing opportunities and development.

    • #55239
      Lee Dunne

      Coaching clinics are underway.

      Week 1 – Moves like Messi. Article to come on this shortly.

      Week 2 – Individual and Team possession. With an expected low turn out, those that registered are receiving team training around this topic, so over the next 2 weeks we will have teams attending clinics with SFYS director of programs Lee Dunne. The practice with each team will introduce the ideas behind individual possession and how that can work for the team and group possession.

      Updates from weeks 3,4, and 5 will follow as they happen.

    • #55248
      Lee Dunne

      In reply to the Coaching Clinic wrap up from Week 3
      Is it worth using 1 of your practices to work on the keepers?

      How are you doing it?
      Scrimmage the whole time, rotate the keepers and focus solely on them as the practice goes. Winner, I think.
      Isolate keeper techniques and train the whole team as a keeper for the practice? I think it is a waste of valuable time – the players, especially in the recreational youth level, should be players with the ball at their feet first.

      Don’t forget, if you are coaching for development, then the kid who lets the most goals in should still be able to play in goal and your ‘best keeper’ should still be on the field learning to be a player. At this age the players will be learning about the game and about themselves and losing games or letting in goals will be an integral part of their development. We are also providing more information for parents to read about how to develop their own player, and encouragement through these situations is a constant focus.

    • #55253
      Lee Dunne

      Additional thoughts, tied to week 2 coaching clinic…
      * If we are truly focusing on development, then we should be encouraging (and providing the practice environment) for players to make mistakes and learn from having the ball at their feet. Simply kicking the ball away is not only detrimental to possession, but also to your players confidence and ability to have the ball.

      ** My advice. Consider what it is about possession that it is important. Keeping the ball for 80% of the time (doesn’t always work) or is it as simple as keeping the ball once your players have won it. Consider watching 5 minutes of a game and noting every time your team wins the ball and every time they give it away. I think you’ll find a lot of value in paying attention to this and noting that it is not necessarily about passing, but decisions on the ball.

      *** Passing, with younger developing players, should be a secondary IMO. Encouraging players to have the ball at their feet and learn to dribble, beat players, and even lose the ball and goals, will help them to learn. I added in that players should look for the goal – where is the goal? Can you score? Scoring is the most rewarding aspect of the game and every player should experience scoring goals. This can be done with the coaching questioning – can you score?

      Share your feedback –

    • #55260
      Lee Dunne

      In reply to the Coaching Clinic wrap up from Week 4

      Coaches struggling to ‘let go’.
      This is a common issue in which coaches see the ‘game’ and feel like they don’t have control. Many coaches, I think, attribute their coaching to how they were coached and, given that US Soccer only moved to small-sided in 2015, it it understandable that they were probably not coached in such a player-centric environment. Knowing we only have 1 practice for every young team and 1 game per week, understandably, coaches want to coach as much as they can and see the way to coach is the traditional technical approach of isolating the skills.
      However, with the players in control the coach can watch. This is something that a coach does not do enough. They don’t watch their players play the game (even at the weekend – joystick).

      My personal style is to let the game do the teaching. Letting the players play and use teachable moments in the game. I don’t particularly isolate the technique of ‘how to pass’. Why? How do you pass the ball? Instep of the foot? Sure, but what about if the ball is behind you, or if it is to your side, and you are under pressure? You may poke it with your toes, roll it with the sole of the foot, or use any other method of getting the ball where it goes. If you isolate that technique then it becomes disconnected from the game and the WHY – Why should you do that, why did you do that etc.

      When you watch, as a coach, you can see what a player could have done differently and you can coach them as it applies to the situation. Think about your games at the weekend and, in sticking with the passing technique example, how often do they get the time or have the composure to control the ball and play it the ‘correct way’?

      You learn about the team – you see if they understand the game, you see if you understand the game! Many coaches do not for several reasons: They are most likely a volunteer and never played or played as a high school kid. Then the other way where they played in college or better. However, neither relates to the soccer they are now involved in with their kid (as is the most common situation). Your former soccer days are far different to what the kids are experiencing. They are not little adults and can’t do the former-pro stuff!
      You can begin to implement game nuances – when they win the ball, can they score or do they just kick it away? When they lose the ball, can they stop the other team from scoring or do they just give up?

      Playing the game is fun for them. Case and point – I coached at another club before moving to SFYS. Practice started at 5pm. It was slog to get to the field, navigate through the busy parking lot, and then find the practice area with 8+ teams all on the same fields. I started every practice with a scrimmage. The benefit? Every kid knew what they were getting to do when they got to practice and therefore much more eager to get there. Much more eager to get there, much more annoying to their parents about getting there and therefore getting there earlier. So, by the end of the season, the majority of the team were there and playing by 4.50pm with a smile on their face.

      Second point. If the defenders do not have a goal to score in, they soon lose interest. Or if they ever ask ‘what do I do when I win it?’ then we have failed in our practice planning – we need to consider the whole game and reward the defenders when they win the ball. It is a coaching moment for you when your attackers lose the ball (if you are focusing on the attackers), but you need to have reward to make it like a game.

      Referee blows the whistle for something. Players have no idea. Parents probably also have no idea. Coach may have an idea, but hadn’t gotten around to ‘teaching’ that to the players.
      Play small-sided games and follow the game rules. Play with offside (if it relates to your age group), call fouls, and throw-ins and teach those moments in the game. Don’t isolate the throw-in ‘because we keep giving up foul throws’, instead play the game and give throw-ins to teach the players the rules as it pertains to the game – why its a foul throw, where they could play quickly etc.

      Questions here on my thoughts? let me know –

    • #55268
      Lee Dunne

      In reply to the clinic – SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 5 PART 1

      We discussed the use of keepers and how to train them extensively.
      Whilst the core theme of the clinic was practices for training the keepers technique, it is not realistic for this to be a practice focus when teams only have 1 practice per week.

      I emphasized the use of keepers in regular practice, and to be able to spend some time focusing on them, whilst there are game situations occurring. 1v1 with goal keepers, as we did in the clinic, will help the players play the game and the keepers to experience a real attacker trying to score on them – something that many will not experience until they concede goals in game.

      Then the question of ‘should all players be goal keeper?’.
      Yes. I think so.
      With younger ages – 2nd and 3rd grade then yes absolutely. In practice the position should be rotated regularly – 5 mins of keeper time, for example, is the standard that the players can expect and become a normal part of ‘playing the game’. If the position is built up ‘who is keeper today’ then it intimidates some and leaves others forced to play the position because ‘they’re the best at it’.
      If you can build in a familiarity for the players of the position and provide a level of coaching for them to feel confident (as outlined in the original post) then they are going to be happier at playing their half of the game between the posts’.

    • #55274
      Lee Dunne

      In reply to the post – SPRING 2017 COACHING CLINIC WRAP UP. WEEK 5 PART 2

      * – I think it is such a valuable lesson for players to learn. Giving them the ball under pressure and making mistakes. We can encourage creativity to get away from pressure, but we will also concede goals from poor touches and bad passes etc.
      Yes, when it comes to games you will concede goals and often quite a few. My approach is purely for player development. Do it over and over again encouraging when the players make mistakes and praising when they score. In the game format (well, prior to the game and especially with young players), I create a ‘goal system’. If we concede a goal from trying to do this and the other team sneak in and steal it away, then it ‘doesn’t really count’. I would write a 1 on my clipboard, show the team and rub it off so they see it. Yes of course the goal still counts, but in the developmental world, it does not. Then, if the other team do score a good goal, we can appreciate it and ‘award them the goal’. There are so many learning moments when you are not ‘trying to win’.

      ‘trying to win’. Yes of course I am trying to win, but trying through teaching the players to be comfortable and confident with the ball. When they become comfortable and confident, they have more fun and more success. More success = more goals and more wins. Although it may come a season or 2/3/4 down the road, the big picture is what I care about.

      I am also a nice guy. This helps. Say hello to the other coach, pay a genuine interest in them and their team. Why? Because when they keep stealing the ball to ‘win the game’ you could politely ask them to help you out a little and pull their attackers back. It could help a lot. Also assuming they are up by a couple of goals, most decent coaches are open to helping when they are in a comfortable position. You could also talk before the game and ask to make an ‘agreement’ in the interest of the development of the kids that your players will drop back a little bit. OR, as a league we can implement a ‘build out line’ .

      ** – My favorite way to play in this situation is to play into the #6. Why? Because that is where the pressure is. If the defenders chase the ball down, it creates more space outside – young players will chase the ball, so having the #6 play a negative to the keeper will encourage them to chase, losing their shape.
      If this happens, I focus a lot on what the #6 does now – she should turn and get up the field to support the #2 or #3 in their attack and not watch the game go by, especially now the White defenders are chasing the ball.

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