Tag Archives for " development "

Different Games Teach Different Skills

Each winter soccer teams in the cold weather states are forced inside to continue to train and play. Some are fortunate enough to continue playing the game as they do outdoor. Facilities like Total Soccer in Wixom, MI provide 11 v 11 and 8 v 8 fields indoors.

These facilities are rare around the United States so most teams are left with one or two options: Futsal or Indoor Soccer (also known as Arena Soccer). The two formats are very different

Futsal is FIFA's recognized form of soccer indoors. It is played all over the world is the only form of soccer indoors that offers a World Cup. Futsal is often played on a basketball sized surface with goals that are 3 meters wide by 2 meters tall. Each team plays with four field players and a goalkeeper. The Futsal ball is a, 'low bounce' ball that is one size smaller than the ball each age group plays with outdoor. The rules are almost the same as outdoor soccer with a few exception.

Arena Soccer is played on a field most similar to a

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A Letter to Parents

I have nephews that play competitive baseball and my sister told me about a letter a coach sent to the parents of  his youth baseball team before the season. She described how  it covered the different roles and responsibilities of the parents, coaches and players. The parallels to youth soccer were instantly obvious. She found a link to it on the web site of a Kansas City youth baseball organization run by a former professional baseball player, Kevin Seitzer.

As we come to the end of one year and approach tryouts for next year, I though that this letter might help other coaches communicate their expectations move effectively to the parents and players on their teams.

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Training Creativity Out of Our Kids

Training skillful creative soccer players has been a passion of mine since I began coaching almost 25 years ago. There is nothing more enjoyable or rewarding than seeing young players gain confidence in their ability with the ball at their feet. I also look at this as an educational experience that extents beyond the soccer field.

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3 Simple Rules for Youth Coaches

As a coach I focus most of my session planning and design around the techniques and tactics that my players need to improve their performance and reach their goals. Reading this post from Scott Moody, our Conditioning Expert at the Soccer FIT Academy, I was reminded that it is not enough to coach the physical and mental part of the game. It's my responsibility to trigger the players imagination and passion for the game so that they will continue to enjoy the process of training and playing. Without this passion they are more likely to give up playing because

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Progressing Sessions as Players Improve

One of the most important decisions we make as coaches is when to move through the various stages of skill development with our players. Move on too soon before the technique is mastered and the players performance becomes sloppy and inconsistent. If you wait too long to challenge the players with the next level of a skill or tactic and they will become bored and unmotivated so they just go through the motions. This will also hurt they're performance because they'll begin to develop bad habit through lazy practice. We've all seen a team that can keep great possession in a 5 v 2 exercise but lose composure (and possession) when the pressure is greater in a game situation.

Just as importantly, we have to decide what is the best way to progress a given skill or tactical idea. Most coaches will progress

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Adult Rules for Youth Soccer

I attended a tournament a few weeks ago with a set of rules that I haven't seen used for young teams in any other event. A player was not allowed to re-enter the game once they were substituted in each half. So a player could start the game, play for 20 minutes before being subbed but could not re-enter the game until the second half. The age groups involved were U11 to U14 girls.

The reasons for limiting substitutions in the game when it's played at the highest level make sense and contribute to an attractive and skillful game. If professional teams were allowed to 'roll' players in and out, the game would be more focused on speed and athleticism and much less on the skill of the players. There would also be substantially more physical play because if one of your defenders

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Coaching More Than Just Soccer

4-4-2 vs 4-5-1 vs 3-5-2 Technical training vs tactical training vs functional training. Zonal defending vs man to man marking. Pushing up into an offside trap vs sitting back and “parking the bus”. Coaches have these types of conversations (either with other coaches or internally with themselves) on a regular basis.  The conversations I don’t

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