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When I start coaching a new team I try to schedule a four day camp before our normal training schedule begins. Having four straight days with the team allows us all to get to know each other and lets me see what kind of players I'll be working with.
The sessions I present depend on the age and level of experience of the players. This year I started coaching a U12 girls team so the examples I give here will be based on that age group. They are a very competitive group of girls that have all played at a high level locally so I also take that into consideration while planning the sessions.
Regardless of the age group I like to start out the first day withContinue reading
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 progressContinue reading
I've always liked the way that Anson Dorrance attempts to quantify everything that his teams do in practice. Keeping score creates motivation and encourages a competitive attitude better than anything else. This also creates a benchmark that you can test against later in the season to gauge how effective your training sessions have been inContinue reading
As August approaches many teams in the Midwest United States are starting their preseason program, including my U12 girls. At this age I think it’s important for the kids to have a break during the summer months and have time to just be a kid. This makes preseason even more important because I need toContinue reading