One of the benefits of coaching within a large club is the opportunity for continued coaching education from the Technical Director. The club I coach with is Sporting Blue Valley, an affiliate club of Sporting Kansas City of the MLS. Peter Vermes is the Technical Director and Head Coach for Sporting Kansas City but alsoContinue reading
When I'm adding a new drill, exercise or small-sided game to a training session I know that the players will go through three separate phases of learning; first, they need to focus on the framework and rules of the activity, then they can pay attention to the technique that the activity requires. Only then can they play with the necessary speed and intensity that will replicate a game situation.
One of the biggest mistakes I see from coaches is a lack of attention and patience to the first two phases so that they can get to the final phase. They push players to play quickly and game like before theyContinue reading
One of the perks of being apart of WORLD CLASS COACHING is that I have access to a large library of training sessions from some of the top professional, collegiate, and youth coaches. We have published books and DVDs on every aspect and topic of coaching. I often refer to our DVD especially for newContinue reading
With the outdoor season coming to an end in the Midwest of the United States, I’m turning my attention Futsal training. For anyone not familiar with Futsal, it’s played with a ball that is one size smaller than the ball the players use outdoor (U9-U12 play with a size three ball while U13 and aboveContinue reading
This is the first time I’ve coached a team with two players that think of themselves as full-time goalkeepers. We came to an understanding before the season began as to how playing time would be divided. We also decided which events they would have a chance to play on the field when they were notContinue reading
This is the first time I've coached a team with two players that think of themselves as full-time goalkeepers. We came to an understanding before the season began as to how playing time would be divided. We also decided which events they would have a chance to play on the field when they were not in goal. In other events they would play one half in goal and not play in the other half.
This has worked well in large part because everyone has known what to expect and there have been no surprises. I also think it has been very good for both goalkeepers because there is an element of competition thatContinue reading
With the outdoor season coming to an end in the Midwest of the United States, I'm turning my attention Futsal training. For anyone not familiar with Futsal, it's played with a ball that is one size smaller than the ball the players use outdoor (U9-U12 play with a size three ball while U13 and above play with a size four). The ball is also constructed to have a low bounce to help keep it on the floor. The game is played on the same surface as a basketball court so the ball moves very quickly. These characteristics mean that it is sometimes easier to control with the sole of the foot rather than the inside of the foot.
During the outdoor season I discourageContinue reading
One of the perks of being apart of WORLD CLASS COACHING is that I have access to a large library of training sessions from some of the top professional, collegiate, and youth coaches. We have published books and DVDs on every aspect and topic of coaching.
I often refer to our DVD especially for new ways to approach topics to keep my coaching fresh and interesting to the players I work with. I think we're all probably guilty of using the same few drills or exercises for a specific technique over and over. This can be a good thing because it allows us to focus on teaching the game rather than having to spend a lot of time teaching the drill. But changing things up on occasion can breath new life into a stale session and motivate players to perform at a higher level with the addition of new challenges.
In the past if I was looking for a new warm-up for a shooting practice I would have to scan through three or four DVDs to find what I'm looking for. This changedContinue reading
Each month we add a new magazine update to the Member Drills Database. The magazine contains training sessions, videos and articles presented by top teams and coaches from around the world.
Here's part of a training session presented by Chelsea FC Academy coach Chris Woodword. The session focuses on 1 v 1, 2 v 1 and 2 v 2 situations that lead to a zonal game.Continue reading
Teaching players how to protect the ball until the option to shoot or pass is available is extremely important if you want your team to keep possession and learn to build an attack. There will be times when there isn't an open team mate and they need to buy some time and create some space before support arrives.
The first thing I do when working on this topic is to have the players focus on the quality of their first touch. A player's first touch can put them into a tackleContinue reading
Like many coaches I focus on one particular aspect of the game during each training session. Sure, I try to train the technical, tactical, physical and psychological components around the specific skill so that the practice is as economical as possible. But in the past if my focus was on passing and receiving I wouldn't have thought about ending the session with any type of shooting.
When WORLD CLASS COACHING conducted a tour of Dutch club a few years ago I was fortunate enough to attend. While visiting the Ajax Academy I watched a session presented byContinue reading
Today's post is from our Soccer Conditioning Expert, Scott Moody at SoccerFIT Academy. I've posted some of their information on speed, fitness and agility testing in the past because I think Scott is on the leading edge of soccer conditioning in the U.S. and I work with him through our Sporting Affiliate Club in Overland Park, KS. Here is his latest update on the testing they have been doing with clubs and coaches around the world. I thought you'd find it interesting and helpful especially since there's no cost to test your players and see how they stack up. It's also a great evaluation tool that can be used to assess the progress of the players over the course of a season, year or career.
We now have over 700 coaches in 30 countries using the SoccerFIT Game Speed Test to evaluate their players and teams. Some of the college coaches have found the test a very useful preseason tool, as it shows strengths and weaknesses in SKILL, SPEED and FITNESS, and can quickly show where you are strong (and weak) as a team. We continue to support all programs using our test with eBooks and clinics that highlight our systematic approach of blending the physical aspects with the technical aspects to create a more applicable (and efficient) way to integrate speed, agility and fitness into normal practice sessions.
On the club level we have started testing all the teams and players in various clubs to create a clear picture of the developmental process within the club. Below is a graph of the girls side of one club we consult with (from U11 to U18). We ranked the teamsContinue reading
I think coaches spend a lot more time teaching offensive skills and techniques than they do teaching young players how do defend individually and in small groups. The attacking techniques of dribbling, passing and shooting are easy to create training sessions around and they are definitely the sexier skills of the game. But teaching a young player to defend a 1 v 1 effectively is vital to their development as a player.
This point was driven home to me last weekend as my teams played their first games of the new season. We had worked on all of the attacking skills but spent no time learning how to defend correctly. There are so many topics to cover that you just can't do it all in two weeks of training sessions before the first game. So this weekContinue reading
Our club recently established a set of benchmarks for how many times the players should be able to juggle at a given age. Here are those targets:
U8 - 10 with feet only - 10 with thighs only - 4 with head only
U9 - 20 with feet only - 20 with thighs only - 6 with head only
U10 - 10 with feet only - 10 with thighs only - 12 with head only
U11 - 80 with feet only - 80 with thighs only - 24 with head only
U12 - 100+ with feet only - 100+ with thighs only - 50+ with head only
Unfortunately, most of our players in the club are below these standards so we'll be working to improve that this year.
When you talk about juggling with coaches you usuallyContinue reading
We all have such limited time to impact the technical, tactical and physical abilities of our players that finding ways to integrate each of these into our training sessions is very important. If we were training four or five times a week we could afford to practice them in isolation but most of the coaches reading this won't have that luxury.Continue reading
No formation will fit every group of players. A coach that plays the exact same formation with every team will be frustrated by certain players inability to, 'fit the formation'. For years my teams always played 4-4-2. There are some variations you can used depending on how you play your forwards and your central midfielders but that's pretty much it. Sure, you could play sweeper/stopper with the center backs but very few teams play with a sweeper in the modern game. You can change every
formation to a small degree but I feel that the 4-3-3 is the most customizable of all of the popular formations.
There are so many ways to vary the 4-3-3. You can play with the midfielders spread across the field with a right, left and center. They can be in aContinue reading
Today's post is from Scott Moody, our Soccer Conditioning Expert at the Soccer FIT Academy. This blog post got my attention because I've had many conversations with parents and other coaches on this subject. There are an ever-increasing number of, 'Speed and Agility' trainers, camps and businesses. But all to often they are not soccerContinue reading
It's hard to believe that the end of the soccer year is coming so quickly. Our State Cup is June 1/2/3 so were in review mode to prepare for the biggest tournament of the year. We want to do our best to be successful because the winners of State Cup attend the Regional Tournament to play against the best teams in our Region. The players learn so much for that type of experience that I want the girls to have that opportunity.
We've covered a lot this year and I've really seenContinue reading
I've always had a standing challenge to my teams (U13 and below), if they score a headed goal, I buy ice cream for the next practice. It's been a way to encourage the players to try and score with their head if they can. This has been most successful with the girls teams I have coached. The extra incentive has become something that the team rallies around.
After spending a few weeks working on our combination play to score we played very well in our next games. Two of our three goals came from combinations in the middle of the field.
Another area that I've wanted to addressContinue reading
Most coaches use small-sided games as part of their training sessions. Sometimes this is limited to a 10 minute scrimmage at the end of the session.
During the spring season I will often run an entire session that revolves around two or three small-sided games to reinforce technical or tactical topics that we have covered a number of times during the fall and winter. As the session continues the players move in and out of the two or three different games. Each one has a slightly different challenge for the players to solve. The players enjoy the change of pace and the games help the players connect the skills we've developed to the game itself.
I'm always on the lookout for games that are a bit different. A book that we recently released has given me a number of good games that my players have really enjoyed. Check it out here.
Developing Creativity Through Small-Sided Games, is written by Brazilian soccer coach, Eduardo Andriatti Paulo. He feels that the Brazilian system has moved away fromContinue reading
As a coach I'm always evaluating my players but mostly on a subjective level. I do some 1v1 and 2v2 statistical evaluations that I wrote about in a previous post but that's the only objective information I've used to in the past.
This spring our club has implemented the SoccerFIT Game Speed Assessment for all of our teams. The test looks at three specific categories - Speed/Agility, Soccer Fitness and Technical Skill. The ideal situation is to see a balance between these unique areas but in most cases players will be stronger in one or two and weaker in the others. Here's an example of a report that you would receive after entering your data from the tests:
There are 15 different testContinue reading
It was difficult to choose a winner in our recent shooting drills competition because we received so many good entries. In the end we picked this exercise from Dennis Hillyard of New York. We were looking for drills that were easy to understand, used equipment all coaches have access to, provided a lot of repetitions for the players, were scalable to larger and smaller numbers and provided progressions that could be used as the players develop. This exercise meets all of those criteria.
Shooting Competition - First Time ShootingContinue reading