Tag Archives for " Training "

Ajax Shooting Game

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 by

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Different Scoring Methods

Small-Sided games are a great training tool used by most coaches. Most of the small-sided games I see used require each team to score in the same way.

Games like the ones below from Coaching Soccer Through Small-Sided Games are used by coaches at every level, all around the world.

The standard small-sided game has two teams playing on a small field between two goals.

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This type of game will give each player more

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How to Speed Up Training

Welcome to the Goalkeeping Newsletter. Todays’ topic shows a simple way to speed up training.

This is going to seem incredibly simplistic but it’s something a lot of keeper coaches miss. If you want the keeper to work faster in training, add a second server and a second ball. The reason this works is the keeper is no longer in charge of how quickly a ball can be played in.

As an example, in the diagram below, the server volleys a ball to the keeper who must catch the ball and then quickly return the ball for the next serve.

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Brain Based Learning and Differentiated Teaching

This is an excerpt of the second article in a three part series that has been contributed by John Pascarella, Sporting Kansas City Assistant Coach. The first part was published in our Coaching Advanced Players blog.

In the first of this three part series I began with a saying from Coach John Wooden:  “You haven’t taught until they’ve learned” and how this caused me to think of my own coaching style and how I sometimes find it difficult to get my points across to players in different ways when they don’t understand the initial way I’ve tried to explain it.  In that article I compared US Soccer’s Simple to Complex teaching methodology to the French Federations Whole-Part-Whole method emphasizing that I didn’t feel one was better than the other but stressed that coaches need more than one way to teach progressions so they can teach players with different types of learning styles.

In this article I wanted to expand on that idea by

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Just Let Them Play

I sat down to plan my U8 and U10 practices the other day and while going through my old sessions and thinking about previous games I realized that it would be a great day to just let them play. We didn't have any games the following weekend and there hadn't been a practice this season that I just let them go at it.

I regularly have the boys play various 1v1 games and we always finish with a small-sided game at the end of training but every once in a while I like to plan an entire session around playing competitive 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 games. This gives the players a break from the usual format and gives them a chance to use all of the skills that we've been working to improve. They love it because

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Too Much Talk, Too Little Sport

An article caught my attention recently. It isn't specifically related to soccer but to physical education in general. The study that the article is based on looked at public school physical education programs in England. The finding that caught my attention was that PE teachers were spending too much time talking and this was taking away from the kids opportunity to develop aerobic fitness and conditioning.

We have probably all seen this problem in soccer coaching as well. I've often heard coaching instructors say, "No Laps, Lines or Lectures". But we still see too many times when players spend too long listening and not enough times playing. As I was reading the article below I kept thinking, "Telling is not Teaching". Hopefully this article also gives you some food for thought.

Ofsted: PE Lessons Slammed By Ofsted For Too Much Talk, Too Little Sport

Many PE lessons are failing to improve pupils' fitness, while not enough youngsters are playing competitive sport to a high level, inspectors warned on Thursday.

In a new report, Ofsted raised concerns that many schools are failing to push their sportiest pupils, or help those that are overweight.

It warned that in some PE lessons there is not enough physical strenuous activity, with pupils spending too much time listening to teachers.

Overall, PE lessons are not up to scratch in around a third of primary schools and about a quarter of secondaries, the inspectorate said.

The report, based on inspections of PE in schools over the last four years, concludes that in general the subject is "in good health", with significant investment in the last decade.

But it warns that in more than a quarter of schools, PE teaching did

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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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The Three Phases of Learning

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 they

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ACL Injury Overview (Research Review)

Today's post if from our Conditioning Expert, Scott Moody with Soccer FIT Academy. This post was interesting to me as a coach but also as a father of a high school aged soccer player. I'm all for anything that can help reduce the risk of injury while also improving performance.

In the past, we have put up several posts on ACL injury, rehab and risk reduction exercises, but I ran across a summary of research articles (Serpell, Scarvell, et al 3160-3176) compiled in the NSCA’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research that I wanted to break down for you. The following is a brief breakdown

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Warm-Up for Shooting

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

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Sole of the Foot Control

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

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Maintaining Soccer Fitness Indoor

The indoor season provides a change of pace and focus that I think is good for player development but you don’t want to completely lose the base of fitness that was built during the outdoor season. The challenge is that you have a limited amount of space to work with when you’re training indoor. We

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Maintaining Soccer Fitness Indoor

The indoor season provides a change of pace and focus that I think is good for player development but you don't want to completely lose the base of fitness that was built during the outdoor season. The challenge is that you have a limited amount of space to work with when you're training indoor. We use a school gym, and a small one at that. I look for exercises that mimic the movement patterns of the game while using space as economically as possible.

WCC-Ultimate-Soccer-Conditioning-Training-Pack-sidexside-500

The warm-up below is from Dave Tenney

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Sole of the Foot Control

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 discourage

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Warm-Up for Shooting

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 changed

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Should Speed and Agility Training Change with Age?

This article comes from our conditioning experts at Soccer FIT Academy. Our club is fortunate to work with Scott Moody and his trainers at Soccer FIT. This post caught my eye because we are currently working with Scott to set up Speed and Agility goals for the wide range in age groups that we deal with. We have more than 6,000 players in the club and the level goes from elite National League teams down to recreational.

Many aspects of sport are progressed as players develop, but speed and agility training is often not one of these things. In basketball and soccer we start off playing small sided games at 6- or 7- years old (3v3) and then progress to

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November Magazine Preview

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.

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Increasing Confidence in Possession

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 tackle

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Should We End Heading in Youth Soccer?

A youth soccer league in Connecticut recently banned heading in it's program. I read the story a couple of weeks ago on NBC Sports, 'Off the Bench' blog. It came to mind this morning as I was talking to a mother of one of my U14 players. Her daughter took a hard fall after fighting for a header over the weekend. She complained of a headache the rest of the day and the doctor confirmed today that she has a mild concussion.

Personally I feel that heading is an integral part of the game and youth players should be taught how to do it properly and safely. That doesn't

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Shooting at the End of Every Practice

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 by

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Encouraging Combination Play

For me, the beginning of the season revolves around getting a group of players to work together within a framework of a system. Lately that system has been the 4-3-3. This involves teaching each player the role and responsibility of their position: How the defenders work together to stop attacks and win the ball. How the midfielders connect the team together. How the attackers create goalscoring opportunities. All of this gives the players a starting point but the most important learning comes next.

Helping the players to think and act creatively within the framework of the system is what will

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The Importance of Teaching Individual Defending

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 week

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