Saturday, March 30, 2013

U4 Active Start Soccer Program Debrief

Today, our 10-week U4 Active Start program ended.  For me, it was sad because those kids left me in a great mood all day long.

One nice feeling I left with was how many parents mentioned they were considering being Active Start coaches this summer.   Some haven't played but feel they can lead the group through sessions similar to what was delivered during the program.

I was also happy to see how many grandparents came out to watch what was going on.  I am sure they came to watch a game but the kids were happy to see them there.  That's what grandparents are for .  :D

"...those kids left me in a great mood all day long."

Thoughts I take away with me:
  • Letting yourself have fun and getting down and dirty makes the session all the easier to deliver
  • Keeping the players busy was important
  • Including the parents was paramount in making sure every child did every exercise
  • Parents appreciate learning about their children
  • U4 players should not be trained like miniature 16-year-old players
  • 1 ball per player, all session, every session
  • Lots of drink breaks
  • Keep the exercises simple to generate success
  • Physical literacy components are important.  Do not skip them as kids need exposure to various movements.
  • Be organized before everybody gets there.
  • All coaches should learn and deliver the occasional Active Start session.  You have to go back to the smallest building blocks of teaching.
  • Introducing them to training equipment (cones, hurdles, etc) is fun for them and make great learning aids.  It also introduces them to a more formal soccer environment.
  • Share what you are doing with the parents, don't lecture.
  • U4 kids are NOT ready for full games.

I will file this program under "Great Experience".  Thanks kids.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Learn to Train - Saltfleet Soccer Club

This weekend, I had the pleasure of delivering the OSA's "Learn to Train" course to 22 coaches.

The course took place at St Francis Xavier Catholic Elementary in Stoney Creek.

I have to say it is very enjoyable working with coaches who are just getting moving in their coaching journey.  The most learning for me is through the questions they ask.  As time passes you start to take little things for granted, but weekends like this bring those important questions and "what if" scenarios back to the forefront.

I also enjoy listening to people who bring experiences from outside soccer that apply directly to the course.

There is one thing that was disappointing.  Of 22 coaches, only two were female. I still keep up my hope that the number of qualified female coaches will show an increase and the number of female coaches matches the representation of females in the player population.

" start to take little things for granted, but weekends like this bring those important questions and "what if" scenarios back to the forefront."

During the course, I thought LTPD would generate more discussion but it didn't.  A few questions then we moved on.  Maybe this is a sign that people know enough about LTPD and are ready to get to work with their players.

I look forward to delivering another course.  It's tiring, but I like being in this environment.

Information on OSA coaching courses can be found at under "Coach"