Friday, December 30, 2011

Thursday Clinic 8 of 8

I had to miss the last session of our Thursday clinics for a funeral visitation.  I did not know him personally but he was the grandfather of somebody very close to us.   I discovered the deceased was a football man and die-hard Celtic supporter, so might have forgiven me for going to the clinic.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Assistant Coaches

To be an effective coach I require a suitable assistant who fits my requirements and be able to offer an worthwhile experience to them in return.

I am amazed at how people underestimate the importance of a good assistant coach.

There is nothing I've cherished more over the years than a good assistant coach.  I've been blessed over the years because I've been picky.

I've always hand selected them and never just asked for a volunteer.  At the same time, I've never walked into a situation where an assistant was selected for me.

All of my assistants over the years have brought something of value to the team.  One year I went half a season without an assistant until I found one suitable for the situation.

My current assistant, Paul, has been great.  He has a very decent understanding of the game.  He has good vision and he respects the boys' efforts.  When you are watching the game, the clock and the bench you tend to miss things.  Paul notices and makes suggestions.  Paul has taken good care of himself and that lends to credibility with the boys when it's time to demonstrate a new task.  He's a police officer and a good family man, so he also serves as a solid role model for the boys.

I have several criteria when I am searching for an assistant:
  • Honest enough to not just say "yes" to everything I suggest
  • Something to offer the team/players
  • Knowledge for me to learn to from
  • Willing to learn
  • The team must have something to offer the assistant (soccer knowledge/experience/enjoyment)
  • Compatible with me (humour/attitude/philosophy)
  • Committed
I've seen coaches call early season parent meetings and ask "Who wants to be an assistant coach?" I watch in disbelief when it happens and hope everything works out.

Over the years I've seen some disgruntled assistants undermine coaches' efforts and watched teams implode as a result, but that has been the exception and not the rule.  Fortunately, I've never had that problem.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Schedule Released for Winter Training

I put our schedule together for January tryouts/training and I am excited to get back.

We always take November and December off.  It's a good break for the kids and the coaches.  Some continue training elsewhere and play in leagues.

Our intention is to give everybody all the information they need before tryouts resume.  Timelines, expectations, commitment and possible budget are some things the parents will have in their hands before we reconvene.  The more they know, the less surprises afterwards.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great article on "Free Play"

I read a great article by Rick Fenoglio, Senior Lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science, Manchester Metropolitian University, Cheshire.

He is the co-founder of an organization called Give Us Back Our Game. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good luck Simon

It's always good to hear news about former players.

Simon Gatti has made us all proud.  Montreal has invited him to their MLS camp in Mexico in January.

My friend Rino and I coached Simon when he was U9, U10 and U11.  We called him "The King".