Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hey Mr. Soccer Coach! Let the kids play the ball out from the back, please.


The cry of the Canadian Soccer coach.  It's annoying and disheartening.  When I see kids not even trying to work their way out of their own end it drives me crazy.  Sometimes they'll just concede and put it out.  Other times they panic.  Or nobody comes to help.  Or they don't pass to their GK for support.  Why?  Because they don't know how.

There is so much to learn and teach when you let your players play the ball out from the back, as individuals,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Coaching soccer when your team is "weaker"

We live in an environment where the scoreboard can single-handedly ruin or make a season for some people.  Being a coach is easy when your team is winning games.  You go, they win, you go home.  Maybe not, but you know what I mean.

How about the coach who has a team that's not winning games or competing?  Feeling pressure because they think they know how sports are ultimately judged. 

Every league table has somebody at the bottom.  It's the law.  One day, it could/will be you.  If you're coaching house league, your playing a hand that was dealt to you.  If the team is weaker than others, see it as a challenge because every player is looking for a soccer experience.

Before we get started, please understand two facts:

Monday, August 5, 2013

What does "The Golden Rule" have to do with coaching youth soccer?

"You're incompetent!"  "You're wrong, and that's it."  "That's a crazy idea,  Were you serious?"  We've all heard it.  We might even have said it, if even to ourselves.  I know I have on occasion.  But is it right?  Is it ever justified?

When did it become OK for our interpersonal conduct at sport to be on a lower level than the rest of our day?

Like everything else in life, participation in sports involves relationships that need nurturing and respect.

The Golden Rule.  This might be the absolute one thing that can make your life easier and more successful when you're involved in sports.  Actually, it makes your life easier with whatever you're involved in. 

Simply stated, The Golden Rule is "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".  It's very nature demands that your reverse the situation before acting, forcing the realization that your relationships are not

Thursday, August 1, 2013

U8 Grassroots Soccer - Wizard Academy - Week 5

We had our fifth session of our U8 Wizard Academy program. I am feeling guilty after these sessions because I wonder if the boys are having as much fun as I am.

After reffing 4 mini games last weekend, I wasn't happy with how kids just let balls roll out of play or how coaches and parents say "let it go..." . Players were also taking their sweet time getting the ball back in play.  I shouldn't say "wasn't happy" because the whole experience was very nice.  I should reclassify this as an old pet peeve that resurfaced :)

Our goals for tonight:
1.  Individual ball work
2.  Put it in their heads to work hard to keep ball in play.
3.  Test their gamesmanship and see if they can be clever during small sided games.

The small-sided-games satisfied goals 2 and 3 in one stroke.

Tonight we had Coach Marco again, along with Coach Joe.  Coach Joe made his first appearance tonight. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

My close encounter with a mini soccer festival at Club Roma

I asked my friend Joe Talarico to assign me four mini-games at the "Ti Amo Festival Cup" in St Catharines, hosted by St Catharines Roma Soccer Club.  Reffing is a mild sideline of mine and I don't want to let that interest slip away.

As a coach and coach educator, I wanted to spend some time in a festival environment and experience some of the sights and sounds for myself.  I've watched festival games as an uncle or friend, but never officially participated in one involving "travel" teams in an environment that was previously "competitive".

Under LTPD, younger tournaments are now held as festivals, with no standings or playoffs.  The USA was