Sunday, January 12, 2014

Problem Parents. Remove the parent or cut their kid? Or both. OR NEITHER.

Would you cut a kid because of their parents? Sometimes I like to ask the question just to spark a conversation.

I am not talking about parents who complain and accuse after their child is released.  I am talking about a player and parent still in your program.

Let's clear something up first.  Good parents outnumber problem parents in a big big way.  Good families are what make coaching enjoyable and rewarding.   The media has wrongfully demonized parents, but the problem parent does occasionally exist and needs to be dealt with.  Never forget, the problem parent in sports is the exception, not the rule.

If a coach has a problem with a lot of parents every year ... you have to take a look at the coach.

Back to the question.   Cut the kid?  There are so many possible arguments for both the "yes" and "no" side of the question, however valid or invalid.

Yes, the parent is a pain in my rear.

Yes, I am a volunteer and don't need the hassle.

Yes, it's important to remind everybody who's in charge.

Yes, the parent is a cancer on the sideline.

Yes, I know the parent wants to apply for the team next year.

Yes, the parent refuses to comply with my rules.

Yes, the parent likes to cause trouble over social media.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

High school soccer is not the enemy.

High School soccer exists.  And in a big way.  Let's establish that fact.

Over the years, there have been so many initiatives to keep kids out of high school soccer, it's mind boggling.

When I was in high school (1980-1984), you were not allowed to play a travel sport and high school at the same time.  So once travel soccer started, high schools lost those players.

These days I hear of travel coaches who forbid their players from playing high school soccer.  For those of you not from Ontario, high school soccer is usually played on school fields just after winter.  Those same fields are usually used for football in the fall.  Their conditions are not always ideal.

(NB.  This is not aimed at players who play in a professional systems' academy or any

Friday, January 3, 2014

Why LTPD was successfully implemented in Ontario for U4-U12.

As a soccer community, we just completed our second year with the implementation of Long Term Player Development (LTPD).  Field and team sizes have shrunk and league/tournament structures have changed.  The Canadian Soccer Association made the brave move of walking the soccer world down that path.

My experiences on several fronts give me the impression that most people are generally supportive of what's happening with the younger age groups (U4-U12).

During 2013, all of Ontario was playing 7v7 for U9/U10 and 9v9 for U11 at the travel level.  Many

Monday, December 16, 2013

The parent coach is very important to soccer

As people get more serious about soccer they shouldn't distance themselves from the grassroots level.

Let's give you the punch line right now, as I see it, of course.  The mom and pop coaches are THE most important component in soccer's sustainability as an organized sport in Canada.

You may hear the sentiment that parents should not be coaching their own children.  Maybe so, but that's not a realistic scenario. so why go there?

When it comes to elite programs involving talent identification, tryouts, selections, uneven playing time, etc, parent coaches may not be suitable.  If it's avoidable, I agree 100%. (Unless you're Walter Gretzky, you will probably not have 100% comfort as a parent coaching a travel sport)

Before that age arrives, there is an army of soccer players out there looking to play.

Kudos to the Ontario Soccer Association and other provincial federations for investing in and stressing grassroots soccer.

In June 2013, I was fortunate enough to be invited to participate in a 4-day FIFA Grassroots Workshop

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Niagara College Men's Soccer - 2013 Season Reflection

Season two for the Niagara College Men's Soccer team with this new coaching staff is now in the history books.
This year we kicked off our program with a different mindset than last season.  Being my second year as head coach, with assistant coaches and players returning, we were able to hit the ground running.

One major difference from last year to this year ... I now coach both the men and women.

There is one thing I really enjoy about this league.  We are in the toughest division in Canada and you cannot afford to ease up at any time, in any game.  That kind of pressure is exciting and keeps everybody on their toes.

We knew what we were looking for in our group of trialists.  We wanted to adapt a style-of-play that