Sunday, March 29, 2015

No cell phones at church. Or soccer.

There is a little sign before you enter our church "Please turn your cell phone off".  Then you sit down and during the pre-mass announcements, they mention it again "We remind you to please turn your cell phones off".

As she read it, I was thinking "who has their cell phone in church?", but it's easy to forget and your child probably had their's in their pocket.

Then my thoughts went to coaches who have their cell phones in their hands during training.  And actively texting.  Or a coffee.  Or, way offside, a cigarette.

What message are you sending your players?  Are you too busy to be there? 

Can you actively and freely demonstrate, as good coaches do, holding a coffee or cell phone?  Will your phone fall out of your pocket? Will you be distracted everytime it vibrates?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

We need to go Deeper Than the Four Corner Model

We always talk about the Four Corner Model when we speak of player development.  To give more to our players and get more out of them, we need to go deeper.

This weekend at the 2015 Ontario Soccer Association’s Soccer Development Conference, the Four Corner Model came up many times.  It’s great , it gives you targets to move your program towards and reminds you of the fact that you are dealing with a developing human being, not just a soccer player.   

But is it enough?

What if everything the child is involved in uses the Four Corner Model properly, but they are all doing it independently? Are we maximizing what the child can experience and their development?  We need to tap into what's going on elsewhere in their life to help the soccer, and vice verse. 
For the purpose of this article, I will use the world “sport” but please take it to mean any activity where your child engages in some form of recreation, including but not limited to music, art. Outdoor exploration, etc.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Why Centre-Backs in Soccer can be Called Upon to Save Society.

There are many personalities that exist out there who feel they can make a difference in our world.

It takes all kinds to make a society function, but very few can be looked upon as being able to solve society's problems.  Those who play Centre-Back (CB) on soccer teams are some of those select few.  You know who they are and you know what I'm talking about.  

This is about real centre backs, not wannabees who think they can do the job.  Sometimes a player who is struggling to fit into a line-up declares themselves a centre back.  Wrong.  It's not a position, it's a raison d'ĂȘtre, a passion, sometimes a sickness.  People can slip into the spot and tactically/technically carry out the duties, but that doesn't make them a centre back.   Sometimes they will morph into a true centre back, sometimes they won't.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The importance of a positive Grassroots experience

We can't lose if everybody wins.

During the Grassroots stages, up to U12, our children are growing at incredible and varying rates and on many fronts.  We have to be mindful of their development and environment at home, school, playground and socially.  Our children need a holistic approach and attitude from everybody who affects them.  Sometimes, people in sport think they are exempt from this, as if they are in a different realm. They're wrong.  Very wrong.

Something went off the rails at some point.  We demote and discard a kid because they couldn't make a travel team at 8 years old .  We accept the  " Oct-Nov-Dec" baby theory and believe it as a fact of life and move on.  Did anybody ever consider that the systems in place are what caused the late year baby hoopla?  When a child is no longer

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What is very RIGHT with Canadian Soccer?

Numerous articles have been written over the past ten years about what's wrong or missing in Canadian soccer.  And I would agree with many of their points.

But what about what's right with Canadian Soccer? Is it that bad?  If it was, why are so many people playing and coaching?

I know we are not rippin' it up  (I wish we were) when it comes to International competition, but does that mean there is nothing worthwhile on a daily basis?

Some people need you to believe there is nothing right with Canadian soccer and they have the fix.  Some recruit-crazy youth coaches want you to believe that whatever is wrong with Canadian soccer is not wrong at their club and what they have that's right doesn't exist anywhere else.

For me, I have trouble seeing a lot of wrong in the big picture.  I've played a lot, worked with 1000s of players, met their wonderful parents,  mentored coaches and been mentored, succeeded, failed, laughed, smiled, cried, yelled, been