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Coaches Post, Issue #002-- teaser here
November 02, 2016

Tips and techniques from the Coaching Post!!

Hello, Chris from Coaching Kids Soccer! I have been thinking about a few topics that have come up lately. So this week we will cover psychology of young soccer players, skill of the month 1v1 moves, game tips on subs.

The topic of coaching experience goes a long way not only in teaching players but also understanding their psychology of younger players.I have spent hours on the sidelines during youth soccer games either watching the game or coaching.

I have seen every situation imaginable in a youth soccer game. Funny, no two games are alike. There very few absolutes so the players have tons of freedom to choose whether to pass, dribble or shoot.

The reason kids play soccer? Fun! They get to play with their teammates, run around, kick the soccer ball and learn new skills. So this leads me to the next point in coaching young players.Our perception as adults is different when it comes to soccer vs what or how the kids see and want out of soccer.

The kid perspective - ask them what they like best about soccer? #1 answer by far - it must be fun!

Design your practices with this in mind and you will have a team that loves to play for you. I have done the opposite and the team has struggled...not fun to go through those seasons, but I learned.The kids also have to learn to take the good with the bad and continue to persevere. This is the part of the growing process for players.

I hit my stride as a coach when I made things FUN - taught the kids what needed to be taught and gave them a chance to experiment in small sided games.

Coaches if you want to improve your soccer practices learn all you can - be a thief and steal ideas from other coaches, internet and reading. Your practices will start to get better. I have tried to find all the exercises, skills and practice games that bring out the fun and learning.

So today we will examine some of these skills and games and see if we can help you in your coaching.

Skill of the month

Dribbling is a key component of playing soccer. There are 3 reasons to dribble.

1.Going 1v1 vs a defender.

2.Under pressure from an opponent.

3.Carrying the soccer ball into space.

In this month's issue we will cover some of the best dribbling moves that kids can learn and how to teach the moves - 1v1 vs a defender.

Dribbling moves are interesting - kids will gravitate to the move or moves that are most comfortable for them. I liked cuts, step overs and the v-move. I normally introduce three moves especially to the young players so they do not get confused. They love it! So here are three moves that I think kids should look to master.

1. Lunge move

2. Scissors

3. Step over

So, how do we teach the moves in a fun way?

Play the numbers game with them - each move gets a number. The coach calls out the number and the players have to perform the move based on the number.

Coaching point: Make sure they are proficient at the move before you introduce the numbers game.

Soccer practice tip of the month

Coaches, here is a great tip I learned when taking the national youth license. A fantastic COURSE by the way, if you want to learn more about soccer and youth players and their psychology.

Use the Socratic method - always ask questions? The kids are smart, they just have to be given a chance to express themselves.

If you hog the limelight and the stage at practice "barking out instructions" or being a "sideline line tiger" at games the kids never get to think and make decisions for themselves.

Example, a common question I ask young players learning to dribble is?.

How many parts of the foot can we use to dribble?

ANSWER: 4 - Laces- inside - outside and sole (bottom).


Why do we dribble with the laces?

Answer: Speed

Use questions in soccer practice and games and see what they know and don't know - you will be surprised!

This Q & A style coaching gets them involved in the process and they grow to be better soccer players for the experience.

Socce game day tip

This question comes up often....

How do I keep track of the time and run subs?

Most leagues have playing time rules so this is a very important question. There are a few factors at play here.

1. Prepare before you go the game - get timer on watch prepared, know sub patterns and how much time you will let kids play before subbing.

2. Prepare your kids so they understand that they have to stand at the half way line when it is there turn to sub. So when you say warm up they go and get ready to play come back and get position and move to the half way line.

3. Avoid mass subs and subbing every 2-3 minutes.

4. Let the kids play and get into the flow of the game when you sub let those kids play - show trust in your players.

Example, 30 min halves for an 8v8 game in my area I sub every 8 min - then start the kids that got the middle portion in the 2ND half. Sometimes I might sub on the 15 min mark and give everyone a half of a half.

Coaching tip: Explain this to your parents in your pre season coaches meeting

Coaches, this is a real balancing act and takes some organization on your part. Once you get into a rhythm with the kids everything starts to flow very smoothly.

Check out my recommendations on soccer equipment and training equipment especially for players that need that extra bit of skill work. The Jimmy ball works really well!

Coaches thanks for checking out the newsletter this month and I hope it was informative. Please don't hesitate to give feedback on topics that you would like to read about.

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