Breakaway Trends — children RSS



"Discipline" Problems

 A quick note about "discipline" problems with very young soccer players. There's really only one rule the kids must follow:  Be respectful to each other and the coach. Other than that, as a coach, you have to remember this is play time for the kiddos.  You want them to learn soccer skills, but forcing them to do this or that will only backfire.  As a coach, you prepare their environment, demonstrate the desired activity, and then invite them to explore it to their hearts content.   They may refuse the invitation.  That's okay.  Maybe they just want to watch.  Maybe they want to do something completely different.  This is where you invite their parent to take over while you pay attention to...

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It Just Makes You Smile (plus a list of coaching keys)

If this doesn't make you smile, I don't know what will. I was recently discussing coaching youth girls soccer with a friend and I'm going to try and list all the key points we went over. First Touch - or in the case of the youngest players, just Touch.  For 95% of the practice, the kids should have a ball at their feet.  I know as they get older, learning to move off the ball becomes much more important, but for the little ones, practice should be about getting better and better with the ball at their feet. Pressure / Cover - they'll learn Balance later.  For now, the closest player applies pressure and the next 2 cover (assuming 3...

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Respect - The Currency of Life

I speak a lot about allowing children to be free, but they are not free to do anything. Obviously, they should never harm other children (or adults). However, they also have an obligation to go a step beyond that and be respectful. The coach is putting in effort to help the kids learn. The kids "pay" the coach with respect. No Respect = No Coaching.  Respect is not blind obedience; Respect is listening quietly.  Respect is not thinking the coach is always right; Respect is disagreeing respectfully. Respect is not demanded; Respect is earned. When respect is withheld, there are consequences. The kids can't pay you with money to coach, but if you teach them to pay you with respect, I...

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Learning from Mistakes

A young child learns through experience.  Actually, this applies to all of us. Someone can tell us "do this" or "don't do that" or we can even read some good advice in a book (or a blog), but it rarely seems to sink in until we experience it.  The image to the left is proof of that. Nothing teaches us a lesson like a huge mistake.  Of course, we don't want our children making huge mistakes, so we let them make the little ones.  Soccer gives us a chance to let the children make a million mistakes and learn from them. If mistakes are permitted and the natural consequences allowed to follow, the children will learn so much quicker than...

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