Breakaway Trends — coaching RSS



"All warfare is based on deception."

Sun Tzu said it, "All warfare is based on deception." Soccer is basically a warfare game. It's fun as opposed to deadly, but they're both about defeating opponents. I prefer the voluntary cooperation of a free market for most of my time, but there's a time for all things.   Most young players don't understand how effective a little fake can be. I'm not talking about scissors or other fancy moves. I'm talking about a simple head fake or even a slight twitch of the hips. If every move is preceded by a fake, your players success rate will go way up. It's also easy and fun to teach them the concept. Pair up your players; they'll stand facing one...

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"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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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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Creative Energy

When we see our child create, it strikes a chord in our soul that brings us joy. We're "happy" when they clean up their toys, but we're "thrilled" when they give us a drawing. It's the same with soccer, if we give them a chance. If we allow them to create, the game will be better for them and better for us.  As Leonard Read said, "To hamper Creative Energy, in any manner, as it attempts to manifest itself in mankind, is to thwart Creation. Standing against Creation is no role for little, fallible man!" They may not be doing things they way we'd like, but if they're doing no harm, who are we to "correct" them. Our children naturally...

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Ask the Child, "Why?"

Why should a child learn a new skill?  Because he wants to do something.  Why does he want to do that thing?  Because... As a coach, we can often see what the children need to do to play better soccer.  We have several options ranging from talking, demonstrating, or even clever small-sided games.  Rather than delivering  to them the "right" answer, we might want to try and educate ourselves instead. Ask the child "Why?".  Then ask "Why?" again.  Ask five times. We call this 5-why analysis.  You will be amazed.  Behavior that was mystifying suddenly becomes clear.  Rather than addressing the symptom, you'll address the root cause.  In many cases, where you may have been frustrated, you will find yourself smiling....

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