Breakaway Trends — soccer 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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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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Freeing the Child

I spoke with my cousin the other day and she told me about a transformation in her daughter, actually all her children. I won't go into personal details, but I will say she has clearly seen a difference since freeing her children. Where hours of forced compliance in the public schools had left some of her children moody and withdrawn and others releasing their frustrations in unruly behavior, now that the children are free to fulfill their potential in their home school, they are happy to be together and pleasant to be around. Here's the tie-in to soccer, when coaching our kids, free them! Don't impose your will on them. Let them explore the game and discover its beauty for...

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