Fundamental Youth Soccer

Roby Stahl

Roby Stahl

Cincinnati Kings Soccer Academy
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Roby comes to Cincinnati Kings Soccer Academy with an impressive playing and coaching resume. He graduated from the University of Akron in 1975 where he was a four-year varsity letter winner and captain for two years. During those years he was a member of the U19 Men’s National Team and the U.S. Olympic Team player pool. Roby was one of the first Americans to play professionally in Europe, playing with the Cork Celtic FC in Ireland and training with West Ham United of the English Premier League. Stahl has extensive coaching experience at the youth, adult, collegiate and professional levels. His professional coaching resume includes stints as the Head Men’s and Women’s Coach for Tyresö FF in Stockholm, Sweden, Head Coach at the College of Charleston (SC), and Assistant Coach at Old Dominion University. He has recently been assisting the Columbus Crew (MLS) during training, with an emphasis on tactics in the attacking third. On the youth level, Stahl previously served as the Director of Coaching for Ohio-South Youth Soccer Association. Many of Roby’s former players are presently playing in the MLS, the WUSA, and in foreign countries. In Sweden, twelve of his former players competed in World Championships, European Championships, and the Olympic games.

Stahl holds a U.S. Soccer “A” License, an NSCAA Advanced National Diploma, a Swedish Elite License, a Brazilian Elite License, a U.S. Youth National Instructors License, a Canadian Soccer Association “B” License and has a dual Master’s in Education. Roby is a Region II ODP Staff Coach for both boys and girls as well as serving as the head coach for the 1990 SYL National Select team’s 2006 trip to Germany.

Koach Karl and Roby with World Cup Trophy!

Roby is one of the first American coaches ever to coach full time professionally in Europe. His name is recognized world-wide by FIFA and National Teams as a high level coach and educator. He has been instrumental in raising the level of skill and play for thousands of students from grade school through college, nationally and internationally. Roby has developed his unique teaching methodology through impressive soccer achievements at all levels.

His methodology is noted as one of the most professional and sophisticated world-wide. Roby is in constant demand as one of the most outstanding clinicians training individuals and teams in soccer today.

After graduating from Akron, Roby played professionally with the Cork Celtic Professional Soccer Club in Ireland and trained with West Ham United of the English Professional First Division. Additionally, he played professionally for the Cleveland Cobras of the American Soccer League, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the NASL and was a member of the Clapton Football Team (England) of the Rothman-Isthmian League.

Roby Stahl Philosophy
The focus is on technical development within an age group appropriate learning environment. Every player dreams of performing at the highest level, whether it is for your club team, high school varsity, and state team or in college. These goals are realized by mastery of the technical aspects at a young age.

French Football Federation Technical Advisory Board
This is the third article in a series that was started two years ago. Please refer to the previous articles for background information. Some items will be discussed again as things change in the world of soccer federations, curriculums and training methods. This article consists of conversations by Mr. Aime Jacquet, winning coach of the French National team during the 1998 FIFA World Championships and current FFF Technical Director, during the 2002 NSCAA Convention in Philadelphia, PA.

Your Master Plan for Playing Soccer
Seek out a good learning environment. Find clubs with experienced coaches who will help you develop, not coaches that just want to win games. My own definition of a good coach is that individual who develops you to be successful at the next level of your career. Good competition during leagues and tournaments is a must. It is vital that you train and play year round. Ask your high school coach and club coaches to constantly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Continue to develop your strengths and ask them for a program to eliminate your weaknesses. Remember that even the professional players in every sport seek advice and spend lots of time relearning the fundamentals. Also play in good club tournaments; if your team doesn’t go often, try to be a guest player on a good team.

Small Side Games?
Approximately 10 years ago the coming of the small “keep away game” descended upon us. It hit me squarely between the eyes as some of my players at MKA High School declared “enough” with the technical work, we want to do what the “pros” do. Which it turns out is lots of small keep away games in small areas for long periods of time. I faced a rebellion where my intense individual ball skills sessions were no longer “vogue”. Certainly for the “better” players it was much more fun to play keep away as they were always winning! My lesser players however saw significantly fewer touches of the ball (even though the small area and fewer numbers were designed to increase touches) they did however become very good at chasing, but technically they started to decline.

Hilarious To Watch
We here in the USA are clearly missing the point on proper defending tactics. Forget England/Argentina/Germany/Portugal and all the rest and listen to this one. It concerns a match played between Barbados and Grenada in cup competition. Barbados needed to win the game by two clear goals in order to progress to the next round. Now the trouble was caused by a daft rule in the competition which stated that in the event of a game going to penalty kicks, the winner of the penalty kicks would be awarded a 2-0 victory.

Stretching: The Truth
The more I delve into the athletic development side of training athletes I am finding how most players have lower body deficiencies and how this prevents them from fulfilling their potential in competition. It starts with poor warm-up habits and continues with non-appropriate or outdated strength training activities. Most conditioning programs rely on the old straight ahead sprint method instead of using body weight lunges, forward, rear, to the side and in crossover patterns. I start all my training sessions with multilateral activities like various games of tag, single leg wrestling, bear and crab crawls, etc. Not only do these activities dynamically warm up the body and wake up the mind, but the athletes look forward to doing them.

Getting Along Coaches
Your coach has a lot to do with your success, in the present and the future. Treat him exactly the way you would like to treated. He does have the ability and the contacts to “make or break you”. Provide your coach with lots of positive reasons to help you. Above all, remember the golden rule, “the man with the gold makes the rules!”

Evaluating Players
Regardless of a player’s performance, their skill, tactical and physical display, other factors heavily influence a coach’s decision to recruit a given athlete. Coaches will look at their mental and psychological make-up, their mental ability to quickly and correctly read and assess situations, their motivational drive and will power, their self-confidence and emotional stability. Competition reveals character!