Essential Concepts For Effective Soccer Coaching
“IMPROVING IN ISOLATION” may not be as easy as it sounds. There are many sources available to study and so many different methods to examine that confusion can result.
The “New-Normal” coach can avoid all this confusion by simply ‘UNDERSTANDING’ THAT…
“The Outcome of Our Health is Infinitely More Important…Than the Outcome of any Practice or Game That Will Need To Be Cancelled!”
A COACH is a TEACHER, ROLE MODEL, GUIDE, etc.
A coach should be as helpful, understanding, and patient when teaching life skills such as reading, writing, and arithmetic.
OUR PLAYERS ARE LEARNERS.
They are developing both physically and mentally; going through three (3) natural stages of development to become mature players:
- Dependent Stage
- Independent Stage
- Interdependent Stage
ALL PLAYERS CAN LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES
They learn from errors made – if the coaching is done correctly, both verbally and physically. It is crucial that coaches turn player errors into a favorable learning situation.
ALL PLAYERS LEARN THROUGH POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.
Reward players with a positive comment, a pat on the back, or simply a smile. But only when they serve one!
PLAYERS COME TO PRACTICE – TO PLAY SOCCER!
- TECHNICALLY WEAK PLAYERS should always work with a ball, in large areas, and against fewer opponents.
- TECHNICALLY STRONGER PLAYERS should work with and without the ball, in smaller areas and against more opponents.
DUPLICATING THE EXCITEMENT OF THE LEAGUE GAME IN PRACTICE IS CRUCIAL.
- Minimize listening and lecture time.
- Maximize touches with the ball and playing time.
Create an environment where players instinctively respond to ball possession. This means:
· Our ball – respond by, instinctively, becoming an Attacker.
· Their ball – respond by instinctively, becoming a Defender.
All Practice Games Must Include Two (2) Goals.
· One goal to Attack
· One Goal to Defend.
CONSIDERING THE PRESENT SKILL LEVEL OF YOUR PLAYERS IS IMPORTANT.
Gear practice games so that each player is challenged. If conditions are too simple, they will get bored. If conditions are too complex, they will be confused.
TECHNIQUE BEFORE TACTICS.
The skill level of tactics should advance to the level of individual and team techniques. It is ridiculous, for example, to expect:
- Accurate passes over long distances – when they cannot pass accurately over shorter distances.
- Precise passing through the air – when they cannot pass accurately on the ground.
- 1st touch control of air balls – when they cannot 1st touch control of ground balls.
DUPLICATING GAME BEHAVIOR IN PRACTICE IS A MUST.
Your function during practice is straightforward:
Teach them to get the action started, then observe and help but only when necessary.
GIVING PLAYERS A HOME-PLAY ASSIGNMENT IS EXTREMELY VITAL.
It would be best if you began by teaching your players to create their environment focusing on the 1 vs. 1 game.
And the ‘New Normal-coach’ must understand that… “The Outcome of Our Children is Infinitely More Important…Than the Outcome of any Practice or Game In Which They Participate!”
Your FUNdamental, Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)
- Emeritus State Director of Coaching California Youth Soccer Assoc. 1979-2012
- Author – FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series
- Producer – ‘FUNdamental SOCCER -Practice’ DVD.
- Clinician at: www.fundamentalsoccer.com