By Coach Ric B. Jr.
I am writing you this letter to share some discoveries during this past coaching season.
First of all, following the ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ presented in your books and DVDs’ “is the smartest thing I have done so far in my coaching career. A bit much to absorb but after putting the information to work for the last 5 months, it has become more clear and much easier to follow and apply.
Now I would like to share what I did this past soccer season. I coached girls U12 and girls U7. First let me tell you about the little one’s U7’s. We followed the 10 Steps ‘FUNdamental Practice Routine (just kidding) 9 Steps Routine.
Of course I modified it to suit their age. I Explained to them what we were going to do in about 3 minutes. Then got into the Warm-up with the Figure 8 routine. Then went ahead with 1+1, here I had a bit of a problem, because they couldn’t grasp the cooperative aspect. But, about the middle of the season they did! Thanks to a lot of patience and hours of working on it.
When we got to the 1 vs. 1, there was not a problem, they just went against each other like crazy. Of course we had our Half-time chat and went into Small Sided Games even and uneven. It all depended on what I wanted them to work on. We had our little Scrimmage game and after cool down and then we ended our practice on a positive note.
Working with little one’s requires lots of patience and time. But let me tell you, it’s all worth it. I wanted to find out if the ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ really worked and It Did!!! That’s why I’m happy I followed your FUNdamental Approach, because now I know that the kids will get the right information and training from the very beginning.
The feedback from parents was, also, very encouraging. They used to come and tell me, “this is a very structured training session, I don’t even see it with older players.” I even had one parent tell me, Ric I’m stealing your stuff and giving it to the U10 coaches and their girls really like it.” At the end of the season, all parents, except one, said that they wish I could coach the same team next year because their kids really learned soccer for the first time.
As far as the U12 girls, it became a challenge because repetition is boring to them. So I introduced the “Serve” with lots of variations. I worked them up to Small Sided Games. This worked out very well, because when I had them do Cooperative Small Sided Games it exposed their weaknesses, which in turn made it easier for me to coach and work on the ‘stuff’ they called boring. But, I also made sure they knew when they did something great.
Of course coaching U12 I was not able to teach everything found in the book I hope to get to some of that material next year. But, the book made it easier for me to follow a logical progression of teaching. Overall I had a positive experience coaching this year and am looking forward to coaching next year using your ‘Nine Practice Routine.’
Koach, hopefully I did not bore you with this stuff but, I wanted you and anyone who may read these words to know that the FUNdamental methodology and your ‘9=Step Routine’ -Really WORKS!