The tension developed before a dentist appointment or job interview seems mild compared to the stress formed by many coaches before a youth practice session. Coaches can avoid practice tension by reducing the emotional crisis and ease their teaching task considerably by addressing the following:
YOUR PLAYERS ARE CHILDREN
The dictionary says, “Children are young persons of either sex and at any age less than maturity; persons in the process of developing both physically and mentally.”
YOUR PLAYERS ARE LEARNERS
They must be allowed to develop at their own pace. Remember, they had to crawl, walk, run, jump, hop, in that order so also will they develop their soccer skills.
CONSIDER THEIR SKILL LEVEL
Adjust 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.
- Therefore, create an environment that forces the players to make decisions and learn from their own mistakes.
TECHNICALLY WEAK PLAYERS
Should always work with a ball, in large areas, and against fewer opponents. Opponents are not allowed to play at full speed but are asked to either walk or jog while playing.
TECHNICALLY STRONGER PLAYERS
Should work with and without the ball, in smaller areas, and against more opponents. Opponents are asked to play at game speed.
DUPLICATE THE EXCITEMENT of the LEAGUE GAME
By minimizing listening and lecture time and maximizing touches with the ball and playing time.
- This is accomplished by playing small sided games such as: 1vs.0; 1vs.1; 2vs.0; 2vs.1; 2vs.2; 3vs.0; 3vs.1; etc.
- The coaches’ duty during these games is to Observe & Help! But, help only those individuals who need help & preferably one individual at a time, just like coaching a substitute during a regular game.
One Goal-to-Attack and One Goal-to-Defend are vitally essential to have for ALL practice activities. Players must learn to respond instinctively to ball possession which means:
- Our Ball – ALL players must take up Attacking Roles.
- Their Ball – ALL players must take up Defending Roles
SHOTS on GOAL
ALL practice activities must include or end with a Shot-on-Goal.
- Players must first learn from what distance they can successfully reach the goal.
- Players must then learn to instinctively Shoot-on-Goal dismissing the outcome.
Fact: 100% of all Shots not taken will not result in a goal being scored.
CHILDREN LEARN FROM THEIR MISTAKES
Learning takes place, resulting from errors made.
It is crucial that coaches turn player errors into a favorable learning situation. The player’s self-confidence should not be affected by mistakes that are made when playing soccer.
Note this comment about professional soccer, “It is a game played by 22 error-prone, overpaid players. Who are surrounded by 80,000 mistake-free, perfect, expert spectators.”
Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)-Emeritus State Director of Coaching – California Youth Soccer Assoc. (1979-2012)
-Author of the Internationally Published FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series
-Producer of the highly acclaimed ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ DVD.
-Clinician at: www.fundamentalsoccer.com
-Can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-At iSport360, we love working with Koach Karl and get his great thoughts about coaching soccer.