BY DAVID CLARKE
A few thoughts to consider before your next session.
1. Do you coach in absolutes? (“never do this, always do that”).
2. Do you constantly yell orders at your players rather than let them make their own decisions on the pitch?
3. Are your players receiving conflicting advice from coaches and parents?
4. Do your players look nervous and uncomfortable on the pitch, looking to you and others for help?
5. Do your players sometimes ask to be substituted?
Which coach are you?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you are possibly guilty of over-coaching. Try the following tips to get you back on the right track:
1. Avoid “never” – ask your players what they think, then tell them what you think and why.
2. Give your players the space to make their own decisions and let them make their own mistakes – they will learn.
3. Don’t shout so much – if they can solve their on-field problems by themselves you’ve done a good job.
What defines our attitude?
Attitude is the state of mind with which a player approaches a soccer situation
Attitude is a state of mind but is measured by a player’s behavior
A player’s attitude is POSITIVE when:
they have met the situation before
they were successful in the past
they feel fully prepared
A player’s attitude is NEGATIVE when
they are unsure about the situation
they have no relevant history of success
they feel unprepared
What influences a player’s state of mind?
- Their own unique personality
- Significant others e.g. coaches, teachers, parents, peer group
- The soccer environment e.g. do I feel capable here? Do I feel I belong here?
Signs of a Negative Attitude
-Quality of practice
-Voluntary extra work
Taken from "Building Winning Attitudes in Young Players" by Bill Beswick
How to encourage your soccer-playing child:
- Focus not on winning itself but on winning behavior. So his/her team lost– never mind, he/she still took a great free kick.
- Before a game, ask him/her what he wants to get out of it. Maybe he/she has been practicing a tricky tackle, in which case you can say: “I saw you do it three times. Fantastic.”
- Cheer from the touchline but don’t issue instructions.
- Beware of conversation on the car journey home. Try not to interrogate him and concentrate on positive feedback.
- Emphasizing “personal bests” – quality crosses, long passes, etc – is the way to build self-confidence.
- The first question back at home should not be “Did you win?” but “Did you have a good time?”
- When looking for a club for your child, go to a game and watch the body language and conduct of players, parents and the coach. Ask about substitution and rotation policies – will everyone in the side get a game?
- Don’t try to live out thwarted ambitions through your child.
"Amateur, in its origins, means lover. Amateurs are those who do what they do for the love of it; professionals do it – not necessarily ignominiously – for the money."
Cricket commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins was a touching reminder that novices matter just as much as the pros:
Inspired by a true amateur
By Harry Eyres
Cricket commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins was a touching reminder that novices matter just as much as the pros
The outpouring of emotion in the British press about the passing of the cricket commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins (CMJ) was surprising in more than one way. First, CMJ, at least in his commentating persona, was the epitome of the stiff-upper-lip Englishman, never descending to the ribaldry and low tone of other commentators. (Apparently, he was quite different and endearingly chaotic in his private persona, known for mistaking a television remote control for a mobile phone and inadvertently ejecting a set of golf-clubs from the back of a Mini Moke in Barbados.) The man who put stern limits to feeling in his professional capacity stirred up a lot of warm feeling in others.
Professional capacity, however, is not quite the right phrase. The greatest regret around the death of CMJ concerned the disappearance of a man who might just have been the last of the inspired amateurs. CMJ was not a professional cricketer; he never got further than captaining his school and university college sides, and so in the cricketing scheme of things he was rather nearer to the village trundler than to Shane Warne or Sachin Tendulkar.
For a long time now, the trend in sports commentary has been relentlessly professional. The almost universal assumption is that only people who have played a sport at the highest level have the ability, or the right, to commentate upon it. Though occasionally it works (as in the cases of Richie Benaud and John McEnroe) this seems questionable logic. Professionals may have a greater understanding of certain technical matters than amateurs; they may also suffer from a kind of professional deformation, a blinkered view that has lost sight of sport’s most noble and enlightening aspects. A classic example is the so-called “professional foul” in football, often applauded by professional commentators as “the only option”, but obviously a betrayal of any Corinthian ideals football might still aspire to.
But the over-reliance on professionals is misguided for a more obvious reason: whereas the medium of sport is physical skill, the medium of commentary is words. Employing someone who is exceptionally good at sport as a commentator is like employing an animal handler to paint animal pictures.
CMJ, who had only modest abilities as a batsman and bowler, was a precise exponent of the spare art of cricket commentary, never wasting words and often finding well-chosen ones. And though he was not as eloquent as certain other commentators on the game, such as the poet John Arlott, he obviously loved it, and loved every minute of his time in the commentary box.
If I appoint him as standard-bearer of the inspired amateurs, I hope he might posthumously lead them to victory over professionals in other fields. Amateur, in its origins, means lover. Amateurs are those who do what they do for the love of it; professionals do it – not necessarily ignominiously – for the money.
We have come, I think, to have an inverted sense of the relative values of amateurism and professionalism, not unconnected to the current crisis of valuation in which only monetary values are recognised. At the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont a few summers ago I was struck by something the talented young mezzo-soprano Jazimina MacNeil said to me in passing: that she saw professional music-making as resting on, and entirely depending on, the great broad base of amateur music-making and music-loving.
That is not how we normally think: we are encouraged by the marketing people to believe that only the big stars matter, because only they make the big bucks. But even in monetary terms that argument can be turned around: the big bucks are composed of lots of little bucks; the stars would be nowhere without their fans.
The consumerist model sees active, immensely well-paid sporting or artistic stars passively watched from couches by voyeurs, who have given up their active birthright of participating in sport, or music, or drama. But that model is neither desirable nor even true. The genius of Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal rests on the enthusiasm of millions of club biffers. The same is even more true of music.
All over England, and other countries, amateurs participate in choirs (I only recently discovered that the modest wine writer of this paper is in one), orchestras and bands. They may not play or sing with the skill of Hough or Terfel, but they perform with love and fervour.
I’m no good at singing and my efforts at learning the cello ended in painful failure, but I do still play the piano with undaunted enthusiasm if no great skill. Over New Year with friends, I splashed through the piano duet versions of some Beethoven symphony slow movements. It was great fun, but above all an active engagement with the music. However ham-fisted, we amateurs matter – and in a peculiar way, just as much as the pros. The accident-prone Christopher Martin-Jenkins, with his passion for cricket, was a touching reminder of that.
More columns at www.ft.com/eyres
- Refrain from over-coaching.
- Allow players the freedom to make their own decisions on the field.
- Remind parents to remain calm during the game and not to coach from the sidelines. We want to avoid creating an intense environment for young children. This can only spoil their enjoyment of the game.
- Avoid playing positions: indoor soccer is a dynamic game with the “picture” always changing. Teaching players to understand the concepts of creating a “shape”, “Diamond” i.e. Width and Depth, will help their game awareness and movement/positioning off the ball.
If your team happens to be much stronger than the opposition then please consider the following ways to avoid a blow out (try to be discrete):
- Put strongest player in goal
- Strongest player cannot score
- Team/player tries to use weaker foot only
- Every player on the team has to touch the ball before a goal can be scored
- Must complete 4 consecutive passes before scoring
TECHNICAL/TACTICAL COACHING TIPS
-Encourage players to control the ball and not to "boot” away first time.
-Take a a touch and then make a decision.
-Encourage players to not be afraid to take players on especially in 1v1 situations.
-Guide them in decision making: e.g. in own penalty might not always be the best decision or if there is a teammate in a more advantageous position
-Encourage quality passes with inside of the foot/outside of the foot but not toes.
-Encourage and remind kids of using the correct technique
-Encourage kids ot to be afraid of taking shots if within distance even if there may be players in blocking the goal.
-Take opportunities, take them early.
-Every player on the pitch is a defender.
-Early pressure on the ball, be patient/don't dive in,
-strong and fair in the tackle, no slide tackling or tackling from behind
-In Possession: Look to release the ball early. look for an open player and roll the ball under arm to player for easy control.
-Communicate to players -- GK can see the whole field
-Be on toes and be ready to come off line to attacking player to close the angle and make it more difficult for a shot.
Futsal/indoor soccer is a dynamic game so be mindful of not limiting the free movement of players but do try to guide the keys in the core functions of defense and attack and general team shape rather than position specific.
-On the ball:
Encourage players to create through lots of movement and support.
Players should always look to be open creating both width and depth --Triangles/ Diamond Shape.
-Off the ball:
Early pressure on the ball
Other players drop behind the ball
Stay compact. mark up opponents.
DIV 9 1 hour Clinic run by DUSC coaching staff.
DIV 8 3v3 (no GK) Games: 4x10mins
DIV 7 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
DIV 6 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
DIV 5 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
DIV 4 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
DIV 3 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
DIV 2 6v6 (5 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
DIV 1 6v6 (5 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
YG (6-7) 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
YG (8-9) 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
IG 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
OG 5v5 (4 outfield players plus 1 GK) Games: 2x20mins
- Ceiling and netting is out-of-bounds
- Goal-kicks or throws must touch the goalkeeper's side before going past the midfield line
- All free-kicks are indirect
- No slide tackling
- No pushing into the boards
- Take a center after a goal is scored (Except DIV 8--restart with a goal kick).
- Goalkeepers must roll the ball under arm or put the ball down and pass the ball back into
NOTE: Games played at Lehman Prep and The Avenues will play out of bounds. All re-starts will be kick-ins.
Happy New Year !
Thank you once again for volunteering your time to coach. As you know, DUSC is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on volunteers. It's in this spirit that makes the Club and the Community very special and we truly appreciate your support in providing a positive environment for the kids to enjoy playing soccer.
To remind, this is a "non-competititve" league in the sense we do not keep scores or standings. Naturally the kids will keep scores but the emphasis from ourselves as coaches should always be on learning, development, participation and having fun and not the result. The biggest cause for kids dropping out of soccer/sport is the PRESSURE to win.
Please try to communicate this message to your parents and ask that they refrain from instructing from the sidelines -- it confuses the players, can cause unnecessary pressure/anxiety and ultimately take the fun out of the game.
Please also remind them to respect all refereeing decisions, the opposition and generally promote a positive and supportive atmosphere at games. This will also rub off onto the kids who will as a result will play better and with greater confidence.
Yours in soccer,
Dear Pier 40 Players and Families,
Please click on one of the video links below to see the near future for the Pier 40 Ballfields and the immediate impact on the lives of thousands of kids.
To view on YouTube go to http://bit.ly/PqUPY4
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Thanks for your support!