Keeping your Eye on the Ball – Keeper “Threat Assessment” Training

Keeping your eye on the ball as the Keeper also means understanding the
capabilities of yourself and your opponent.

As the Keeper is watching play develop and what amounts to be the “invasion” of the mid-field, and the defensive half, it also means the need to understanding the opponents passing successes & capabilities, their ability to change the point of attack, their control play to maintain possession. .

Watching and understanding their player positioning as they approach is critical to understanding where the Keeper needs to position to defend appropriately. READ MORE

Learning to Play and Becoming a Player

Some reflection on ‘learning to play the game’ and ‘becoming a player’.

Learning the Game

If we could provide only high level coaches to the younger age groups the development game would be literally turned on its head. So many more players would develop their appropriate skills sets providing them the foundation to go forward and play at the highest of levels. I have seen and been involved in camps where players are coached like an assembly line plant, good staff coaches give expert instruction for a week. The players respond well in the conveyer belt stations where skills are demonstrated, broken down and coaching points are attached for clarity and comprehension. Players do get a respectable skill set installed in that environment, but it is quickly dissolved once the camp is complete and that classroom is removed, only a few, a very few retain the required knowledge as their connection to the coach resource is gone. READ MORE

MOTI MOBILE Tip: Drill Controls – Part 2 of 3

MOTI Mobile Tip: Drill Controls – Part 2 of 3

Welcome back to the 3-part series on MOTI Mobile drill controls. In this
article the Zoom Controls and Camera View Menu
will be reviewed and explained. Utilizing these features, reviewing the
play from a multitude of angles and levels of detail is possible.

To recap, the review of the drill controls are divided into 3 parts. Topics
for the 3 parts are:

  1.  Animation Controls and Overview – Part 1 introduced the main
    control panel, the animation controls and the menu/control-panel buttons.
  2. Zoom Controls and Camera Views Menu (this article) – Part 2
    covers both the zoom controls and the camera view menu that help with
    viewing the drill in different ways.
  3.  Drill Effects – Part 3 will cover the drill effects that are
    available to help visualize the workings of the drill.


The first article introduced layout of the drill controls in the panel and
described the functionality of each of the buttons and controls. The
content of the previous article will be used as a basis of this article.
Read the first article if these concepts are unfamiliar or a refresher is
needed. READ MORE

COACHS CORNER: Team Building as a Mid-Season Pick-Me-Up

The fall season is short and hopefully (mostly) sweet. But that doesn’t mean it is without challenges. Often times everyone involved starts a season with renewed energy and optimism. There is a plan and goals for where things will ideally be when the final final whistle blows. This is, however, all before school starts and daylight gets shorter and maybe that master plan isn’t going quite as expected…

If a mid-season dip sets in, what can a coach do to help reinvigorate effort, focus and fun? Sometimes it requires going off-script and changing the plan. Try to figure out what the team actually needs. For younger players, this might mean less drills and possibly some time relay races, 1v1 to goal or more free play. For older players, it helps to ask them for feedback. Take the pulse from some of the trusted leaders on the squad. Maybe an extra day off? Is a relaxed team-building practice needed? READ MORE

Through the Players Eyes

Interview young players and ask them what they like about soccer and I guarantee nearly 99% of them will say quite simply, “it’s fun!”

Why do they play? “To hang out with friends.”

How do they learn the game? “By playing,” “from watching it on TV and going to (MLS) games” and “seeing older players at tournaments or in high school matches.”

Who inspires them? “The professionals and (their) coach.”

Young players love to love the game – to score goals and play in drills and games where they get to express themselves. They often show up time after time because their friends are teammates and their teammates become lifelong friends. They look up to professionals but the professionals are “out there” but their coach, who is right in front of them day after day, is usually their most immediate and consistent role model. READ MORE

Technique / Skills Mastery – “I am watching you”

Recently, I was observing a coach providing some coaching points to a player, reminding them of the proper move or form to strike the ball. The player appreciated the attention and direction. The player kept working at the move without the coach’s feedback for a while. The player became less rigid in their form over time. The coach simply turned and remarked “I am watching you” and the player’s form or technique improved instantly.

Coaches often obtain knowledge of the game and how to work with players thru course work at the sports local club, state or national organizations. This knowledge transfer is gained thru “education”. READ MORE

MOTI MOBILE Tip: Drill Controls – Part 1 of 3

MOTI Mobile drill controls give the user control over the playback of the
drill, options for viewing the drill from different locations and
management of the special effects available. The drill controls are
positioned at the bottom of the screen.

This series of articles will be divided into 3 parts. Topics for the 3
parts are:

  1.  Animation Controls and Overview (this article) – Part 1
    introduces the main control panel, the animation controls and the
    menu/control-panel buttons.
  2.  Zoom and Camera Views – Part 2 covers both the zoom control and
    the camera view menu that help with viewing the drill in different ways.
  3.  Drill Effects – Part 3 will covers the drill effects that are
    available to help visualize the workings of the drill.

Controls Overview

The drill controls are located at the bottom of the screen and are always
on-screen. The follow sections will refer to the image below using both the
icon and the numbers for identification. READ MORE

COACHS CORNER: Parent Coach Seeking a Good Therapist!

It doesn’t matter what age group I have coached, there inevitably comes a time when I need to seek a little “coaching therapy.” To me, this means consulting with my coaching peers and mentors to discuss the different triumphs and pitfalls I have encountered in a certain practice, at a game or throughout a season.

It doesn’t matter that it is “just a recreational league” – kids emotions…parental expectations…player development…practice plans…the general energy it requires to try and give everyone a positive experience can, at times, leave a coach needing a friend to lean on! So don’t go it alone. Find your people that are in the know who you can celebrate the little victories with and who can give you the perspective you need to re-energize you for your next round. READ MORE