Challenge can be fun

As a father, I enjoy seeing my kids play.  It is fun to watch them and it makes my passion come to life.

Last week for the first time in my life my son walked away disappointed after a game.  He said, “We stunk, Dad.  We will never win a game.”

I tried to comfort him.  I told him how he was able to get more shots off this game than the game before and how we were working really hard.  A player from the other team walked up to him after the game and told him how much respect he had for his team and him. READ MORE

Hey Coach, Are YOU Having Fun Yet?

Early in my coaching career, I realized that no matter how hard my day had been or how tired I was, I inevitably left practice or time with the team I was coaching in a better mood than when I had arrived. I was and still am consistently energized by sharing my love for the game, by the “aha” moments, by hard work, and the list could go on.

While “fun” comes in different forms for every person, if you aren’t having fun as the coach, chances are high that the kids likely aren’t having much fun either. READ MORE

Coaching Children Ages U6/U8 – Part 1

This is the first in a three-part series on coaching children at this young age.

Introduction

Children at these ages are being introduced to just how much FUN it is to play soccer.  By providing a safe and fun environment you can ensure a positive experience for the children.

You are coaching because you care for children.  You may not even know much about soccer (well, not yet anyway), and that is OK!  What you bring to the soccer field as their coach is your personality!  Your enthusiasm for them will show through any misgivings you might have about your soccer coaching abilities.  Consider this:  these children may not remember what you teach them about soccer, but they will always remember how you make them feel. READ MORE

New to Coaching? What to focus on.

You just got talked into coaching your first soccer team.  CONGRATULATIONS! 

Here are FIVE tried and true suggestions for you.

Be Positive

If you want players to come to practice, respect you, have their parent’s respect you, the other coaches respect you, and – yes – even the referees respect you . . . be positive.  Look for little “victories” with each player and compliment them when they succeed.  Success breeds success.  Sarcasm and negativity will tear a player down rather than build them up. READ MORE

FUN in Parenting, FUN in Coaching, FUN makes Happy Players.

On the top of the list from all of the surveys, studies, and reports from the Medical professionals is the word FUN as they describe what young soccer players are searching for in the game. It is pretty easy to make the game of Soccer FUN! Here are some of the ways.

Breaking down what makes them pulsate and be engaged in Soccer we find that building a skill set with the ball is very satisfying and enables them to grow and develop in the game.  Learning how to give energy and gain stamina during practice builds inner self esteem leading them to trying their hardest while active in the sport, in both practice and games. READ MORE

COACHES CORNER: Parental Advisory! A Beginning Guide to Some Soccer Lingo

If you are looking to gain some credibility with your player(s) or in conversations with those in the know, here is a quick list of some fun dos and suggested don’ts of things to say.

First, two sideline pitfalls to avoid!

Boot it! – Usually used to instruct a player to get the ball cleared or plead with them to just kick it really hard.  The only time the word boot should come out of your mouth around soccer players is when you are quaintly referring to the soccer cleats on someone’s feet or instructing someone to grab some equipment from your car trunk. Think “cool new boots” or “could you please grab the cones from the boot, my car is the white Honda.” READ MORE

COACHS CORNER: Keeping Practice FUN AND EFFECTIVE

  • Minimize the lines, maximize the ball touches – players should rarely be standing around. Set up more than one station of the same drill, go to both goals to shoot or have a passing sequence lead up to a shot so more players are involved, one ball per player and keep them moving during skills session.
  • Players will respond to your energy level and enthusiasm, both physical and verbal…you should be almost as tired as the kids by the end of practice!
  • Try to make one to one contact/connection with every player throughout the course of each practice and game. Make direct technique corrections with a player that is struggling to execute a skill, acknowledge great effort to the player who sprinted back on defense, high fives as they are getting subbed off.
  • Incorporate some analogous visuals as you talk about technique. Ankles should be locked when doing an inside of the foot pass – what would happen if a hockey stick had a blade on a hinge?
  • Come up with some fun/silly catch phrases that are easy for the kids to latch onto and for you to pull out during games and practices. “Say no to the toe!” to remind them which part of the foot they should be using to shoot or pass. “Zak, Rutabaga!” when Zak is looking up at the sky instead of focusing on something soccer related.
  • Stop a skills session or a drill in the middle when you catch a player doing something really well and have them do a demonstration for the whole team. Let them take a bow at the end and encourage a round of applause from teammates.  
  • READ MORE

    Opportunity for FUN in Recreational Soccer!

    Hi – Parent Volunteer Soccer Coaches and Soccer Players, we’ve been waiting for you!

    Are you a “parent volunteer soccer coach” looking for training on “what”and “how” to coach soccer players?

    Good! You’ve found us! That is what we do with our Mobile App!

    We’ve developed a mobile application (App) to walk you “the parent volunteer coach” thru every practice session step-by-step, with a system that enables the Players to develop while you are developing.

    Recreational soccer coaching requires guidance (practice/session plan) to run an educational, engaging and effective practice every evening. We’ve taken the guess work out of preparing for each practice, by providing a template (practice/session plan) for your soccer team to follow. We’ve taken the guess work out of “what” to do, and “when” to do it. Plus, while you the coach are developing as a coach, we know that players can certainly be part of the development process and be as engaged as you are! So our system is designed and tested to have players see and study right along with you. It works! READ MORE