Minute with Merrick – Episode 07 – Life Lessons

Life Lessons through Sports

Alan shares advice for youth soccer players, parents, coaches, and fans of soccer during these “Minute with Merrick” episodes.

Alan Merrick is MOTI’s Director of Soccer Content. Alan’s professional career began in England, where played for West Bromwich Albion as well as the English Junior National Team. He played for 10 years in England, before moving to the United States in 1976 to play for the Minnesota Kicks. His career as a player also included playing for the LA Aztecs, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto Blizzard and for the US National Team – Team America. He coached the in-door NASL Team Minnesota Strikers for 6 years, and the University of Minnesota Men’s Club Team for over 20 seasons. Alan helped start the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association with others, held youth soccer camps across the upper Midwest, and has been a guest clinician for USSF coaching school courses for over 40 years. Alan holds coaching licenses in England, the USSF A License, and the Canadian Coaching License. READ MORE

Minute with Merrick – Episode 06

An Athlete’s Built in Stress Reliever

Alan shares advice for youth soccer players, parents, coaches, and fans of soccer during these “Minute with Merrick” episodes.

Alan Merrick is MOTI’s Director of Soccer Content. Alan’s professional career began in England, where played for West Bromwich Albion as well as the English Junior National Team. He played for 10 years in England, before moving to the United States in 1976 to play for the Minnesota Kicks. His career as a player also included playing for the LA Aztecs, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto Blizzard and for the US National Team – Team America. He coached the in-door NASL Team Minnesota Strikers for 6 years, and the University of Minnesota Men’s Club Team for over 20 seasons. Alan helped start the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association with others, held youth soccer camps across the upper Midwest, and has been a guest clinician for USSF coaching school courses for over 40 years. Alan holds coaching licenses in England, the USSF A License, and the Canadian Coaching License. READ MORE

Minute with Merrick Episode 05

New Coach? What now?

Alan shares advice for youth soccer players, parents, coaches, and fans of soccer during these “Minute with Merrick” episodes.

Alan Merrick is MOTI’s Director of Soccer Content. Alan’s professional career began in English as he played for West Bromwich Albion as well as the English Junior National Team. He played for 10 years in England, before moving to the United States in 1976 where he played for the Minnesota Kicks. His career as a player also included playing for The LA Aztecs, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto Blizzards, before returning to Minnesota to play for the Minnesota Kicks once again, and Playing for the US National Team – Team America. He coached the in-door NASL Team, the Minnesota Strikers for 6 years, and the University of Minnesota Men’s Club Team for over 20 seasons. Alan helped start the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association with others and has been coaching youth players, and teaching coaches for over 40 years. Alan holds coaching licenses in England, the USSF A License, and Canadian Coaching License. READ MORE

Minute with Merrick Episode 04 – Let the Coaches Coach

Alan shares advice for youth soccer players, parents, coaches, and fans of soccer during these “Minute with Merrick” episodes.

Alan Merrick is MOTI’s Director of Soccer Content. Alan’s professional career began in English as he played for West Bromwich Albion as well as the English Junior National Team. He played for 10 years in England, before moving to the United States in 1976 where he played for the Minnesota Kicks. His career as a player also included playing for The LA Aztecs, San Jose Earthquakes, Toronto Blizzards, before returning to Minnesota to play for the Minnesota Kicks once again, and Playing for the US National Team – Team America. He coached the in-door NASL Team, the Minnesota Strikers for 6 years, and the University of Minnesota Men’s Club Team for over 20 seasons. Alan helped start the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association with others and has been coaching youth players, and teaching coaches for over 40 years. Alan holds coaching licenses in England, the USSF A License, and Canadian Coaching License. READ MORE

Minute with Merrick Episode 03

Lesson Plans for the Teachers

Alan shares advice for youth soccer players, parents, coaches, and fans of soccer during these “Minute with Merrick” episodes.

Alan Merrick is MOTI’s Director of Soccer Content. As an international soccer legend both as a professional player and coach, Alan now dedicates his time to teaching the sport with MOTI Sports’ 3D Mobile Soccer Training Platform.

Coaching U10 Players (and their parents)!

At this age the coach’s task is to provide the opportunity to play soccer.  These students have minds and bodies that are like sponges and we need to keep their attention.  The instruction can be directed at the development of the entire player, their physical, cognitive, social and psychological needs.

Remember U10 players are still children not adult players, their attention span is getting a little longer than last year but still not fully developed.  Their motion is gaining in balance and strength but not yet fully developed.  Psychologically U10 children are becoming stronger in understanding how to cooperate and share with others.  Boys and Girls are beginning to develop at different speeds, girls getting their growth spurts a little earlier.  Motor skills overall are becoming more refined.  Muscle memory is very elastic and receptive to good instruction.  At this age player memory is absorbing content as fast as it can be delivered and players are able to think ahead because they can tap into new information they have recently experienced.   READ MORE

New Coach? What do you do now?

Are you a new coach involved with Soccer for the first time asking – What do I do now?

What follows will give you enough pointers to begin coaching and give you a solid foundation to plan practices, identify and teach relevant soccer skills that will hopefully lead to bolstering your involvement in and ultimate enjoyment of the great game of soccer.

Soccer is a game of great skill and technique if it is to be played correctly and enjoyed immensely. When first starting out it is important, as a coach, that you not try to instruct the new player too much at one time. In the initial stages of development your concentration should be focused on having your players familiarize themselves with fundamental ball handling techniques. It is important that young players learn to control the ball with different body surfaces such as feet, thighs and chest. Being able to comfortably juggle the ball on all surfaces of the body is a natural progression to close ground control. Creating positive practice environments, especially during the beginning sessions, and allowing players to experience the many moves and technique skill sets together as a team is vital. Only with perseverance and repetitions will players attain the feel and touch required to have maximum control of their body and the ball. READ MORE

Coaching Smarter Saving Time

Smart coaching can be as simple as better organization prior to the season using a mapped out plan for an entire season. Having a practice plan for your sessions gives you a body of work that can be easily accessed and be ready for delivery to your team. Being organized and having a plan takes away an awful lot of anguish, frustration and ultimately failure in producing the education goals you aspire to.

A coach’s consistency of content throughout the season is key to instructing and demonstrating to their players that they are knowledgeable and engaged with the squad of players. Parents from the side lines will appreciate the coach more when they see energy, movement and meaningful activities that players are embracing and showing fun emotions while doing them. READ MORE