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

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

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