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State DOC Blog

A blog from Jacob Daniel, the Georgia Soccer state Director of Coaching. If you have comments, questions, or topic suggestions, you can email Jacob at


coaching manuals cover all ages and levels

Jacob Daniel- State DOC

The Georgia Soccer web site Coach section has 5 coaching manuals posted in the Coaching Resources page to help coaches of all levels with their training.  The 5 manuals are:

1. Club Player Development Manual - addresses the structure of a club and recommendations on the coaching philosophy, coaching structure, training priorities for all the levels of the game, the role of the Director of Coaching as well as parent education.

2. KINS Manual - provides guidance on how to coach U6 and U8 players.

3. Academy Coaching Manual - addresses the key philosophy for coaching U9 through U12 academy players and provides pointers on how to structure practices to improve players' technical and tactical development.

4. U10/U12 Academy Coaching Manual Part II - a sequel to the previous manual.  Here the focus is on how to teach academy level players to play possession soccer within the small-sided environment and provides sample activities.

5.  ODP Coaching Manual - the official manual used by all states and region ODP coaches with a focus on teaching possession soccer in the 11v11 environment.  the principles of possession soccer and the player roles are outlined, with sample activities.



National Youth Coaching Course 20 years old

Jacob Daniel- State DOC

The National Youth Coaching Course is 20 years old.  This unique course was created by US Soccer and US Youth Soccer to fill the gap that existed in the then national coaching school educational pathway.  The existing courses focused on teaching the coaches how to read the game, tactically, strategically, and technically,  But there were no courses dedicated to teaching the coaches how to read the players, psychologically, emotionally, developmentally, and ability-wise.  This educational void was addressed by the National Youth Coaching Course.  It teaches coaches how to work with players, understand what makes them tick, and what makes then quit.  It is a truly unique course that every coach working with 4-12 year-old should take.  This summer, Georgia Soccer is hosting this course in Atlanta in the first two weekends of August.  check out our web site for more details.

Reactive coach vs Proactive Coach

Jacob Daniel- State DOC

Every soccer aficionado has heard about the successful youth academies of top clubs such as Barcelona and Ajax.  Most coaches know that these professional club academies have nurtured and established a distinct playing style and formation, based on the club’s coaching philosophy.   Individual coaches at these academies cannot do their own thing but must follow an established curriculum and a set of principles developed over the years by the club.

This fact makes me wonder about the coaching methodology used by coaches at these top academies, how different is it from the way we coach here and what we can learn from their approach.  I came up with two definitions of coaching:  Reactive coaching and Proactive coaching.

A reactive coach teaches his/her players by watching his team play and correcting whatever he/she sees and feels needs correcting.  Even if the information from the coach is technically correct, there is randomness to the process and a lack of coherence or direction.  It’s like throwing spaghetti at a wall and hoping something will stick.

A proactive coach starts out with the intent to teach his players to play in a specific way.  He/she articulates clearly his vision of the playing style and basically tells his/her team:  This is how we are going to play!!  The coach then uses the games to fine tune the playing style and corrects whatever doesn’t fit his vision.

No prize for guessing which coaching style is more effective.  Most of our youth coaches are reactive coaches.  We need to educate our coaches to become proactive.


From Costa Rica with Region III ODP 00 Boys

Jacob Daniel- State DOC

The Region 3 Boys ODP 2000 age group is in Costa Rica playing a series of games against the youth academies of the top Costa Rican pro teams. There are 5 players from Georgia’s ODP in the 18 player squad, more than any other state.


With have played 3 games so far and our record is won 2 and tied one. We have one game left before returning on Thursday. This is the first time that I can remember where our Region team was able to come to Costa Rica and dominate possession in games.  The usual pattern of our past experiences involved a lot of defending and counter attacking without much possession. In the past we relied on our defensive organization to stay in the game. This time, we have improved the possession part of our game to a point where we can keep the ball and take the pressure off our defenders.

Our region ODP ’99 and ’98 teams are traveling to Italy in early March and that will be another, more difficult test of our progress in terms of possession abilities. Stay tuned for more.


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