KINS Manual: for organizing the training and game format for 6U and 8U players
Club Player Development Manual: written by Georgia Soccer’s Director of Coaching, Jacob Daniel, this manual is a must for every decision maker or director at your club. In the newly expanded second edition, find answers to these questions and many more:
How do you structure your club in the most effective and efficient way?
What is the role of the Board?
What is the role of the DOC?
How do players develop?
How do you set goals for your club?
How do you evaluate your team’s performance?
How do you deal with and educate parents?
How do you implement a club curriculum?
Academy Select Coaching Manual: for 10U and 12U players and contains the training priorities, sample activities and recommendations for improving players technique and tactical awareness.
Academy Select Coaching Manual Pt. II: the second part of the aforementioned 10U and 12U Academy/Select manual. This manual has a more tactical focus on the concepts of possession soccer and on laying the foundation for possession soccer to prepare for the 11v11 environment.
2017 ODP Coaching Manual: used by US Youth Soccer ODP coaches at the region and state level. It provides those coaches with the standards for training players in the ODP program. This in turn improves these players' opportunities to move into the U.S. Soccer national player pools. Club coaches are encouraged to use this manual to teach their teams possession soccer. This is an excellent manual for coaching "playing out of the back."
Regardless of defending system and formation used, when teams defend, they should follow a few key general guidelines. Part 1 of this article focuses on these general guidelines.
In Part 1, we offered general guidelines for defending. In this article, we will focus on defending in a 4-3-3 formation, using zonal defending in a two-line block of players: the defending line and the midfield/winger line.
The ability to provide support around the ball is one of the deficiencies of the American youth player. Good support requires a feel for the spacing between players as it relates to the distance from the ball and distance from opponents. Support requires awareness of space that is probably partly learned, but mostly innate.
The three strategies laid out in this article, when worked in unison, form the basis for modern team defending. When properly executed, these strategies cause opponents to bring the ball into a dead-end trap and ultimately, lose possession.
One of the pillars of coaching methodology is to use game-like activities in practice as opposed to drills. The idea is to replicate the game scenarios in practice using an activity that flows and provides opportunities for the players to make soccer decisions. Too often, coaches put players through boring drills in which the coach himself choreographs the movements and makes all the decisions for the players. This article outlines some tried and tested examples of game-like activities that address specific topics.
Many players in the 14U-19U age group experience a key transition phase in their soccer development. This article walks you through essential training priorities like technical speed of play and functional tactical sessions.
Many youth, school and college games in North America allow unlimited substitutions during games. The main driving force behind the liberal substitution rules is to promote equal playing time for all participants and to provide ample development opportunities to all the players. Although these substitution rules are well-intentioned, the end result is not always conducive to player development.
Coaches should always remind their players to play with deception and can reinforce it in the way they manipulate and organize their practice activities and the feedback they provide.
At the team level, goal setting creates a road map and keeps the coach and the team focused on concrete targets. On a broader level, the more integrated a club is and the more collaborative the coaching education and mentoring is, the more effective a club becomes.
What is the difference between training to develop and training to win at all costs?
Most parents would gladly accept advice from people they perceive as experts if they believe that knowledge gained will help their child. Youth clubs can enlist experts and/or develop the expertise to provide guidance to parents. The efforts in this area are certainly going to be worthwhile if the parents become more supportive of the coach, the club and most importantly, their child.
Players of this age are beginning to think logically and absorb abstract concepts. They are making the transition from ‘doing the first thing that comes to their mind’ to ’weighing the options in each situation and choosing the best option’.
Once players acquire a strong technical foundation and are seeking challenges that can elevate their performance, they need to learn to play in tight areas under high levels of pressure from opponents. Practice sessions should focus on game related activities in small areas relative to the number of players, with the emphasis on learning how to create and exploit space, how to receive the ball under pressure, in other words, how to improve speed of play.
Coaching at the youth level, especially at the recreational level, can be summed up tongue-in-cheek as grown-up structure on a collision course with youthful spontaneity. If you ask many coaches, they will tell you of their constant battle to impose organization on a bunch of exuberant carefree kids.
Implementing a Club Wide Curriculum
The future of youth soccer can be captured in two words, soccer academies. Academy is the catch word. Everyone is looking to position their club as a soccer "academy," but what does that mean? Most people would agree that the word academy implies a school, but schools have a curriculum that is utilized to teach and measure the effectiveness of teaching; therefore, it doesn’t make any sense to have an academy but not a curriculum.
This outlines some guidelines for the safe handling of situations where there could be exposure to blood-borne diseases from participants.