Coaching Education - Travel
Joel will be sending out Coaching Education emails as one of his roles as our Assistant DOC. The goal is to help improve and update our trainers and coaches with the most modern ways of coaching and player development so our players benefit from new studies, fresh training ideas and philosophies.
| Joel Chalkley
Assistant Director of Coaching
| Jamie Wood
Director of Coaching &
May 5, 2010
Below are some training ideas, tips and interesting information for your development from Joel and myself:
Academy age players (7/8/9) love to try new skills and make great strides in development when the training environment encourages the use of skills to beat a player in a 1v1 situation. This focus gradually builds the confidence of a player to use skills on a regular basis, making them a much more skilled player by the time they graduate from the Academy into U11.
Individual ball skills should be on display at every practice in these ages. If most of your players are not using skills in practice, it is showing you that more focus and attention needs to be placed on this area of development
Here is a fun link that I used to send to my Academy players: [ video ]
There are thousands of similar clips on YouTube where our players can watch and get an idea of how the skills work in the game.
This is a finishing lesson plan for the U12 age group. Remember you can use this lesson plan for other ages if you modify the numbers playing against each other or adding additional balls in play. Two goals are ideal for these activities but if you don't have access to a second goal, shooting through a large cone goal works too. [ pdf ]
When walking around the fields at Cumberland, I see a LOT of possession based training going on. Here are some tips on how to make it more interesting for your players:
- Make sure that there are GOALS for both the attacking and defending team in EVERY possession game you do. Just keeping possession of the ball is not very exciting for your players and is also not functional to a game where you want to keep the ball but move towards scoring a goal. Use cone goals (more than one) so the attacking team have to score after ‘x’ amount of passes. Start off with a number of passes that is achievable and make it harder as your session progresses. The defending team should also have cone goals which would simulate starting a counter attack in the real game. E.g. When the defenders win the ball they have to score in the goal farthest away from them.
- Neutral players should not just stand still on the outside of the area. Give them a way to do something that replicates the game and not a scarecrow! You could have the receiving neutral player take the ball on the field to become a regular player and switch with the player who passed to them (this way everyone takes turns and the game flows well) or have the player receive the ball in a specific way. E.g. Player has to touch the ball sideways with outside of the foot and do a skill before passing back into the game. This should only take 3 or 4 seconds and will give the regular players a chance to move to better positions to receive a pass as well as making the neutral player think and act more like a soccer player.
In the U11 & U12 age groups, the quality of possession will depend totally on the technical ability of your players. Try not to get frustrated if the kids can’t put many passes together if their passing and receiving technique needs more work (which they should at these ages regardless of what level team they play on). If you do more possession than technique, you will need to switch the balance to make your training session more efficient.
In the U13 & U14 age groups, I strongly recommend that you make the possession functional so players can be coached in game like situations on the field. E.g. Set the playing area up on the right hand side of the field and tell players their positions (instead of free play) and their objectives. The attacking team right defender needs to find the forwards feet while the attacking midfield players (right mid and 1 center mid) need to make sure they do not block the path to the forward by being out of position. You can then coach the ‘what happens when the forward receives the ball’ situation. The attacking team goal would be to get the ball into crossing or shooting positions, which they would do. The defending team goal would be to score in a cone goal in an area of the field that you want to attack when winning possession of the ball. It could be on the other side of the field or hitting your own forward feet so they can try and score on the half way line.
There are hundreds of functional topics that you can coach. If you need help, please let me know and I will come out and show you.
In all age groups, our players like to compete and be challenged. I make almost EVERYTHING in the whole practice a competition to keep players working hard and getting used to competing against other players or groups. E.g. When I work on passing technique, I have the pairs work on the technique for 2 minutes and then it is a competition of first to ‘x’ amount of passes wins! I have Gold/Silver/Bronze which I tell players who won and they keep track of their medals throughout practice. The players actually love this (even the 14’s believe it or not!) and the secret is to ‘fabricate’ scores sometimes so the kids who do not normally win, get a good level of success during a practice session too. There is nothing more boring than the same player/s winning all of the competitions.
If you wonder why your players don’t do well in 50/50 challenges in a game or if they run alongside the opponent without being physical, it is because they don’t know how to compete! It takes time to build a competitive spirit and although some kids (normally those with older brothers and sisters) have a natural competitive edge to them, most need to learn though a challenging training environment.
This article is for parents on "How to spot an out-of-control coach." I am sending this to our coaching staff because after reading this article I believe we have all been guilty of some of these points. This is not to be a slap on the wrist but just trying to be more aware of what we are doing at all times. Please read and identify areas where you can improve to better the players experiences. [ pdf ]
Coaching Tip: If you have a session that works for you and the players enjoy it, feel free to use it often. Don't feel like you have to come up with something new all the time. Players enjoy being successful, and when they understand the game or the rules of an activity they feel more successful.
October 9, 2009
This is an U11 session addressing the first defender. We should be treating defending as a technique or skill. Meaning defending is not ONLY about effort. There are techniques like foot position, body posture, and distance that can only be improved by practice. Juggling is a skill that only gets better with practice. Defending is the same way. u11first_def.pdf
The article is titled Getting Rid of Laps. It goes along with the basic rule - No Laps, Lines, or Lectures. It explains the different kind of fitness a soccer player needs, as well as gives you some ideas on how to get your players fit without the dreaded Laps. Getting Rid of Laps.pdf
As always, look at both of these links and take what you like from them. After all, coaching is about being open to using other peoples ideas, yet still changing it to make it your own. Enjoy!
Coaching Tip: During a game, try not to yell out instructions like "switch" or "pass it". Instead, wait to see what your player decides to do then correct it if it was a poor decision or praise good decisions. When they make decisions they learn, and isn't that the goal?
September 3, 2009
This is the first of many educational emails you will be receiving this year. The purpose of this is for you to see modern coaching philosophies and training sessions and use them as you see fit. Some of the ideas and activities you will like and others you will not. Please be open minded (an essential quality for a good coach) and enjoy.
Attached is a session designed for U8 players, but is excellent for the novice player of any age. If you are currently coaching more experienced players you could use one of the activities as a warm-up or modify it to fit your needs. U8 Dribbling
Also attached is a training session geared toward U13/14 players. If your players are not capable of running this session exactly please change it and use it however you can with your team. The topic is Changing the Point of Attack, but you could use it for long passing or recognizing space as they are easier topics for the younger players. U14 Change Point of Attack
The informational attachment is an article about Guided Discovery by Sam Snow. Sam is one of the top educators in the country and I personally learned a great deal from him at the National Youth License years ago. This is a teaching method which gives the players more ownership of their learning and challenges them mentally. Guided Discovery
Coaching tip 1: Focus on one topic for the entire training session. It may seem difficult to let some things go, but if they are off topic leave them for another day. The players will respond to this and they will work on improving a specific skill set each session.
Coaching Tip 2: Each session you run should end with a game situation. If you do not have enough players it should be as close to a real game as possible.
and...... HAVE FUN! its contagious! Please ask any questions you have. I am here for you.
Joel Chalkley, Assistant Director of Coaching
Fishers Soccer Club