Monday, January 7, 2008

Coaching Youth Soccer

It is important to understand the reason youth players choose to participate in any sport. Sometimes players do not come to sport by their own choice, but rather by the choice of the parent’s. As a result, instructors need to give youth players something to get excited about.

We need to keep in mind that at a very young age learning to play soccer is secondary to most other things in their lives.

Let’s look at some things that we can do to energize youth players and hopefully get them to the point where they will learn enthusiastically.

Sessions should be geared around touching the ball as many times as possible. Involve the ball in each activity. Movements such as running, skipping, hopping, jumping, rolling, etc. must be emphasized to build coordination and athleticism. Players must develop the physical capacity to perform technical skills.

Training sessions should not last for more than 60-90 minutes. Physical fatigue is a factor and attention span is a consideration. Train once or twice a week.

FUN is the emphasis while working with the young age groups. Always remember the players’ physical and mental maturity. Each activity should accommodate the players’ level of understanding.

Team play and passing is a psychological threat for younger players. The player feels that if they pass the ball, they may never get it back.

Sometimes you will notice that teammates will steal the ball from each other. Frustrating to the coach for sure but normal behavior and logical if you understand things from the child/player’s perspective. The coach must understand and accommodate this perspective.

This article was featured in the Scuola Calcio Magazine

Scuola Calcio Coaching Magazine is aimed to improve youth players from the age of 5 and up. Every activity will be specifically targeted to the appropriate age group.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Don Fabio, What To Expect England!

This article is featured on "Vital Villa Forum" - click here!

Monday he starts his new job. I doubt the English people are very clear on what the next four years of national football will bring them. The media sure don`t.

They don`t seem to have a clue, as usual. After all the cries for only an Englishman can manage England they got McClaren and that silenced those cries. (For now).

Fabio Capello will be the highest paid national coach, quite possibly the highest paid coach period. Which means there is no reason to moan about his pay. A major newspaper issue with Sven Göran Eriksson. Even if Capello too is forced away the severance pay will ensure that Wembley will be leased out to just about anything thinkable so that the FA will make the dough.

Don`t expect attractive, creative, attacking football a la Nike`s joga bonito. Capello will not, as Grant, even pretend to offer that. If you thought José Mourinho had a set system of how football is to be played, then you will not be able to imagine how Capello does it. Capello will literally run over the Queen to get England to play his football. Whatever the press says. Capello has never ever failed in proving that his way is the right way. If you want to win.

The media will hate him (love him for the abuse they can throw at him). As he will in no way bow down to them as the last couple of managers have. Capello will not listen to the media, nor will he let the media pick the players. He will not offer up any nice scandals by being caught with his zipper down as Eriksson (especially not with that infamous Ulrika). He will infuriate the press I think.

Don Fabio has an idea about what football is. That idea is; it is all about winning. I repeat; It is all about winning! That is the beauty, the meaning and the purpose of playing football. Fabio Capello is the guy you turn to if you want to win. It can be beautiful and it can be ugly, but it will be winning. It will be effective, it will utilise the talent of the players whether that pleases or not pleases the audience. He will enjoy the feared England boo-boys. If he plays Lampard no audience in the world can make him change his mind.

Something I think England desperately needs!

The English media is used to running the national team and with Capello they wont. (Absolutely everything I write is however dependant on the guts and courage of the FA, and around that serious doubt can be raised. So for the sake of argument let us pretend they will stand firmly behind Capello! Not that that is all that likely, we all know how the media can turn coach and management on each other, Chelsea is just another example.) more!

There is much more to read, to continue reading this article visit "Vital Villa Forum" - click here!