Simple Reliable Advice for Technical Directors and Directors of Coaching of Clubs & Associations on how to use the World Wide Web more effectively to assist Coach Education, Elite Young Player Development and Grassroots Recreational Programmes
US Youth Soccer's 'Street Soccer' Intiative explained below by Sam Snow,Coaching Director,US Youth Soccer
As you know “street soccer” is a session in the National Youth License coaching course. A while back one of the course candidates suggested the idea of a national street soccer (pick-up game) day. I thought it was a great idea. So as a part of Youth Soccer Month we have designated the Wednesday of the week for Fun as Street Soccer Day. That day is September 5th. Youth Soccer Month is September and each week has a different focus; in order they are – Fun, Family, Friendship and Fitness.
The plan for Street Soccer Day is for clubs all across the USA to set up that day at their club as one when players come in to have pick-up games. That set up can be as organized or unorganized as the club desires. The set up could be a Play Day as envisioned by Vince Ganzberg, former Technical Director for Indiana Soccer. Or it could be to simply encourage coaches to step aside at training sessions that day and let the players take charge. However the set up goes at a club, the idea is to give the game back to the players. Part of the thrill for the players is knowing that other players just like them, from Maine to Hawaii, from Florida to Alaska and in every size soccer club are having a game just like theirs.
Just as the idea of Youth Soccer Month has grown with state associations, clubs, high schools, colleges and professional teams the Street Soccer Day idea will grow in time. Imagine the improvement that will be made in youth soccer as the nation uniformly focuses on this day as the kick-off to a player centered soccer year. I know that for this year the notice is short, but please do all that you can to encourage teams in your club to join in the celebration of Street Soccer Day.
To aid in the education process of the value of Street Soccer please utilize the attached file.
Look for more information coming from the US Youth Soccer Communications Department.
UEFA Training Ground takes a closer look at the introductory level of football for children in the Netherlands, known as the minis, in the first of a new three-part series.All video reports via this link
From this article it is shown that as the Italian football team lost to a superior Spanish side in the final of the 2012 European championship last month, the runners-up had at least one valid excuse: over the course of the competition, they travelled nearly 4,200 miles (6,700km) more than their opponents.
seventh edition of the CIES Football Observatory Annual Review is now
available. The 2012 report notably highlights that investing in young players
is more than ever a key success factor.
In all leagues, the average age of
players fielded by champions was lower than that of runner-up teams.
winners are among the ten youngest clubs in their respective league. The
average age of players fielded by the youngest champion, Borussia Dortmund
(24.49), was only half a year greater than that of the youngest club overall, Toulouse
With the exception of Juventus, the highest percentage of minutes
among champions was played by footballers aged between 22 and 26.
No title winners fielded as regularly players under 22 years of age as English and
German runner-ups: Manchester United (25% of minutes) and Bayern
Mexico's Olympic Soccer success was a result of detailed long term planning and critically exposure of young players at Under 17 and Under 20 to International Tournament Football.Indeed mirroring the policy of the Spanish FA.Click here for more details of the Mexican Youth Plan
Profile of a master coach (of children and of talent)
I was once fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to listen to a gentleman called Rudy Duran talk about his coaching. You maybe forgiven for not knowing who Rudy Duran is as not many people have heard of him, he was Tiger Wood's golf coach from the age of 4 to 10. Firstly, I have to say that you can not imagine a more self effacing, humble and genuine person. Rudy was honest and open and prepared to admit the mistakes he made as much as the good things he did. In many ways he underplayed his involvement in Tiger's development often just suggesting that all he did was get out of the way of a genius being nurtured. For me he played an absolutely critical role in enabling Woods, who was undoubtedly well above average in his golfing abilities as a four year old (much of this can be put down to his early experiences with his father, Earl who was a recent convert to golf and a total golf nut) as Rudy recalls, "not many 4 year olds can read their own putts". The amazing thing is that I'm not even sure if Rudy himself, fully appreciates the role he played. To me the story is a fascinating one because, as with most stories about exceptional talent or outliers there are so many aspects that contribute to the development of Woods. It is my belief that Rudy Duran was at heart of many of them, I will try to list them as best I can below:
1. Rudy's coaching philosophy is based on the fact that he believes golf is a pretty easy game to play. With a little time and practice most people will improve quickly. The game is very hard at the elite level with tiny margins deciding success and failure but the key for Rudy is to let people experience the joy of the game so that they develop a love for the activity which will then drive them into lifelong participation. The rest takes care of itself. - Rudy wants his pupils to fall in love with the game - a critical ingredient to intrinsically motivated future improvement.
2. Rudy was the owner operator of an 18 hole par 3 public golf facility in Southern California, as such he had complete control over timetabling of the course and was so committed to junior golf that he would block out the 1st tee on a Saturday morning for junior competitions even though he could have sold the green fees to adult players 3 times over. As the owner operator his income was mostly derived from green fees, coaching was a sideline and something he did mostly for fun. In this respect taking 2 hours or so at a time to coach Tiger and play golf with him was no problem and meant that Tiger had a unique opportunity to play alongside his coach, observe, experiment and explore. Rudy had such freedom that he would often play games with Tiger that involved curving the ball around the club house or hitting a shot under a picnic table! - How many kids get the opportunity to play games with their coach and to have the freedom to experiment with a guide at their side?
3. The coaching sessions took place 85% of the time on the golf course and 15% away from the course on the practice areas. On the infrequent occasions when they were on the range they would be going through all aspects of the game working backwards from the putting green to the full swing. - Tiger learned to play the game and to develop his own solutions to getting the ball in the hole, he learned this before he tried to refine his technique and as such he developed the ability to score and play instead if just learning skills outside of the context of the game which can often be the experience of many youngsters.
4. Tiger, Earl and Rudy would spend about an hour after each session chatting about the session and Tiger's game. These post game chats were also described by Rudy as 'brainstorming' sessions where they would create practice programme designed to enable Tiger to play his best in competitions. There were typically 5 or 6 sessions per month sometimes more if Tiger was leading to one of the major junior tournaments which were 8 to 10 a year. - Rudy ensured that Tiger took his learning away with him and work on things when Tiger was at home. This way he was able to guide the Tiger's practice time between coaching sessions and make that practice time more deliberate.
5. Rudy said that his coaching was based on challenging Tiger to achieve certain goals. An example of this was the way Rudy created Tiger's 'personal par' where Tiger would be trying to play a hole in less shots than the number set for him by Rudy. Rudy says that the biggest difficulty for him in this was to keep coming up with things that pushed Tiger enough to maintain his interest. - By setting challenges and obstacles for Tiger to overcome he maintained his motivation and also allowed him to develop skill more rapidly through guided experimentation.
6. Rudy describes his coaching style as "waiting for the coachable moments" where he would wait for Tiger to stumble at something and then ask him questions about how what he could do to achieve the goal. - this questioning approach has been shown to be a route to giving the player/athlete ownership of their development which means that they learn new tactics and skills and they reatin the knowledge much more effectively than if they are merely told how to solve the problem.
To me, so much of what Rudy Duran explained about the way he approached coaching Tiger Woods points to him being a highly accomplished coach of children as well as being a high performing coach of talent. I find it difficult to imagine that these early experiences did not provide the foundations for Tiger's future development and gave him a major head start over so many of his contemporaries. I often wonder what might have happened if Tiger hadn't found Rudy.