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Articles for Parents to read and consider Pixel
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Articles for Parents to read and consider

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Post by Tiki-taka 03/10/13, 03:04 pm

Thought maybe having a post that collects interesting articles regarding parents raising children athletes may be a worth while post, maybe even grow into a "sticky"....


http://www.ericcressey.com/20-young-athletes-success

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/43695/growing-pains-girls-face-challenge-of-the-commot.html
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Post by tornado11 08/10/13, 09:32 am

Tiki-taka wrote:Thought maybe having a post that collects interesting articles regarding parents raising children athletes may be a worth while post, maybe even grow into a "sticky"....


http://www.ericcressey.com/20-young-athletes-success

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/43695/growing-pains-girls-face-challenge-of-the-commot.html
Nice find on the soccer America article, they do these types of articles all the time (I subscribe to them). Not suprising that there are no other replies to your initial post.....these parents DO NOT want to hear that they are basically doing everything wrong regarding their kids soccer experience....keep 'em coming.

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Post by WingNut 08/10/13, 09:54 am

I like the articles and have read many like them.  However I think it's important to keep an open mind...not everyone is doing it wrong and I think it's unfair to be so general.  Tons of parents are doing their best and reading articles, listening to advise and doing what they believe  right thing for their child. Certainly their are some doing it wrong, but I think more parents are truly doing what they think is best for their kids.  As a parent we have to take all factors into play or educate ourselves with the proper way to do things,  if not  then we fail as parents.  We will all make mistakes. The ability to admit we are wrong, take responsibility and make a change define who we are and who we want our kids to be.  One thing my dd coach always says is stay positive and I've certainly tried to do that and see a huge difference in my dd play vs wearing her out when she makes mistakes. Trust me folks. The kids know they mess up  when they do, they don't need us reminding them about all their mistakes after the game.   Just a thought
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Post by AbEnd 14/10/13, 08:06 am

Classic video, never gets old

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Post by go99 14/10/13, 08:40 am

These articles are fun to read but where they fail is they do not account for the difference in raising a normal, well balanced kid, and an elite athlete.  Elite athletes are not normal.  They are more driven and focused.  The specialization leaves them less well rounded.  They tend to be more competitive and some might say too competitive.  The authors also fail to account for the changes in soccer.  Back when I was a kid if you could kick a round object you could play soccer in college.  The idea that you could not put in the kind of year round play that is done now and still be a success is laughable.  Oh but Alex Morgan didn't do it an look at her.  If her touch and control is the best you can muster you will not rise to the level that she has.  But the only advise I can give that Bobby Rhine gave to me.  "Keep in mind, it is not your soccer.  It is your kids soccer..."
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Post by Tiki-taka 29/10/13, 09:30 am

http://www.forbes.com/sites/bobcook/2013/05/29/how-to-become-a-better-sports-parent-stop-caring/

1. Stop thinking of your child’s performance as reflective of your quality as a parent.
2. Stop thinking of your child’s performance as part of an inexorable process ending in a college athletic scholarship.
3. Stop thinking of your kids’ games as a place to be the popular person you never were in high school.
4. Take your cues from your child.


"Watching your child play a sport will always be an emotional experience. I may officially not care, but I get up and cheer when my daughter get a hit, and I root for her team. Hey, I bought one of the team T-shirts the coach produced, and I wear it proudly. But I do it for the moment of play — not for my own ego, not for a scholarship, not for anything but what’s happening in front of my face. I don’t know if that will give my daughter a long athletic career. But it certainly gives the both of us peace of mind."

Written by: Bob Cook, Contributor
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Post by Tiki-taka 29/10/13, 09:38 am

http://www.thepostgame.com/blog/more-family-fun/201202/what-makes-nightmare-sports-parent

From the article:
Hundreds of college athletes were asked to think back: "What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?"

Their overwhelming response: "The ride home from games with my parents."  (Tiki Note: Guilty as charged)


FIVE SIGNS OF AN IDEAL SPORTS PARENT

Let’s hear it for the parents who do it right. In many respects, Brown and Miller say, it’s easier to be an ideal sports parent than a nightmare. “It takes less effort,” Miller says. “Sit back and enjoy.” Here’s what to do:

Cheer everybody on the team, not just your child: Parents should attend as many games as possible and be supportive, yet allow young athletes to find their own solutions. Don’t feel the need to come to their rescue at every crisis. Continue to make positive comments even when the team is struggling.


Model appropriate behavior: Contrary to the old saying, children do as you do, not as you say. When a parent projects poise, control and confidence, the young athlete is likely to do the same. And when a parent doesn’t dwell on a tough loss, the young athlete will be enormously appreciative.

Know what is suitable to discuss with the coach: The mental and physical treatment of your child is absolutely appropriate. So is seeking advice on ways to help your child improve. And if you are concerned about your child’s behavior in the team setting, bring that up with the coach. Taboo topics: Playing time, team strategy, and discussing team members other than your child.

Know your role: Everyone at a game is either a player, a coach, an official or a spectator. “It’s wise to choose only one of those roles at a time,” Brown says. “Some adults have the false impression that by being in a crowd, they become anonymous. People behaving poorly cannot hide.” Here’s a clue: If your child seems embarrassed by you, clean up your act.

Be a good listener and a great encourager: When your child is ready to talk about a game or has a question about the sport, be all ears. Then provide answers while being mindful of avoiding becoming a nightmare sports parent. Above all, be positive. Be your child's biggest fan. "Good athletes learn better when they seek their own answers," Brown says.

And, of course, don’t be sparing with those magic words: "I love watching you play."


Written by: Steve Henson

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Post by go99 29/10/13, 09:46 am

Hundreds of college athletes were asked to think back: "What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?"

Their overwhelming response: "The ride home from games with my parents


This article completely overlooks it's own findings. What is the one thing that the overwhelming majority of SUCCESFUL athlete had in common? "the ride home that they didn't like". So where are all the athletes who's parents where the "you did great baby, here's a juice box" at? Not successful at sports thats were. It's is not what you do well that improves you it is fixing what you did poorly. Nobody enjoys hearing what they did wrong.

So again:
Findings

100's of college athletes had to go thru the car ride home
Few did not have to go thru the car ride.

So which is the successful plan again?
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Post by ballhead 29/10/13, 10:02 am

go99 wrote:Hundreds of college athletes were asked to think back: "What is your worst memory from playing youth and high school sports?"

Their overwhelming response: "The ride home from games with my parents


This article completely overlooks it's own findings.  What is the one thing that the overwhelming majority of SUCCESFUL athlete had in common? "the ride home that they didn't like".  So where are all the athletes who's parents where the "you did great baby, here's a juice box" at?  Not successful at sports thats were.  It's is not what you do well that improves you it is fixing what you did poorly.  Nobody enjoys hearing what they did wrong.

So again:
Findings

100's of college athletes had to go thru the car ride home
Few did not have to go thru the car ride.

So which is the successful plan again?
I think it's clear.  They should walk home by themselves.  Problem solved!
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Post by clueless 29/10/13, 10:08 am

If you are out of town for a tournament, you can resolve this by carpooling. It works wonders as far as the girl's attitudes and pre/postgame discussions. No more pep talks or postgame rundowns by parents to do any damage.

As far as the 'elite athlete' difference, I think it's the parents, not the kids who are truly the ones who THINK they are driven and force it unto their child.

Most of this could be solved by dropping off the kids to games, pick them up, find out the score, a few years later, find out if they are college material. After the season, parents are mailed videos of the games so they can watch and later discuss/yell at/punish child/player.
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Post by futbolfreak 29/10/13, 10:12 am

Good thread. For me, I'm not a "sports obsessed" parent and if my soccer-playing dd did not have sports as an area of talent/inclination I would definitely not be on the sideline with competitive sports parents, LOL--short lived Rec seasons would definitely be my choice. But I find that it does not matter whether it is sports or a school subject or whatever--if one of my kids shows an aptitude, interest, and high drive for something (math, soccer, whatever) I can't help but think that I want them to be the best at it. I know that kids derive increased self-esteem by thinking that they are really good and successful at something. And I want them to learn the value of really hard work to reach a goal, even when they "sometimes" don't want to (however, if they very "often" don't want to then that shows to me it's not really their thing, it's my thing). So, I TRY to keep these bigger goals in mind--that I want to give my kid the tools to be as good and successful at her "thing" (talent) as she can be. And I do that so that ultimately she can be successful and have higher self esteem for her (much too long) adult life. I'm guessing most parents feel the same.

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Post by futbolfreak 29/10/13, 10:15 am

Clueless: This "recreational girls wearing cute hair bows kinda sports mom" REALLY likes the carpool idea. Need to get me one of those, especially for the early morning games when it's raining.

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Post by go99 29/10/13, 10:31 am

Older son just came back from an out of town game with the AL. I didn't go but he gave a great breakdown of the game and what happened. What he thought he did well and what he thought he messed up or could have done better. But he is older now. My DD usually ask for a post game breakdown. She absolutely loves to talk about all the things she did great. Not so much a fan of those things she did wrong. She has now started to add in her own things she could have done different (not to mention the "did you see that X? It was awesome) I also notice her improving things and making changes based on previous mistakes. If she can become as self aware as her brother then I will be happy. The EXPERTS have us striving to make our kids a happy generation of self indulged, uncompetitive, unaware, overconfident adults with no ability to take criticism or any ability to understand that not everything they do is great.
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Post by Guest 29/10/13, 12:33 pm

go99 wrote:Older son just came back from an out of town game with the AL.  I didn't go but he gave a great breakdown of the game and what happened.  What he thought he did well and what he thought he messed up or could have done better.  But he is older now.  My DD usually ask for a post game breakdown.  She absolutely loves to talk about all the things she did great.  Not so much a fan of those things she did wrong.  She has now started to add in her own things she could have done different (not to mention the "did you see that X?  It was awesome)  I also notice her improving things and making changes based on previous mistakes.  If she can become as self aware as her brother then I will be happy.  The EXPERTS have us striving to make our kids a happy generation of self indulged, uncompetitive, unaware, overconfident adults with no ability to take criticism or any ability to understand that not everything they do is great.
Agreed.

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Post by clueless 29/10/13, 01:00 pm

I find that same situation - my daughter is big on the praise, but doesn't like post-game criticism from her brother or me. I normally just do the 'did you have fun' 'good job' quips.

She will often start the conversations lately 'I thought I did well, do you agree?'. That didn't happen forever - maybe until 13+, it was anything but soccer discussion after the games - which, honestly, is probably the way it should be in the absolute bigger picture - putting sports in it's place. That would be the rare time she actually leaves the game with me and not some other family for the ad hoc sleepover.

It is funny, she uses criticism as fodder/fire, but has stated she doesn't like to hear it. Takes it to heart, which is good. She also has stated she likes being pushed as it brings out the best. I think that's just a maturation point, there is no way she'd think that at age 10-11 (maybe it was there, but I doubt it).

Totally agree that the direction of the country is no competition, which is not good at all. The overconfidence used to be a few players, now it's everyone over the age of four.
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Post by ballhead 29/10/13, 01:28 pm

My daughter always just "considered the source", and figured that she knew more than we did, so it really didn't matter what we said.

Turned out she was right.
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Post by mommabear1 29/10/13, 01:47 pm

Here is an interesting website. I downloaded the free chapter on Confidence. I am going to try and just tell my kid to "go have fun and make a lot of mistakes." We will see if that takes some of the pressure off of her. She is a typical first born perfectionist and seems afraid to make mistakes. I hope it helps!

http://changingthegameproject.com/

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Post by clueless 29/10/13, 02:12 pm

Good observation, my kids coaches are into the 'mistakes' as that's where the learning truly happens. I was around 40 when I really figured out mistakes were lessons and problems were opportunities.

ballhead - I definitely have 2 kids who know everything. So far, only soccer, anything makeup-related, Call of Duty and Texas history are where they can top my knowledge (or so I think). They both know I am soccer-illiterate, enough so they can just ignore me rather than remind me.
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Post by Tiki-taka 29/10/13, 02:24 pm

mommabear1 wrote:Here is an interesting website.  I downloaded the free chapter on Confidence.  I am going to try and just tell my kid to "go have fun and make a lot of mistakes."  We will see if that takes some of the pressure off of her.  She is a typical first born perfectionist and seems afraid to make mistakes.  I hope it helps!

http://changingthegameproject.com/
back a long time ago when I coached my DD in rec, I would notice that my DD would do all this cool foot work (obviously learned from somewhere else!) during practices but never during the games. So, I asked her why. Her answer changed the way I looked at things and helped me teach better: she said "I am afraid of making mistakes in the game" From that point on, one of my five rules for playing on my team was "We fail our way to success" which means mistakes are a sign of trying and eventually the mistakes will become less pronounced as skill and confidence are gained. For example doing a scissors move in practice is great but during a game even better, and the first couple times a player may get all tripped up around trying to get it done smoothly at game playing speed, but eventually, it will hapen and then "Boom" confidence and willingness to do more takes off.
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Post by txtransplant 29/10/13, 03:13 pm

Instead of paying for goals or assists, I used to pay the kid $$ for skills pulled successfully during a game. Certain skills were worth more than others depending upon the difficulty, but it got her over the fear of not trying anything during a game. This also worked with headers, slide tackles, etc.
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Post by Tiki-taka 29/10/13, 04:23 pm

txtransplant wrote:Instead of paying for goals or assists, I used to pay the kid $$ for skills pulled successfully during a game. Certain skills were worth more than others depending upon the difficulty, but it got her over the fear of not trying anything during a game. This also worked with headers, slide tackles, etc.
Totally understand where you are coming from and also know a lot of parents who use $ for performance, but I am reticent to use this kind of tactic. There's a good book out there called "Punish By Rewards" while it is fairly dry as a read, the gist is that the incentive to perform can be damaging over time, and studies show that performance actually decreases over time if the reward becomes the focus. Many times I am and have been tempted to throw out the $ carrot to my DD for a certain result (and believe me this season is tempting me mega much, as you know Smile ) But, I am hoping (and working on) that her developed sense of passion for the game will keep her motivated to keep on pressing on!

What I see as the most motivating things for her right now are her personal goals and her need to be accepted by her team mates.
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Post by Coach&Ref 29/10/13, 05:43 pm

I seem to get better results with the girls I do skills sessions for than my own daughter! lol! 

What I have found with kids, girls particularly, is that almost no amount of practice they get seems to calm the "game play" nerves.

Good coaches try to incorporate SSGs that mimic the ideas that they are currently teaching. However, even endless amounts of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, scrimmages, etc. doesn't seem to truly prepare them for the game against girls they don't know. Think about it. Girls know the strengths and weaknesses of each of their teammates, so what looks like it works in practice, makes them go blank in games. They don't know their opposition and things don't go smoothly like they may in practice. Confidence in practice doesn't necessarily translate to confidence in games.

How often have you seen your daughters' select team move the ball around fantastically in practice, just to see kickball during games? It happens all the time.

I've asked many of the girls that I do skills with, that know a ton of moves to beat defenders but never/rarely try them in the game, if they go "blank" when a defender is standing right in front of them. Invariably, all hands go up.

With risk of going out on a tangent on how I go about correcting this, I'll digress to my original point on "game play" nerves and improving girl's confidence and performance.

I have found that if I give each girl a simple, individual, and specific goal to accomplish in the game, regardless of the outcome, that there will be an amazing difference. For example, I may say to an outside mid that I would like her to try an outside cut and that I don't care if it works or not. I just want her to try. I will also tell her that I don't care how she plays the rest of the game, as long as she just tries that one thing. You would be amazed at the results. As soon as the girl tries it, I usually get a glance from her and I give her the "thumbs up" and a smile. Tension is gone and the relief is palpable. I have found this to be true for almost all the girls I do lessons with.

The incredible part is that no matter how the team performed, I almost always get a call from the parent of the girl who will say, "All my daughter could talk about was her outside cut that she did in the game and that you were happy with her."

What's the shocking part, is that once those small goals are out of the way, the particular girl plays amazingly well.

Instead of saying things like, "Remember to do your moves, pass the ball, shoot when you can, etc. etc.", give a small goal and see what happens. All of the other stuff the girl already knows, but at times, seems overwhelmed at the thought of doing everything. If you are a parent that just says, "hustle and have fun", that is fine, yet I have found that the "fun" part comes at the price of achieving a certain goal in the game.

The point to the other posters is to do what works. My suggestions are just a few of many that can help girls be successful and have fun. Very Happy

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Post by Coach&Ref 29/10/13, 06:13 pm

This is another great set of ideas. Warning: It is a long read, but if you are bored, you might take away some pearls of wisdom.


This week's blog comes courtesy of Gary Avedikian.

When was the “game the best teacher?” Maybe it was when kids played in the neighborhood with older kids who played at a higher level and knew more about the game than the younger ones. That sure isn't what happens now. Maybe it was when kids watched older ones and then practiced what they saw and improvised from there...those kids repeated the moves and touches over and over again until they “got it”…and then embellished it to make it their own! Perish the thought…they drilled themselves until they had control of whatever. Dirty word “drilled.” Sorry about that.

    *    Does this type of development happen now and if so how often?

    *    Who encourages this type of repetitive technical practice and where are the kids who are working for mastery of a technique on their own?

Our system rewards wins. It rewards wins at every level. Wins justify fees. Wins get the kids scholarships? Wins mean the players are “good” and ready for the next level? Wins save coaches their jobs.

I watch professional, collegiate, high school, club, and even a few U12 games and practices at every level every year. As a country, we’re technically ignorant and ill prepared. We’re nowhere near where we need to be right now.

When was the last time coaches went somewhere to hear more about teaching the side volley? Goalkeeper coaches seem to be the only ones always looking for new ways to improve technique. Maybe that’s why our goalkeepers do better at high levels than our field players in Europe. Everyone has been looking for the “magic tactic” that they can employ that their competition might not have an answer to. That will equal more wins for their teams. Small-side games are frequently created to teach decision making. Endless amounts of small-sided games are supposed to equal mastery of the tactics and techniques. What happens when the players can’t do the exercise? More teaching goes on about how to do the exercise than correction of the technical errors that create the confusion about how to do the exercise correctly in the first place. Add to that the need to do it faster and faster to approach match speed and what have you got going on for the players?

I've been around the game for a long time now, and I keep forgetting that the game is the best teacher so long as the coach recognizes the teachable moment and implements the proper steps to correct the technique issue the coach sees. However, what happens if the players can’t make the passes required? That’s a simple one…change tactics because we aren't teaching the techniques to make the passes happen. The game was the best teacher when younger players played with older ones who were willing to help the younger ones “get it.” Where does that happen today except on a basketball court in New York?

Now everyone assumes that the teaching of techniques and basic tactics should have gone on before they get the player. If the player doesn't “get it” immediately, they're a “throw-away” item and the coach looks for a new player.

How can we take advantage of the coolest tactics and formations ever devised by coaches when the players are the product of a system based on a throw-away development process?

Players at every level are expendable. They come to us at every level because they think, and we think, they can move up. We teach tactics and decide their future based on how well they execute the tactics. How much work is put into the development of pure technique and then raised to the level of skill? I maintain that there is so little emphasis on this idea that the technical ability at every level is woefully lacking…and it’s our fault as coaches.

When are we, as the coaches, going to “get it?” You can’t take full advantage of a tactic if you can only play comfortably with one side of your body. Time after time I watch players make unrewarded runs, not because of some subtle defensive move but because of a lack of confidence or outright lack of technical competency to make the pass, especially if they are longer passes. When we are finally fed up with these players, we throw them away…and we get new ones we hope will make the better technical moves demanded by our latest tactics. We blame their lack of development on the players themselves and the people who coached them earlier.

If I were a professional league coach the pressure to win and salary cap maneuvering would make approaches to the problem different, up to a point. If the player isn't getting it done, does it make sense to have a technical coach work with the player to have a chance to improve so that the player is ultimately better for me plus worth more on the market later? That can’t happen currently because unlike every other major sport in this country, we don’t have technical coaches. Either we're much smarter than the other sports are…or we flat out don’t know much about teaching technique so we mask it with smoke and mirrors tactics that hide the weaker players. So many players are being switched to opposite sides of the field to compensate for the relative ineffectiveness of the “weak side” of their body or the weakness to come inside of the players who normally play wide. It is destroying the concept of creating total players while killing off positions and style.

When you’re watching a game, did you ever notice how often the teams seem to choose to counterattack and penetrate on the side of the field that the attack against them just occurred? Unless the opponent concedes some space, they don’t switch the point of attack very often, and when they do, the relay around through the backs is so slow the other team gets to shift over and re-balance itself. Oops, another mistake on my part…they all over shift to more than half way across the width of the field offering the team all the excuse it needs to keep going in against their increasing numbers! I’m so out of touch with the modern game, I guess; that I keep thinking that the defense is begging me to switch the point of attack to the other side of the field…but that would take someone with the skill to drive a ball knee high across the field. That would also take mastery of a special technique through repetitive practice in order to do it with both feet. That isn't how to train players these days because they get bored with that kind of practice and besides it shows the coach is out of touch with the players and the newest training ideas?

The basic laws of the game seem no longer to apply, of course…

    *    or we wouldn't counter into a defense that out numbers us on a wing side of the field,
    *    or we wouldn't allow the cross,
    *    or we would get immediate pressure on the ball and not allow players to look up and pass wherever they like,
    *    or we would defend with one more than they have up front.

But of course I’ve been around so long I think that the basic laws of the game do still apply!

Years ago I watched a famous American professional soccer player practicing left-foot side volleys. He couldn't get consistent service. How do you groove a stroke if you don’t get consistent service? Once the mechanics of the stroke are under control then, of course, one works to achieve match levels of execution. Not one coach had a thought about how to give him consistent service other than to kick it in to him. When he was struggling to get the ball turned to goal, not one coach walked up to him and told him how to get his foot over the ball or how to get his hips re-positioned to make the movement easier to control. Where was the technical coach to help him? If he were a professional golfer his swing coach would have been working with him.

How often do you see evidence that we learn from successful training programs in other sports? Every major professional team in this country… except soccer…has technical coaches for their players. We only see it for goalkeepers in soccer but not for field players. Coerver is a training system for a player that breaks the dribbling training issue into steps that, once learned, enables anyone to teach their players. We should have been developing training of all the techniques in this format years ago. How much do we study how our sister American sports teach technique? Do we learn from them? Other nations have looked at our basketball’s multiple defenses very carefully. Do we see anything to be gained from employing their tactics and street smarts in our game? Certainly, the Europeans will evolve their game faster than we can play catch-up.  We always talk about an “American” style but inevitably we copy the Europeans.

Years ago in a meeting with the chairman of the NASL’s Competition Committee, in answer to the question of how to speed up the development of our players, I proposed using circular TV and holographic images to increase exponentially the exposure to quality opponents of our players. When will we utilize the technology to allow us to get our field players caught up? If our technical ability was up to standard and we had an American style, the Europeans might be chasing us for a change.

All this assumes that as coaches we actually know how to teach technique and then elevate it to skill in a match. If some of the college coaches think that the players today are less technically competent than they were 20 years ago, then whose failure is that?

Of course this may all be academic if today’s coaches are a product of the “throw-away” system themselves, are they going to turn to the NSCAA for technique training or do they think they are beyond that? Maybe they believe technique training should be done at a lower level than where they are coaching, leaving them free to be seeking the “magic tactics” that will equate to wins…and that simply continues the downward technical spiral!

Winning certainly matters at a lot of high schools, at most colleges, and at all clubs; and all professional programs. Yet when we look at those levels of the game:

    *    where are the imaginative tactics?
    *    where are the players with flair that can lend excitement to the game?
    *    where are the games that aren’t like watching reruns?

I saw a few…and they made the blood rush!

We can’t even tell how good our coaches actually are because the players probably can’t execute the imaginative tactics that our coaches can envision…so we blame the coaches for mediocre performances at all levels.

   *     Are the players to blame at all for this mess? I don’t think they are exempt from criticism either. How many come to the coach eager for more ideas on how to improve themselves as players? How many are looking for new techniques to master? Most are getting to the next level after years of hearing how good they are. When they get to the next level, and I’m thinking of college now, it is their first experience with playing in an open age group and playing with players to whom they have to prove themselves. Many even show up believing that they are beyond needing technical training and think that a coach who is trying to improve their technique is out of touch. If they fit into the program they may get 10% better but how many really blossom into something special? Is that the coach’s fault or the fault of a soccer system that doesn't value the technical coach as part of the system at any advanced level of the game?

   *     What complicity lies with the parents in this mess? It lies in the idea that if their child plays for the club with the most wins, and costs the most to join, that somehow this will lead to their child having a scholarship. They frequently leave clubs that were trying to give the player a solid technical foundation for a club that wins more.  The parents don’t even think about whether their child actually learned all there was to learn from the coaches that made them attractive to other clubs. Who nurtures this attitude in them? Is it the clubs and their PR programs? Is it the colleges who don’t make any clear statements that programs that produce the best technical/tactical players don’t always have to win to get their attention? Many parents are obsessed with reducing the stress and frustration that is often required to meet the challenges that produce players that are better skilled and stronger mentally. How many parents want to see their child technically challenged repeatedly and hardened to the point that they can compete with people who play to eat?

   *     Are referees complicit in our failure to develop better technical players? Yes…however, I do not believe it is intentional at all. We need our referees to be more protective of the players at all levels so technical flair can be nurtured and on display. Increasingly, the game is getting more rugby-like. Aggressiveness is being substituted for defensive 1v1 skill. Physically threatening play when they’re young is down to ineptness. Overly physical play when they’re older is down to style and, after all, they’re grown ups. To some degree, referees should be the guardians of the beautiful game as much as enforcers of its laws.

We have a few oases in this technical desert where the premier clubs and high schools are focused more on technical development and believe that winning will come. Only the most secure clubs can afford to tell a parent that they are going to focus on technical development and not worry about their winning until they are U14 and up, and if they don’t get it, they should take their child somewhere else.

Until we find a way around the complexity of this mess we are going to continuously look at coaches who have to work with what they can get, and then take the blame for the mediocre level of the game…some of which they deserve and some of which they don’t.

Of course, there is a relatively simple partial solution:

    *    Create more technical coaches and use them to improve the players we have now and those we will get in the future.
    *    Technical coaches are the first step.
    *    Position coaches are the second step.
    *    Use the technology we have in the USA that we pioneered.
    *    UEFA is a step ahead of what we need first.

Think about this…If the “game is the best teacher,” then all I have to do is play 3,000 rounds of golf and I would be nearly as good as Tiger Woods!

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Kids are THINKING players on the pitch, not video game characters to be moved around with a joystick by coaches.
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Post by Guest 29/10/13, 09:43 pm

I like most of what Gary is saying here and agree with the need to focus on better technical coaching.

Also appreciate how he holds coaches accountable for the problem and the solution. Do wish he would've named the secure clubs that are these oasis of technical development.

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Post by Tiki-taka 29/10/13, 10:47 pm

4-3-3 wrote:I like most of what Gary is saying here  and agree with the need to focus on better technical coaching.

Also appreciate how he holds coaches accountable for the problem and the solution.  Do wish he would've named the secure clubs that are these oasis of  technical development.
And the comments on the Referee's are pretty spot on.
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