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Post by venuechange 29/02/16, 12:28 pm

I have always enjoyed ODP because they run drills and explain things that we do not hear from our current team. Then I started thinking "maybe others do not like ODP because they already get this at their practice."
My question is, what do other d1 practices look like?
How often does your coach give tactical information? Practice set pieces? Work on offense/defense separately? Send out information for the players to review? Give evaluations?
Thanks for the input!

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Post by RightWingDad 29/02/16, 08:03 pm

I think the intent of ODP is different than most teams. ODP coaches are trying to find a regional team of a pool of players. Thus, they train them in groups of similar positions looking to build that "best" NT team to compete against South Texas and other ODP teams.

That said, my dd has been on some teams where we worked on skills, some shooting, but hardly ever set pieces, throw ins etc. Mostly passing drills, skills and small sided groupings.

If you want set piece work, go to Cosmos. Shocked Did I say that?
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Post by Handled 02/03/16, 07:28 am

Our team never practices set pieces. It drives me nuts. And I think it shows in games. Corners, free kicks, etc. seem like something that is very coachable, but never get practiced. Maybe there is some coaching principle I do not understand, but soccer seems like a game where tactical skill and knowledge can be very beneficial.

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Post by RightWingDad 02/03/16, 07:50 am

Handled, I've often wondered the same thing, that maybe there are some coaching fundamentals I don't understand yet. Best I can figure is soccer is a two part game. Fluid and static. The fluid part is the much harder principle to teach and the teams my dd has been on have emphasized that. The static part (set pieces and such) can win games but are much easier to teach and execute.

Maybe coaches just figure they can learn the set plays later in life after the fundamentals of possession and play have been learned.

When it comes to passing, possession and quick decision making, the words of her former Texan coach often come to her mind, "Stronger....harder....faster." And it sounds better if you say it with your best British accent ;-)

Thank you RS, you've left my dd with some valuable wisdom.
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Post by Guest 02/03/16, 08:03 am

I get confused. Does this forum want to train for long-term development or train to 'win now'?


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Post by Handled 02/03/16, 08:04 am

I am confused . . . are you saying that development of tactical skills are not necessary for long term development?

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Post by RightWingDad 02/03/16, 12:37 pm

H, not sure if that's directed at me or not, but if it is, then no I'm not saying that. Skills, technicals...footwork are fundamentals as is understanding pace of play and passing. Tactics and understanding game strategies ARE important as well.

I just think it's harder to learn the fluid motion skills b/c there are so many variables. But all of it is important. I'd love to find a coach who might have video sessions with his players reviewing tactics, defensive strategies, offensive, formation, set pieces, etc. But I know that's really hard to do from a practical standpoint.

The only coach I know (and there may be others who do, I dunno) was JK at LFS/Feet. He would send out long emails to parents telling the kids to watch Barca or Bayern M play and what to look for as they played.
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Post by Handled 02/03/16, 12:43 pm

I agree with you. I think many people use the argument of "this is all just to develop long-term skills" to justify a lot of things. The real truth of the matter is that the vast majority of our DD's are not playing at the next level, so this is it. One of the real valuable life lessons soccer can give our children is understanding how to be part of a team and developing the desire to win. So, I want to win now and develop skills and have my cake and eat it too.

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Post by RightWingDad 02/03/16, 01:15 pm

So, when you say "I" want to win now, hopefully you are speaking on behalf of your DD. :-) Yes, a few tournament medals hanging in the bedroom is nice to reflect on as a result of hard work. Everyone needs some of that encouragement. However, years from now they'll probably wind up in a garage sale or in a box in the attic.

Sometimes the tough struggle on a losing team can also provide quality life lessons. That said, when you sign in July, I'm a firm believer in sticking with it till June, win, lose, draw, play time or no play time. You can rethink your team/position in the "June" transfer window.
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Post by Handled 02/03/16, 01:26 pm

I agree that the lesson about commitment to the team is also valuable. And I agree that, from a character standpoint, you learn more from losing than you do from winning.

But I also believe that a desire to win (that can be instilled in a DD) can later be used as learned mindset that promote a sense of ambition and drive later in life.

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Post by DDPlays4Snacks 02/03/16, 01:51 pm

Having played and coached for a very long time, I often get this question regarding set plays "practice" from Parents, usually dads.  A majority of the dads have played American Football, where "plays"  are the norm, and are practiced ad naseum until executed as perfect as possible.    My answer to them is very basic yet layered with many complicated nuances, and various Eur O pean  (nice try admin) and Latin American accents.

I can teach a set of players to be in certain "positions/places" and run certain directions, and do certain fakes during a set play scenario ( direct kick, corner kick, throw in, indirect kick), but if these wonderful "chess pieces" (children) do not have an excellent first touch, foot skills, or understanding of the beautiful game, then all the set play practices are putting the cart before the horse.  

Now, understanding that some statisticians say that 72% of all goals come from "Set plays", ignoring "set plays" in tactical training would be folly.  But everything has a time and a place.  

Hopefully, many coaches have been trained in the understanding of the development of the brain and physical abilities in children, teens, and adults.  Basically there is a time and place for everything, right?  So, at the younger ages, foot skills is the primary area of concentration b/c as a child gets older it actually gets harder to learn foot skills, which then affects the quality of play and abilities to do creative things on the pitch when they are older.   I often cringe when I hear parents yelling "pass the ball",  at their little 5 to 7 year olds, those darling mini-Alex Morgans and Mia Hamms don't even know there are other players on the field when they have the ball at their feet.  And yet Parents want to see "set plays" practiced at training sessions.

First off, soccer is an art, a game of creativity and problem solving.  Each game, each practice, each time touching the ball offers a new problem and a new opportunity to create art and solutions.  If you train a player in the basics of foot skills, and then put them (as they grow older) in challenging scenarios with various levels of pressure, then the player comes up with their best attempt to create a solution.  When we try to teach a player to be a "certain" way on set plays then we are actually killing some of their own creativity in the game.  And eventually instead of soccer players you have puppets on a string.  

So, as the child grows, so should then the building blocks of training and skills learned/applied.  Set plays trained in the absence of necessary skill levels needed is "pissing in a wind storm", but lack of any set plays training at older ages is a missed opportunity to move the statistic in your teams favor.
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Post by goldenshoe 03/03/16, 09:26 am

DDPlays4Snacks wrote:Having played and coached for a very long time, I often get this question regarding set plays "practice" from Parents, usually dads.  A majority of the dads have played American Football, where "plays"  are the norm, and are practiced ad naseum until executed as perfect as possible.    My answer to them is very basic yet layered with many complicated nuances, and various Eur O pean  (nice try admin) and Latin American accents.

I can teach a set of players to be in certain "positions/places" and run certain directions, and do certain fakes during a set play scenario ( direct kick, corner kick, throw in, indirect kick), but if these wonderful "chess pieces" (children) do not have an excellent first touch, foot skills, or understanding of the beautiful game, then all the set play practices are putting the cart before the horse.  

Now, understanding that some statisticians say that 72% of all goals come from "Set plays", ignoring "set plays" in tactical training would be folly.  But everything has a time and a place.  

Hopefully, many coaches have been trained in the understanding of the development of the brain and physical abilities in children, teens, and adults.  Basically there is a time and place for everything, right?  So, at the younger ages, foot skills is the primary area of concentration b/c as a child gets older it actually gets harder to learn foot skills, which then affects the quality of play and abilities to do creative things on the pitch when they are older.   I often cringe when I hear parents yelling "pass the ball",  at their little 5 to 7 year olds, those darling mini-Alex Morgans and Mia Hamms don't even know there are other players on the field when they have the ball at their feet.  And yet Parents want to see "set plays" practiced at training sessions.

First off, soccer is an art, a game of creativity and problem solving.  Each game, each practice, each time touching the ball offers a new problem and a new opportunity to create art and solutions.  If you train a player in the basics of foot skills, and then put them (as they grow older) in challenging scenarios with various levels of pressure, then the player comes up with their best attempt to create a solution.  When we try to teach a player to be a "certain" way on set plays then we are actually killing some of their own creativity in the game.  And eventually instead of soccer players you have puppets on a string.  

So, as the child grows, so should then the building blocks of training and skills learned/applied.  Set plays trained in the absence of necessary skill levels needed is "pissing in a wind storm", but lack of any set plays training at older ages is a missed opportunity to move the statistic in your teams favor.

Thank you for your insight. So at what age do you think those 'set plays' should be introduced to the players?

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Post by pingo99 03/03/16, 11:34 am

Set plays and tactical game will change from coach to coach. Skills, technical game and foot work will not. As an academy coach and knowing that at some point I have to pass my team up to the next coach I want them to be ready technically and skilled enough to play at the next level. After academy and when the team is about to spend the next couple of years with the same coach then I think is when some tactical/ set plays can come in handy. But even then the development of the individual player should still be the priority of a coach.

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Post by RightWingDad 03/03/16, 11:46 am

pingo99 wrote:...But even then the development of the individual player should still be the priority of a coach.  

I cannot speak for everyone, but my kiddo has not really played for a coach either in academy or select, where the coach sought to develop individual skills of the players on the team. Those that wanted that kind of development sought outside skills training (privates/group, etc).

We did have coaches that provided mid-season or end-of-season report cards, but there never was any tactical advice or training recommendations attached to those performance goals. We were left to our own to figure out how to get them.

I'm guessing this is the norm rather than the exception.
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Post by Triumph FC 03/03/16, 09:26 pm

Set plays are good to teach from U14/U15 onwards
Part of this stems from (as one poster put it) technique. Lets say we work on a near post corner routine, how many 12 year old are going to put the ball on a dime 9 times out of 10, yes not many. They are plenty of 12 year olds that can get the ball in the 6 yard box but then not many that want to head it. It all takes time. You don't open a box and suddenly within 5 minutes complete a thousand piece puzzle!
Set pieces are a great tool to have but other than teaching them where to stand and defend on opposition corner kicks it normally boils down to who wants to put their body parts in the way as to what happens to the ball at U11-U13
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Post by Handled 04/03/16, 10:50 am

I agree with your point about the age where most of it should start, but do you think that things like "how to form the wall when the free kick is within a certain distance" is something that should wait that long? Some of this stuff on teaching "team" play is valuable just to get the DD's to start thinking about the concept of working as a team. I think it also creates a social atmosphere that keeps the DD's more interested than they would be if it is all skills training.

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