Game Models are very popular in the soccer world today. Developing a game model clarifies your tactics, strategy, and performance standards. To start your game model begin with these 5 simple questions: Who we are? How do we play? What do I teach? How do I teach? When do I teach it? I have provided a Game Model Template that guides you through the process of building your Game Model. This is an excellent tool and exercise for coaches to fine tune their philosophy and tactics. IEYSA United Coaches, feel free to reach out to me if you want to discuss Game Models further. Please CLICK HERE to get the template.
Attempting to look at this time period with a "glass half full rather than empty" mentality, this is a great time for our soccer players to train their technical skills. There are hundreds of great ideas on the web and social media. Here are a few resources below. All the best and be well!
John O'Sullivan, author of "Every Moment Matters", explains that sports do not develop character in a vacuum. Soccer can provide opportunities to develop performance character traits such as grit, resilience, competitiveness, and self-discipline. However, coaches and parents must be intentional to develop moral character (integrity, respect, compassion) in our soccer players. John has fantastic advice for coaches to insure your soccer environment promotes character development.
1. Establish a set of team core values that reflect both performance and moral character.
2. Recognize that your moral character values will not NATURALLY be learned and that you must INTENTIONALLY incorporate these lessons into your practices and team sessions. Attach them to a why and a higher purpose than simply winning on the weekend.
3. Reward your athletes through praise and a simple token or symbol of their demonstration of character. Perhaps allow them to then give that token to the next athlete who demonstrates that value. Reward what you value!
4. Remember, that which you do not condemn you condone. In other words, you can never allow a lack of respect or integrity in a single athlete, for if you see it and ignore it you just told everyone else this is OK.
The video below demonstrates the progression of Rondos starting with the youngest players. Listen intently to Coach Beane's coaching points through the video.
The next video includes examples of a couple position play exercise. The first is a 4 v 3 + 2 position play exercise. The 4 players provide length and depth in the diamond shape and the 2 players central replicate central midfielders. This position play exercise can replicate 3 Backs, 2 MF, and 1 target forward. Split the grid into 4 quadrants with only 1 of the CM allowed to be in the same quadrant (goal is to be in diagonal quadrants). Play on the front foot and perceive before you receive. The second example is 4 v 2 + 1. This exercise does not allow the CMF to turn and play to the other grid (target). This exercise trains the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd attacker.
The last video is an example of a training game. This game is a 4 v 4 + 2 exercise with 4 small goals. The key coaching points involves the recognition of the 1st and 2nd attackers with the perception and movement of the 3rd attacker for next level. This is just a small snippet of the TOVO Methodology. Coach Beane uses only 16 exercises that are adapted to train all concepts of the game. Please reach out if you want to learn more.
Youth female soccer players are rivaling youth football players in concussion rates. Female players are 12.1% more likely to suffer a concussion than their male counterpart. Experts share that heading the ball is not the main culprit. The main culprit is a collision resulting in the brain rattling in the skull. Safety is critical for our youth soccer players. Unfortunately there are not hard and fast prevention recommendations other than teaching proper heading and aerial challenges techniques. At this point, we must follow concussion return to play protocols. Additionally, baseline testing is recommended to assist return to play protocols.
Tom Mura, the host of the Coaching Soccer Weekly podcast, discussed his experiences and challenges with the play-practice-play methodology. He provides a synopsis of the methodology along with his implementation. Tom is open about his challenges and provides some solutions. A quality coach is one that plans, observes, and reflects. With anything, a one size fits all approach is usually not effective. Start simple and experiment with one Play-Practice-Play session and one simple to complex (technique centered in the beginning). Click Here and enjoy the podcast!
Gerard Jones is a US Soccer Grassroots Instructor, US Soccer B, and UEFA A licensed coach. He has experience coaching all levels of youth. This presentation discusses the need for consistent vocabulary, "game calls", during training and games. Consider your vocabulary...does it paint a picture in the mind of the player? Is it consistent from training to games?