SOCCERSKILLZ and Just4Keepers will be awarding on a need basis 3 soccer scholarships to athletes that may have a financial hardship that makes it hard for them to attend otherwise. A total of 6 scholarships will be given out, 3 for SOCCERSKILLZ and 3 for Just4Keepers. Please email us at email@example.com a detailed description as to why you qualify for a scholarship. Please make sure you can attend if selected. To sign up for regular summer training and camps please click here.
Quote of the weekend by a soccer parent: "The worst Thing That Can Happen to A Youth Soccer Player Is Win Early". Following is a video on a conversation I recently had with a youth soccer player's parent at the Central Jersey Futsal League in reference to youth soccer and the meaning of winning and development. Some say we want our team to be challenged, we want them to play better or older teams...we don't care about winning or losing we just want to be challenged...what they really mean is we want them to be challenged as long as they win...The road to development is slow, hard paced with many lessons, and most are not ready for it.
As we have mentioned before many times, we at SOCCERSKILLZ believe strongly in the benefits of futsal and it is part of our core development philosophy. Because of those values SOCCERSKILLZ has become a sponsor of the Central Jersey Futsal League which is an affiliate league of the US Youth Futsal League. Central Jersey Futsal started its inaugural league play this past Sunday, January 8th at the state of the art Peddie School which is one of the top Premier high school facilities in the USA. Teams of all ages have come together from NJ & PA to compete in a ten-week league play schedule. Following are highlights of some of the futsal games from the first day of competition.
When most think of indoor soccer they think of turf fields, maybe hockey rinks converted into indoor soccer playing ares. Most do not think of Futsal. But in the last 5 years or so the revolution has started and Futsal is the fastest growing indoor sport in the USA. Futsal Training and futsal leagues are becoming more popular and the standard when it comes to indoor soccer training. US Soccer has recognized Futsal as the official indoor soccer training to follow FIFA's standards. So most may define Futsal benefits as great for development of foot skills, or passing, receiving or controlling the ball, but here are some additional benefits that you may not have thought about. In futsal players perform more short high intensity runs than outdoor soccer. The fact that those runs are made on hard surface floors and not turf also provide a fitness benefit as accelerating and stopping are more intensity bound. With only 5 players in a futsal game players have more opportunities to defend and attack. All players must defend and attack at all times as well as learn to change positions constantly forcing all players to be able to act as a defender and an attacker. Goalkeepers are called to make saves more often than the outdoor game because of the futsal field size and the futsal game speed. Goalkeepers are also called to use their feet and become part of the attack. Following are some other key benefits as illustrated in the NSCAA Coaches Futsal Level 1 Diploma.
Once again parent and coach education is essential as a lot of indoor facilities advertise futsal training or league play but few actually teach futsal by certified futsal trainers and most facilities run futsal leagues on turf spaces with non certified futsal referees or rules.
As a full time paid trainer and coach I subscribe to a lot of various coaching and youth sports educational organizations as I like to constantly educate myself as well as see different point of views. By further educating my self I become a better coach/trainer and that helps my players. One of the organizations I am member of is the institute of soccer parenting where I get regular articles, blogs and info.
I just got this one and wanted to share with you.
I have been accused from time to time that when I am on the sideline quiet and just watch the game it seems like I have given up on the team and come across as I do not care. I have been asked why I do not stand up and offer help to my teams. For the most part you may notice that I write notes on my pad and try to stay out of the player's way unless I see something very drastically wrong. When I say I try to stay out of the player's way I mean it. Think about it... How would you feel if you were trying to do something and someone was constantly shouting directions at you. Regardless if my teams are playing 11V11 of small sided games 3V3 5V5 or futsal, I try to saty out of their way by letting them play and solve their own situations on the field.
For those of you that know me longer than a season, know very well that I am not always quiet and the game gets the best of me at times where I may jump up and shout directions or try to solve a problem...
Lord knows I am always working on that...
PERFORMANCE = POTENTIAL – INTERFERENCE Next time you yell from the sidelines, think of it this way; you are actually interfering with your child’s and the other players’ abilities to perform. How you ask? Well maybe the player was about to do something different than what you just yelled. Regardless if what they were going to do was better or worse than your shouted direction, now the player changes his/her action in the mids of doing it causing a complete error. Maybe if you had not shouted that action would have been successful. You are taking away from how well the team can function as a whole. So why do we insist on yelling from the sidelines? Maybe we need to rethink how we act? Do we want to interfere or do we pick and choose what we say and when we say it?
Interference can come in many forms.
We often hear parents and or coaches talk with young players about things such as: “This team has won such and such games,” or they are ranked this high. Doing this, we have interfered with the players’ confidence level. It is a mental distraction, which takes a part out of our players’ armor of confidence, thus decreasing performance.
How about instead of focusing on the other team, maybe we rephrase things to a statement such as, “Guys, we had a fantastic week of training, we worked hard, and I know you are ready for this game!” This is a positive, confidence building statement and has the potential to increase performance.
Well, below is a great article to articulate why all these things can interfere with your player and team.
Hope you enjoy.
Are You Interfering with Your Child’s Youth Soccer Performance?
After years of trying to educate parents and parent coaches of the reasons and benefits of small sided soccer games I have come to a certain conclusion. The number one reason why parents will not understand or buy into the small sided soccer game development philosophy is because of their self serving likes and interests. They DO NOT like it, they DO NOT think that is proper soccer and therefore they will not approve it or support it. In their minds soccer is 11v11 on a full size field. Even when the players are too small and not strong enough to run and kick in those big size, made for adult fields, parents still want to see their kids playing in them. Another opinion of mine is that most American born parents, although they claim they understand the game and some have coached for years at the youth level, they have never experienced or understand the beauty of the sport. They do not see beauty in players playing from the back, getting out of trouble by passing and moving rather than just kicking the ball up field. They do not see the beauty in a 1v1 battle that leads into a give and go or a through pass or even a pass back only for that player to read the game move along with the play and get the ball back only to have a great finishing shot that leads into a quality goal. Or how about two teams passing and moving and trying to solve on field situations and constantly battling defensively but not able to penetrate each other's goal. Parents forget that when little children play in the back yard, or street or school playground, they usually play in small groups. No rules, no grown ups just play.
"Kids football is all about the individual loving the game: dribbling and shooting, playing games and scoring goals, experimenting and copying. It is very simple and lots of fun.
Adult football is all about the team and results. It is physical, tactical, complicated and very serious.”
Tom Statham – Manchester United Academy
“Liverpool practiced small-sided games every day and it was high-intensity stuff. We used to do a very light warm-up, jog around the field a couple of times to loosen the limbs, do a few stretches, put the cones down for goals and then go into five-a-side or eight-a-side.
It was the same every single day. There was no tactical work, none whatsoever. All the strategic stuff was done within the small sided games. Liverpool believed that everything we faced in five-a-sides would be encountered again on match day. That was why the five-a-sides were so competitive. Liverpool’s training characterized Liverpool’s play – uncomplicated but devastatingly effective.”
“Practicing on smaller fields, Liverpool were always going to play a short-passing game. We only trained with small goals so there was little long-range shooting. We passed the ball until we got close enough to score. The philosophy centered on passing, making angles and one-touch football.”
At the end of the day it's all about the payer - it's a player's game
We strongly recommend to download this great ebook below:
SMALL SIDED GAMES - Let the game be the teacher By PAUL COOPER
Most think that athletes do not need a mental game until they get older. In my opinion developing a strong mind goes hand in hand with developing sound fundamentals from a young age.
Nothing crazy but teaching youth athletes to have FUN, not to worry about mistakes because they happen so we can learn from them, learning how to forget about those mistakes and try again are some small mental techniques that we can start at the youth ages.
As athletes get older we can introduce other ones like the list below.
1. Giving their opponent more credit than he/she deserves.
2. Not going to bed earlier two nights before a competition.
3. Thinking they are better than they are when they win.
4. Thinking they are worse than they are when they lose.
5. Not regularly practicing and applying slow deep breathing.
6. Not listening to relaxing piano music hours prior to competing.
7. Devaluing the importance of rest and recovery time.
8. Thinking that playing video games is quality resting time.
9. Not taking enough self responsibility for poor performance.
10. Making sports a false idol they believe will fulfill them.
Bonus: Failing to realize how you practice is how you play.
By Dr. Jarrod Spencer, Sports Psychologist
Before each athletic competition most people will wish the athletes “good luck”. I ask why?
Is it really about luck? Are there variables that are beyond the athlete’s control and left to luck?
When you buy a lottery ticket you have no control of the outcome. There is no preparation that will be able to change your odds at winning. That is my definition of luck. Not being able to prepare to change or influence the chances of altering an outcome. So how is luck going to change an athletic competition? Is it a lucky bounce of the ball? A lucky shot? A lucky rebound? All these things mentioned can be actually prevented. If a player watches the ball has proper body shape and is actively engaged in the game, not just being in the game, he will be prepared to handle a crazy bounce of the ball therefore not making it a “lucky bounce of the ball”. If he marks properly, hustles and defends with vigor a shot will not be allowed. If a shot is not allowed there will be no chance of a rebound. Does this make sense? A player takes a toe shot or just miss kicks the ball from 25 yards out of the goal, no one is expecting that shot, the wind takes it and before you know it is in the back of the net. Coach yells “unlucky”, let’s get it back”. Was it really unlucky? Let’s examine the situation. First of all if the player who miskicked the ball was actively tracked and marked in a reasonable amount of time and had not been given the time to just kick the ball the miss kicked shot would have never happened. Secondly if all the players including the goalkeeper were always ready to expect the unexpected by utilizing their agility and reaction skills the ball would have never sailed into the goal. Do you see the point here?
So when does all this preparation start? Is it after the warm up as soon as the referee blows the whistle for the game to begin? I think not. Preparation starts at training, at home, in the back yard, every time a player has a ball, every time a player watches a game every time a player thinks about the sport. Now we cannot expect most youth players to feel like this about the game in the early years with the few exceptions but we can teach them about it. We can teach them about effort, working hard and not just going through the motions. But first we have to get them to fall in love with the game. Human nature dictates that most people will give it their all if they love something. It is no different here, if they love it they will try harder.
“Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Is Not Working Hard”
By the way most people’s definition of talent is a player’s skill ability. My definition of talent is a player’s total outlook of the game. Does he love the game, is he able to read the game, does he always give 100% effort, always puts himself in a situation to make the best possible play as well as make the players around him better, and lastly how are his skills? Yes skills are last in my book. I have met and played against some great skilled players. But that’s all they were; great with the ball at their feet. They only performed when the ball was given to them at their feet. They never worked to get to the ball or put themselves in a good situation to receive the ball. They never looked to share the ball or make the players around them better, it was always about them. They had no team vision and could not read the game. But they had great ball skills. That is every knowledgeable coach’s nightmare “a selfish player”. Those players never worked hard and always lost to hard work from their opponents, those players never prepared themselves in training or elsewhere. They only depended on their ball skills.
Some players are great athletes, they have great speed, size and mental ability. They have been given some great tools to begin with, but it’s what they do with those tools that is important. It is not luck that will make them better but the love for the game, hard work and determination.
Please do not misunderstand me here; Fundamentals are the basis of all, no matter what you do, in sport and in life. One must have sound fundamentals and always work on those fundamentals, but the key here is the word “work” not luck. They have to put in the effort and commitment to get better at it and then maintain it.
Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Is Not Working Hard, not Luck.
Learning to prepare yourself for any situation, being willing to commit to work hard and will give the best chance at being successful. One does not have to love the hard work but he must crave the end result of success.
It may sound like an easy question and depending on who you ask you will get a different reply. But think this for a minute; If you like to be told what to do all the time you will never grow and develop in anything that you attempt. If you are spoon fed information and decisions all the time your brain will never learn to think on its own, become lazy and actually become counterproductive regressing in its learning and developing.
Well, at any given day on any given youth soccer field that is what’s going on. Every game has 16 or 22 players on the field, (depending if you are playing small or large side), and tens or hundreds coaches/parents around the field screaming directions and what to do at every moment of the game to the players. I realize that everyone wants the best for the players and truly want to help them but in actuality they are doing just harm to them. There are coaches on the sidelines that give instructions to the players and it’s the players’ job to execute them. Furthermore often the directions that come from all the parent/coaches are inaccurate. The team coach has given certain directions that apply to a strategy, plan, development that the team is using and the parent/coach is yelling something totally different. The player gets confused, does not want to make either coach upset, does not learn how to make his own decisions, his play ability slowly declines while his frustration increases. A player just kicks the ball to nowhere and the parent/coach cheers: “Great kick awesome job”. Maybe the situation didn’t not warrant a kick to nowhere at that particular moment of the game. Maybe the player needed to maintain control of the ball and keep possession instead of just kicking it away. Knowing how to cheer and when to cheer is another way of supporting the players and it comes from properly learning and understanding the game.
The best part about the game of soccer is that it is a “PLAYER’S GAME”. It is a game where the best players make up their own minds by reading the game and constantly adjusting to situations. The fastest a player can read the game, think, prepare and adjust to situations the better he will be. The players learn from making both good and bad choices.
“SILENT PLAY/” is a way that SoccerSkillz Training helps the players accomplish their development. After an instructional training session players will be asked to play in small sided games, varying from 3v3, 5v5 or 8v8, where they will have to make up their own team shape, line up and substitutions. They run the teams as if they are in the school playground with no adult supervision. You will be amazed at how much more they communicate, help and create situations.
As coaches, parents and spectators, we can help the players more by giving them a chance to play on their own and make their own decisions. There is a right time for teaching a better way and a right time to enjoy watching them play.
Futsal is the game of the future although it has been played in the European and South American countries for decades. It is the game that is responsible for developing the technical skills of players such as Ronaldo, Xavi, Ronaldinho and Messi.
In principle the game is a crossover between football and basketball. Players that play FUTSAL quickly develop a skillset that helps when they play club soccer. The skills are transferable to the 11v11 game.
The game is played on an indoor court, utilizing sidelines. Possession of the ball individually and as a team is vital. Players must make quick and appropriate decisions due to the size of the court. The benefits are endless from this fantastic version of soccer.
Futsal quickly develops skills required to transfer to the 11v11 soccer game - motor control, agility balance and co-ordination (The ABC's), ball mastery, passing and receiving, scanning and awareness.
Futsal is a fast pace counter attacking game; therefore fitness is improved while learning and having fun. More goals are scored and individuals get many more touches on the ball. The more you play, the better you'll get!
Learn more about futsal training in NJ HERE
As an ex player I have loved the sport since I was 4 years old.