The number one reason kids do anything is because it is FUN!
Everyone at any level including adults play sports because it is FUN! As we get older we tend to forget the fun element while we stress how important winning is and we adopt a win at all costs mentality. I guess it is our American culture that dictates, "nobody remembers second place". Notice, any pro athletes that give an interview after a game that they won; they always mention that the team had FUN! Teaching kids to have FUN while emphasizing fundamentals though FUN games it is a habit that will stay with them all their lives. That is the main reason why I love Brazilian style soccer. They play because it is fun, and it shows in the way they approach the game, the creativity on the pitch. Brazilian style training, although tough is full of FUN games emphasizing fundamentals, footwork and agility. The foundation of the body is your feet and if you are light, quick and durable on your feet you have an edge over the rest of the players. More and more trainers start training the kids at a young age, not only fundamentals but also how to move their bodies and feet. I found this training system that I have been using with my U8 teams as well as U12 and U14 kids.
Fun has no age limits. http://www.soccertoplay.com/futworks.html
I plan on using this with everyone regardless how old they are. Hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. Remember a daily dose of FUN in everything we do not only puts a smile on our faces, it encourages to keep doing what we are doing deriving at better and quicker results.
Regardless of what you think the answer to the above question is, the truth may surprise you. Hundred’s of thousands of kids enjoy and play the sport of soccer across the USA, yet only 5,000 males are recruited to play soccer in college every year. The challenge to secure a soccer scholarship starts a lot earlier than any other sport. Playing for a club, academy or attending soccer camps that showcase the players to colleges is a must in today’s process for securing a soccer scholarship.
With over 1,200 men’s college soccer programs and over 1400 women’s programs securing a soccer scholarship is much harder than you would expect. Today’s college coaches are forced to divide their money and very rarely do they give full ride scholarships.
For women’s programs there are a maximum of 14 scholarships for a DI team, 9.9 for DII, 12 for NAIA programs and a fully funded NJCAA program has up to 18 scholarships per team.
Men’s soccer can offer 9.9 scholarships per team DI, 9 per team DII, 12 at the NAIA level and 18 scholarships per team for NJCAAA programs.
To be considered by college coaches for a soccer scholarship a player must play club or academy soccer and travel to a few tournaments per year. High school soccer does not get the same attention that club and academy play gets from college coaches. Perhaps all those years of high schools handing out their soccer coaching jobs to unqualified teachers has finally caught up with them. Please keep in mind that not all club teams and academies are equal and vary in circumstances. For example being part of the biggest name club or academy but hardly getting any playing time may not be as good as being a part of a smaller club or academy but getting much more playing time.
Lastly, constant improvement on fundamentals, footwork, agility, conditioning, speed and timing is an every day must for a young soccer prospect. With the hectic schedule soccer players endure sometimes the basics get away from them. Here is an easy fun solution that can be utilized anywhere. http://www.soccertoplay.com/futworks.html
Getting youth soccer players to work on increasing their footwork, agility, speed, timing and stamina often feels like an impossible challenge. I have evaluated numerous programs over time. All too frequently their results are just shy of painfully disappointing.
The number one issue I always find with different programs is that they pretty much are all the same at the core. First of all the kids using a ball to work on their footwork, at the early stages are always miss- kicking the ball and have to constantly chase it. That cuts into the actual time they spend performing the actual task and sooner than later they get bored and tired of constantly retrieving the ball, resulting in performance and focus decline.
Another issue is that once they leave the training facility very few actually go home and practice. There is no real FUN motivation to practice at home. Kids rather play with their friends or video games. Until now! Kids love to show their friends of their skills or something they can do better than their friends. Better yet, how about show their friends of a toy, something FUN that they have. FutPro can fit right in there. Kids will not only love training with it but also actually use it at home so that they can get better and then compete with their friends.
Off course all the time that they are spending having FUN with their friends and using the FutPro, they are actually touching the ball 1000s of times and increasing their footwork, agility, speed, timing and stamina. It is a win win situation for the coaches, trainers and players.
So my Tip for increasing footwork is to be able to have the kids do something FUN, competitive, be able to share it with their friends on and off the training facility. Something that they can see the results as they get better, just like a video game’s progress. Something they can enjoy doing without the coach’s/trainer’s supervision.
Take a look at it HERE
Everyday I that I train kids, various ages and skill levels, one thing that is always constant is their inability to sustain and focus on the tasks at hand. I have come to realize that although they love to play sports they cannot maintain non-stop playing for an extended time. They are always stopping, huffing and puffing. I remember when I was a young lad, say 8 or 9, you could not get me to stop or stand still. Today although kids are always fidgeting, not standing still or not focusing it is not because their high fitness energy level. It is mainly because of their diet. High on sugars, bad carbs, and preservatives. But given the task of actually maintaining a playing scenario of a prolong period of time, most of them cannot do it. Even the kids that their coaches have them doing laps before every practice and have developed a somewhat higher level of fitness; they cannot maintain a period of extended play with many different speeds and agility tasks.
In every sport developing speeds of quick 5-10 yards bursts is critical. These quick bursts or first steps can separate a player from beating a competitor to a lose ball, getting a rebound or making a strong defensive play. Developing a young player/athlete to have quicker footwork, timing, speed, agility, stamina and power to move in small places will not only help them to become a better athlete but also prevent injuries. Another area in youth sports that is greatly overlooked. We tend to think that they are kids, they are young, and they do not any of this. In actuality developing healthy habits is a must at all ages.
So how do we start with accomplishing this developmental task? Simple, yet not known by many: Increasing speed is as simple as training an athlete to minimize their contact with the ground. It makes sense right? The less time you spend touching the ground the faster you will move. Simple theory applied by sprinters. When doing agility training the lighter and faster an athlete is on his/her feet the quicker they will accomplish the given task. Doing repetitive jumping drills may seem pointless, but what they are doing is teaching the athlete to spend less time with their feet on the ground.
Doing an agility session and building it into sprint work, the athlete’s muscle memory takes over and they begin to apply what they learned in the leaping tasks, therefore creating a quicker first step. Coordination and balance are always part of the mix. As I said earlier there are kids that may have a higher fitness level but their coordination and balance is lacking, making it harder to perform on the field.
Here are some other things that I do on my trainings that you should consider:
Speed Agility And Conditioning
Being More Powerful In Your Sport
Developing A Faster First Step
Being Able To Jump Higher
Perfecting Techniques Through FUN Quality Repetitions
Read more and watch videos HERE
As I write this, I am still bathing in the joyful accomplishment feeling from the performance of my new,
only months put together U9 girls team in yesterday’s 14 team scrimmage fest. Let me point out
that all teams in the scrimmage fest were 2 to 4 flights higher than us but we played teams that were
2 and 3 flights higher as the 4th flight were high level premier teams. I felt that my girls could compete
with teams 2-3 flights higher and they proved it. We did not win any games, nor was I expecting to win
any. My goal was to introduce them to more serious challenging competition and see how they would
handle it. They were competitive in all games, scores were very close and there were two reasons why
we lost the games.
1st Physicality – I explained to them that we can play against bigger faster kids by mastering our
fundamentals, passing and moving without the ball and letting the other team do all the running. Even
though teams are in higher flights does not always mean they are better.
Most youth level teams play for today, kick and run, more physical style of football. That will earn them
results "today" and get them in higher flights, but as the development goes "tomorrow" will come and those same teams will find themselves losing to the teams they used to beat as those teams have developed their fundamentals, touches on the ball and movement without the ball. So we play for "tomorrow".
2nd The “BUTT DRAGGING” Phase of the game caught up with us. In today’s pro level football
matches there are more goals scored in the last couple of minutes and extra time than the entire game.
That is also true for most youth games if the teams are not as fit as their opponent. Lack of stamina leaves the kids wondering what happen to their skill level. The fatigue of a less fit team is shown as their quality of play starts to fall off and their decision making falters. Technique goes out of the window as the athlete is struggling for oxygen after an intense run or a series of moves. The advantage in those late minutes swings to the opponent. When a coach helps a player improve their technical skills while on the verge of exhaustion will pay huge dividends at those late minutes with the game on the line.
We have been working on those two points, fundamentals as well as our stamina, and have been making huge improvements. Although we have not reached our goal yet working with Futpro and the Futwork Training System has most definitely put us on the path of competing with higher level teams. A few months ago when this team was put together we had a hard time competing with a U8 higher level team. Since we started to use Futpro and Futworks I can see the fundamentals, footwork, agility and stamina improving. Best of all my girls love to train and the "boredom blues" have gone away. Going from U8 to U9 higher level competition is leap of development.
Watch videos here --->http://www.soccertoplay.com/futworks.html
How Would You Like To Improve Your Footwork, Agility And Stamina In Your Soccer Training? IT IS EASY – Here Is How
Footwork is one of the key elements in all sports. Professional teams of all sports have a physical trainer that does agility, footwork, stamina, conditioning, speed and timing workouts. In youth sports especially at the U8-U12 levels teaching the kids proper body movement and techniques, agility and footwork is essential if the kids are going to develop into total athlete/players. At that age one of the hardest things to maintain is focus and as a youth coach you are always battling the boredom syndrome. With FutPro and the Futwork training system you are not only teaching the kids the necessary, footwork, agility and body motion essentials but you are making it FUN for them as they love to use the FutPro. The 30second challenges add excitement and FUN in their workouts.
See for yourself what the fuss is all about by clicking here:
As I was training one of my teams at yesterdays practice using FutPro, I was lost in the laughter and fun my girls were having while using it and doing their footwork. Prior to getting the FutPro I would have them touch the ball off the wall in our indoor facility at the start of every practice. As the weeks passed I noticed a few things. First of all after a few reps they would get bored with it and their technique would go down hill. Because of the same reason their timing would be off, they would not stay on their toes as I always instruct them and their effort would not be there after a few reps. Most importantly as all of the above would happen they would have to start chasing the ball, because their focus and concentration would not be there any more causing them to mishandle the ball and have it roll away from them. As a result of that we would waste quite a bit of time to get the ball, get back in position start all over again and have it happen again and again.
Well since we started using FutPro I do not have to say anything anymore. In fact they fight over who is going to go first. They have a great time while doing it, their footwork has gotten much better and we do not waste as much time any longer. We just ordered one for each player so everyone has one. They use it at home and bring it at practice. Best of all they show off to their friends not realizing, that as they do that they are always working on their footwork.
I asked them why they like using it so much and based on their answers I compiled a list of 10 things why one should use FutPro in their training as well as home.
1 Have Fun With An Easy To Do Game Like Unit and Training System
2 Increase Touches On The Ball, Build Better Footwork
3 Work On Every Surface Of Your Foot, Inside, Outside, Laces
4 Better Body Movement, Build Agility
5 Increase Cardio, Build Your Stamina
6 Better Your Technique On The Ball
7 Build Muscle Memory
8 Increase You Aerobic Workout
9 Great For Every Sport Footwork And Body Movement
10 Separate Yourself From The 80% That Lack Footwork
To watch videos of players in action using the FutPro clickHERE