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.
Most parents and coaches think players come to the pitch simply because they want to win. In reality, this is the furthest thing in a player’s mind. Players want to play more often regardless of the result. For less able players, if this means playing in a losing
side, then many would rather do that than not play at all. Players play, coaches coach fans cheer! Simple isn’t it?
As a coach my philosophy is to give all players in the development years as close to equal playing time as possible. Off course there may be situations or instances that may not be possible but overall the playing time should be divided equally. Think about it; would you just show up in every game knowing you will be sitting on the bench? And please do not tell me that some players know their role and have accepted that they are support role players or are on a team for development purposes. At the youth development level there is also a social element to being part of a team. Players build bonds and relationships and feel like they are part of a group.
Research shows the focus should not be on whether you lose or win, but on positives.
Introducing a procedure that reduces the emphasis on losing or winning and focuses on activities to create more developmental fun activities while creating a learning environment for the players is essential and the positive results will follow.
I had a parent recently tell me after a training session that he liked the fact that I trained, build and developed for the future rather than the now. He meant that he liked the fact that the training sessions were designed for developing the player/goalkeeper skill set, awareness of game, solving situations and most of all having fun. He said that his son always looks forward to coming to training because number one he is always curious to see what the coach has planned for the training session, (keeping a session always fresh by doing different things keeps the player’s retention and focus), and likes the fact that the players play.
That is what the “street games” philosophy is all about that SoccerSkillz Training and Just4Keepers are implementing in their indoor training sessions. Players/keepers come together and after a topic specific warm up and technical period the players play 3v3 and build to 5v5. However the players make their own line ups, substitutions and run their teams as they see fit, without the coaches’ input. Coaches make coaching points during brakes. As coaches we like to watch players/keepers find their own solutions in the game. Just like kids do on the school playground without any grown-ups around. It is beautiful to watch games start at a chaotic state and eventually settle down with a well organized group helping each other and working together.
Coaches look for many things during the soccer tryout, and it's not always about the skill and speed. Parents, tryouts are mainly for new kids that will like to join an existing program. If your kid is already a member of that particular program, the coach already knows what your kid can do. Because most soccer programs have tryouts annually, the coach has a chance to watch and evaluate your kid’s performance, focus, attention and development all year. If your kid has a great tryout but has been fooling around all year chances are he or she may not make the team.
Below are some more trips:
Think ahead and be prepared.
Be in good physical condition.
Prepare your skills to the best of your ability.
Make sure you have a ball that's the correct size for your age.
Wear your shin guards.
Make sure your shoes fit properly.
Keep yourself hydrated and make sure you have a nutritious snack about two hours before the soccer tryout.
Make sure you bring your own water.
Be on time. That means getting to the field with enough time to park the car, find the coaches and the field, and get signed in.
Make sure you are already dressed with your shin guards and shoes on before stepping on the field. Then, make sure that you're warmed up BEFORE the soccer tryout starts. Also, all long hair should be up and out of your face. Do not wear any necklaces, rings, earrings, toe rings or any other jewelry when you play soccer.
Introduce yourself to the coach. Don't let your mom or dad do it. Don't interrupt him if he's talking to someone else. Wait until he's done. It might be scary, but just walk up to the coach and say, "Hey, Coach. My name is Mia. Where do you want me?"
Be respectful. If the coach introduces himself as "Coach Niko," call him "Coach Niko" or just as "Coach." Coaches like it when you call them coach - especially if this is their first year. You should always use "sir" or "ma'am" when answering a direct question from the coach.
Don't mess around with your soccer ball while the coach is explaining things. Stand with the ball cradled between your elbow and your hip, or place it on the ground between your feet. If someone kicks or hits your ball away, let it go. You can retrieve it AFTER the coach is done talking.
Make eye contact with the coach. As he is talking to all the players that are there for the soccer tryout, keep your eyes on his face and eyes. Many of the other kids will be messing around, not paying attention. If you make eye contact with the coach, he will soon be talking directly to you. He might look around at all the other players, but he will come back to you. He'll know that you care about what he is saying and he'll see that you are paying attention. He will notice who you are.
Stay focused and remember why you are there. You are at the field for a soccer tryout. You are not there to hang out with your friends. You are not there to play tag, chase butterflies or due cartwheels in the grass. Mind your own business. Don't let the other players distract you.
When you line up to do drills, and if you know exactly what you are supposed to do, do not be afraid to go first. Coaches respect kids who are willing take the lead.
On the other hand, you don't have to be first all the time. If you don't go first in the drills, try to do it faster and better than the kids that do go first.
Throughout the soccer tryout, the coaches will give you opportunities to take water breaks. Be the first one back from the water break. Do not play around during water breaks.
Keep your shirt tucked in. You'll have to do it during games, so you might as well get used to it. Tucking in your shirt makes you look taller, more muscular and in better shape. Long, sagging shirts make you look dumpy. Wear your shorts how they were designed to be worn, with the waistband at the waist.
Don't whine and complain. A coach doesn't want to hear how hot it is or that Johnny is jabbing
you in the back.
He doesn't want to hear that you can't find your ball.
He knows you're thirsty; you don't have to keep reminding him.
He doesn't want to hear "I can't do it."
Don't tattle on the other players.
Don't ever excuse bad behavior on your part because "Johnny did it!"
When your soccer tryout is over, pay attention to what happens next.
Many times tryouts are conducted over several days.
Sometimes the coach will tell you right then if you made the team.
Sometimes they will notify you with an email or a phone call.
Make sure you gather up everything you brought to the field.
It's perfectly okay to say good-bye to the coach and even thank him.
Do not ask him if you made the team.
If you followed all of these Soccer Tryout Tips, he knows who you are.
The waiting to find out if you made the team can be excruciating.
The best way to handle that stress is to get outside and continue to work on your dribbling, juggling and shooting skills.
If you followed all the Soccer Tryout Tips, the coach is going to love you.
But, if it doesn't work out for you this time, find yourself another team to tryout for, and keep working on those skills.
Even Michael Jordan didn't make the team the first time he tried out.
Here is the # 1 secret to making a soccer team or a soccer program tryout: http://ibourl.com/sh2
To have a goalkeeper confident with his feet when you have play against high pressure teams is extremely important and a big advantage to your defense.
Keeping possession has become the way to play football. Long ball football or Hollywood ball football, as otherwise known, has become extremely unpopular and broadly unsuccessful. Every side wants to have possession of the ball for the majority of the game, and a key way to impose this on a side is by getting the goalkeeper to play short. Barcelona’s Victor Valdes is a master of it.
This is why improving footwork and agility in a goalkeeper has become as essential as having a GREAT touch with one's hands.
Watch How Victor Valdes' footwork skills help the team play from the back and develop play without giving up possession HERE
Swansea actually bought Michel Vorm to play in goal because he is so comfortable with the ball at his feet. ”For us it was then the case of looking to get in the right type of goalkeeper,” said Rodgers. “We needed one that was going to suit our style and Michel was one that was on our list. After looking at his style and his game I think his attributes suit us perfectly. He makes saves, which is important for a keeper. But for how we play, we like to build the game from behind, it is vital that the goalkeeper is comfortable with his feet…he is a player that not only does that but he controls the game well from behind and will help us construct the game from the back. He is very quick and very agile so he is similar to Victor Valdes at Barcelona.” Watch a GREAT video about improving goalkeeping footwork HERE