Half time - Man U up 1-0 vs Madrid in the International Champions Cup! - Half time interview with Ronaldo from China - When he first burst into the pro ranks I was not a fan of his...too cocky, too self-absorbed too flamboyant, not a true team player. He would get the ball and only look to dribble and in my opinion, show off. Teams learned how to defend him and would shut him down. He then slowly transformed himself and became a better teammate, got better at realizing that he needed to make himself available to his teammates for scoring opportunities. He had to contribute more in the buildup of the creation of the goal, not just try to showboat his dribbling skills. And he did, he started to drop back more and receive the ball deeper in the midfield and then distribute the ball and make runs. He even got better at assisting his teammates to goals. Aside from him becoming a more team player, in my opinion, the more I started to learn about him, the more I liked him. I found out about his work ethic, always staying after training to work on his attacking style and finishing. I learned his off the field charity work and many other things he contributes to his community and country of Portugal. The more I learn the more I like…
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.
Do the players know the difference and if so, can they read the game to be able to make quick adjustments and decisions?
As a player, student and coach of the game I have been taught to appreciate ball control and possession. I am a product of being able to read the game at all times, make adjustments and quick decisions. Having and maintaining possession is a key element to the game. Without possession of the ball a team cannot apply the principles of attack. They cannot penetrate a defense and eventually score.
How much possession is enough, what makes an effective possession from an ineffective one and how can we make sure our players understand the difference?
We all know Barcelona are the masters of the possession game but we can't all play like Barcelona because we may not have the skill set to do so.
If Barcelona are the masters of possession why has the team conceded loses to Milan, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and the unforgettable disaster to Borussia Dortmund in 2013 Champions League semis? Is it because they have fallen so in love with their own style of possession game that they do not make proper adjustments when needed?
Let’s take a step back and first analyze what do we need to maintain possession. In my experience before we even attempt to teach possession a team needs to have sound fundaments. Players need to be able to trap the ball, control the ball and pass the ball. If players cannot do those things, there is no way they will be able to maintain possession. At SoccerSkillz FUNdamentals are part of every day training. When a player trains in our system foot skills have to become second nature, so that a player develops the confidence to be able to receive, control, pass or take on another player 1v1.
So once we have developed the individual player’s skill set then we need to move forward and work on the concept of possession, passing the ball, moving without the ball and offering support to the player with the ball. This is something that takes time and patience; as players now need to read the game, make adjustments and decisions. As they get better at it the possession touches and time of possession increase to the point a team can move up and down the field with ease. As the team reaches that goal of mastering possession now it faces a new problem. POSSESSION OVERKILL. That is what happens when the team passes for the sake of passing but really is not moving towards the other goal, remember the reason why we want to keep possession is so at the right time we can penetrate the defense and possibly score a goal. Yes, the goal was to teach our team how to keep possession but once that is mastered the team must be able to read the game and know when to pass, where to pass, how much to pass. If a player has the right opportunity to take on a defender one v one and thinks he can beat that defender then by all means he should do that. If the ball is passed to a player and the player has read the game quick enough and accurately and can make a one touch through pass to penetrate through the defense instead of just passing the ball back to a teammate that is great adjustment and decision. If the ball comes to a player and he is in a good position, has the right angle, and sees an opening to take a shot instead of passing the ball again that is a great adjustment and decision. How about the fact that slow passing, predictable passing or just too much passing helps the other team set up defensively and takes the element of surprise away from your side. The space where a team passes is another consideration. With TIMELY passing we want our team to spread out the other team so it can make it easier for our team to penetrate. A lot of times teams fall victims of small untimely passes which although it gives the illusion that our team is doing great, in reality it helps the other team set up defensively and crowd the middle of the field or their penalty box making it difficult for our team to penetrate. As our team may push all players up to try and break this massive crowd up we leave ourselves vulnerable to counter attacks and quick goals.
All these things happened to Barcelona, as they fell in love with their possession style of play and over passed at times, did not take shots when it was the best option, let the other teams counter attack them with quick through passes and timely finishing.
Being able to balance the passing possession game with quick proper read of the game and appropriate correct decisions is the magic of the game in my opinion. Teams that can master a blend of proper passing possessions, quick 1v1s, through passes, long balls and timely shooting are teams that will be able to see positive results.
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.
Futworks training with futpro trainers
This article has been perceived as too controversial.
We apologize to anyone who was offended by its nature. Furthermore, although no names or teams were disclosed, we apologize for the comment of a particular player lacking effort or otherwise perceived as "lazy." Our intent was not to publicly criticize, embarrass or label any one player, but we see how this may have been taken that way. Many teams face situations where its players are on different levels, whether it be talent, aggressiveness or effort. The beautiful thing about youth soccer is that, as players continue to develop, these levels can change and you can have a totally different player a few seasons down the road. Coaches and parents both must be careful not to label players at a young age.
Again, our intent was to give an opinion, and only as to who do we think should pay for an academy program, when to pay for an academy program and how to choose an academy program.
If you wish to read this entire article please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do not see anything wrong with academies charging fees and offering a higher level of coaching and developing programs than the free clubs do. In fact the academy programs were created to do just that and be selective about which players they accept. They were supposed to accept players of an advance playing level and skills and were supposed to be the stepping-stone to a college showcase program or even the professional levels. It used to be impressive that a player played for an academy team. In General I do not think that applies any longer. There are still academy programs throughout the country that have high standards and offer a higher level of training and do not compromise their standards for the old mighty dollar.
So how does a parent know if they should pay for an academy program, and if so which academy program should they choose? In my opinion it’s simple. If your child is not playing at a premier level free club team and is not excelling at that team you will be wasting your money. As far as which academy program to choose from, do your research. Do not get impressed my fancy training gear, training grounds or coaches with accents. Look for the academy’s record on that particular age group as well as the coach’s record. Meet with that particular coach and speak with him. Just because he is a great coach with a proven record it does not mean he will be a good fit for your child. Great coaches do not always mesh with players and that is why you see changes at the professional levels. You have every right to interview the academy just like they try to interview you and make it look like you are so privileged to be accepted by them. Remember, it is your money you are spending.
View more photos and videos of non academy training with futworks here
How Can Nutrition And Rest Habits Effect Your Youth Soccer Player
Most players and their parents at the youth level of soccer do not really pay great attention to the proper nutrition, rest and recovery habits, as well as their effects and consequences.
A very small detail but yet so important to the youth soccer player, is the sleeping habits and activity over load.
Therefore going to bed late cuts down on that very important rest time.
Body needs to rest to allow it to recover and grow
Mind needs to rest to take in everything and process it to memory.
Your Brain Needs Zzzzzs
Not only is sleep necessary for your body, it's important for your brain, too. Though no one is exactly sure what work the brain does when you're asleep, some scientists think that the brain sorts through and stores information, replaces chemicals, and solves problems while you snooze.
Most kids between 5 and 12 get about 9.5 hours a night, but experts agree that most need 10 or 11 hours each night. Sleep is an individual thing and some kids need more than others.
When your body doesn't have enough hours to rest, you may feel tired or cranky, or you may be unable to think clearly.
School counselors across the country are reporting that more and more students involved in extra-curricular activities are on “overload” and becoming stressed out.
Summer Activities School Year Activities
Basketball practice at 9:00am Pre-School Basketball Shoot Around
Day Camp at 11:00 School Activities 9:00-3:00
Swimming at 3:00 Piano Lesson 3:30-4:30
Soccer at 5:00 Soccer 5:00
Hip Hop at 8:00 Homework 7:30
I challenge many of the parents to take a good look at the lives of our children. We all know a kid like this: the one who gets off the school bus and goes straight to soccer practice, eats a take-out dinner in the car on the way to Scouts or chess, and gets back home just in time to fall into bed at 10PM.
Where is the downtime? The time just to hang with friends, or read for pleasure, or ride a bike? The time to play with neighborhood friends or draw on the sidewalk with chalk?
I see so many kids coming to practice tired, yawning, lucking of energy. I always ask my players to give me 100% effort when they are practicing or playing. I do not care as much about mistakes as for them to give effort. I always wonder why players although they are on the field no more than 10 minutes, or just arrived for a morning soccer match they seem to luck energy, focus and just in general do not seem that they want to be there. When asked most of the time it is
because of a late night or other activities prior to coming to practice or game.
Here are some Nutritional Guidelines and a sample out of state diet/rest plan
1. All players will be instructed by their coaches and athletic trainers concerning the importance of nutrition before each tournament.
2. Players will be required to attend all scheduled meals.
3. Teams will be responsible for following and supervising the nutritional guidelines of the club.
4. Parents/players are responsible for the availability of food/fluids for each team.
5. All teams are required to have sufficient Gatorade, water, ice, and snacks in each of the player’s rooms during the tournament.
6. All teams are required to provide sufficient Gatorade, water, ice, and snacks at each game for pre-game, in- game, and post- game nourishment.
7. Managers will be responsible for the designation of access to the aforementioned at games.
8. No sodas or carbonated drinks are allowed prior to and during the tournament. Water will be served at all meals.
9. Breakfast should be eaten daily. If your game is early a light breakfast should be consumed with plenty of fluids
10. Pre-game meals should be planned 3-4 hours prior to the beginning of each game. If not possible, nutritious snacks and plenty of fluid should be provided.
11. Post-games snacks should be available to each player at the conclusion of each game on the field or in the vans returning from the game.
Post- game nutrition should include the immediate snack/Gatorade (within one hour of the game) followed by a larger meal later after the return to the hotel.
12. Players should hydrate at all times during the tournament. Urine color should appear clear (not dark yellow) upon waking in the morning, before the game,
and before going to bed. This is a simple way of acknowledging proper hydration.
SOCCER DIET – Pre/Post Game Meals
Soccer players are continuously looking for ways to improve his or her performance,
increasing the body’s maximum potential and forcing it to achieve championship form.
Training leading up to a tournament is done with hard work and commitment on a daily basis.
With the amount of effort and time spent in training comes and equally high energy
consumption and that is where nutrition (fuel) will come in.
High energy can be obtained through a diet which is rich in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are the main fuel and energy source of the body and the soccer player needs
loads of them. It is equally important to consume the proper carbohydrates as outlined below.
Protein is also very important to the soccer player diet as they help with recovery and muscle
growth. Fats are important and essential to a healthy diet as long as they are consumed appropriately.
A general rule is to consume 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein, and 15%fat in your diet.
Fluid is very important and should be consumed before, during, and after every soccer event.
The pre- game meal should be consumed 3-4 hours prior to a soccer game.
Plenty of water/Gatorade should be available at the meal. The meal should be planned around
individual likes and dislikes, thus a variety is essential. Carbohydrates with a low Glycemic Index (GI)
should be consumed before the game to preserve energy stores and provide long lasting energy
throughout the game. High GI foods should be consumed immediately before and during the game
to provide for lost energy in during the first half of games. A list is provided below.
Players should be provided with easily digested foods during the game and at half time.
These include crackers, grapes, oranges, watermelon, rice crispy bars, trail mix, etc...
Gatorade should be available at all games. Each player should drink 10-12 ounces 30 minutes
prior to the game, 8-10 ounces of water before kick-off, and 10 ounces of Gatorade at half time.
Water should be available to all players at anytime prior to, during, and after games.
Light colored Gatorade (Tiger, Rain, etc.) instead of darker colors should be available for players
as it is easier to digest.
Immediately following the game (within 30 min.), Gatorade/water should be available to players after games.
Light snacks should be provided if there is a game the next day or later in the day.
This should include high carbohydrate and protein foods. Trail mix, rice crispy bars, watermelon,
other fruits, crackers, and of course small sandwiches with perferably wheat or grain bread.
The post game snack should be provided immediately as this is when the player’s glycogen stores
are wide open and able to consume the most for the next match. One to two hours after this event
lessens and the player is not able to consume as much food. The post game meal should contain a
good balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Calories are important and should be consumed at the
rate of 2500/3000 per day. Older teams can consume more; younger teams may consume less depending
on the weight of the individual.
GI Foods List
LOW GI FOODS MED/HIGH GI FOODS
Peanut butter crackers
Fat Free milk
Cream of wheat
Fruit roll ups
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
I know that the youth level soccer teams are mostly coached by weekend warrior coaches. These are the gents or ladies that volunteer their time and effort to help
shape the kids on and off the pitch. Not an easy job given the amount of time most coaches have to train their teams or even the field time assigned to them by their clubs.
The development of young kids is a major part of coaching at the youth level, something that has been forgotten completely by coaches and not understood by a lot of parents! A lot of coaches see training as babysitting the kids for an hour. Not much emphasis is placed on proper technique, fundamentals, touches on the ball or even fitness. The kids show up kick the ball around for an hour and then go home. Then they are expected to show up for games and actually perform. Further more the kids get yelled at when they make mistakes. It brakes my heart when I see this from a lot of coaches, who although they mean well and want to help their town’s soccer league they are not really qualified to teach the game.
The F License has become a joke as people get it a lot of times just by showing up for 5 minutes in class and do not even participate in the 6 hour on-field training that is required. Let’s be honest here, the more a coach knows & the more time a team puts into training the better the results will be. There are a lot more elements to soccer than just kicking the ball. Kids must develop a good first touch on the ball, be able to use all surfaces of the foot, have agility, timing, and conditioning. Things like that are not going to be developed with once per week training session that is only kicking the ball around. Kids also need to practice all of their fundamentals at home so that the coach’s job becomes easier when the kids show up for training and at the same time he or she can spend more time on other parts of the game.
Take a look at this training to get a better picture of what I am talking about:
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