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.
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.
Is the measure of development in youth sports how many games you have won? Why is that a lot of parents and coaches have become accustomed answering this question: "How did you guys do?" with this answer: "Oh, we won!". I always tell them I did not ask you if you won or lost but how did you do. How did your player play, how did your team play. Did they use their fundamental skills, where they able to read the game, make correct decisions or execute properly. Did they play as a team, did they help each other, encourage and motivate each other. DID THEY HAVE FUN?
I see all the time premier level teams that claim how great they are and how they never lose, just not understand the game of soccer and their coach has gotten the parents so into winning that they are clueless about how under skilled their children are. Yes I said clueless because either the coach is not educated about development or has just forgotten about development. I see coaches just pick the biggest and fastest kids on their teams and then proceed to encourage them to just kick the ball as hard as they can up the field, run after it, bump, push and shove to get it and try to toe it into the goal under any cost. How about this one: As soon as the team recovers the ball the coach screams and yells for everyone to pass the ball to one player on the team that has a bit of skill. EVERY SINGLE TIME pass the ball to that player. I do not know about you, but last time I checked soccer has eleven players and they are all supposed to play together in order to accomplish their task. What happens when that one player is sick or can not play? Parents that get it find themselves paying money to have their children play for academies with paid trainers so they can be developed the right way. Paid trainers do understand the difference between winning and developing a youth player.
Below is a great report I found by Ivan Kepcija & Prof. Craig Johnson that sheds a lot of truths to the right development of the youth soccer player. PLEASE PLEASE read the entire report and I am sure you will see what I am talking about!
Once you download and read the report you will have a better understanding what development is all about and how SoccerSkillz follows that philosophy in order to reach long term development, similar to the development European and South American countries have. Then sign up for a free training session so that you can experience first hand the philosophy and how it works.
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
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