The lessons I learned from football are priceless. They've helped me in my post-football career yes, there's life after football. I learned life skills that many of my peers are still trying to figure out at 30 years old. I was given an unfair advantage because of the time I spent playing football.
Not only did I have a support group of peers who looked out for me, I was blessed with a number of mentors who cared about me and wanted me to succeed. There are two types of competition: When you face an opponent, you have to study film research and think critically about how to beat them game theory , come up with a game plan planning , and make that plan come to life execution. If you don't learn to compete with yourself and improve every day, you'll be the weakest link in the chain.
That in itself is pressure enough to improve. How to be disciplined: How to work really hard: Think about your workplace.
This isn't to say sports are the only way to learn hard work, but it's a great start. In football, you can earn a name for yourself by outworking your teammates. Leadership is a billion-dollar industry. Managers pay for leadership training, and they pay to learn how to lead themselves. Coaches lead teams, but only to a certain extent. With the apparent lack of respect for others we see in the news, this is extremely important.
Before you can lead, you have to know how to follow.
Leadership is rare, but everyone needs to know how and when to follow. The 5 building blocks of team captains who are true leaders. How to be accountable: Individuals don't win football games. They make us look good by winning games so we let them become limited and one-dimensional players to keep the wins coming. Players playing multiple positions. Players younger than a certain age 14? I was the shortest kid in my class in tenth grade.
Besides, the killer app at the elite levels is the defender who can attack and the striker who can defend. Plus the great majority of coaches spend the great majority of their time coaching on the offensive side of the ball, a top coach once said. Should they shift how much coaching of defense they do? But they should also shift kids so they learn all of the skills in the game.
I get that specialization has to happen at elite levels. I just think it happens way too completely and too early at the non-elite levels. Quiet and ego-less coaches. A coach should be calm and composed in teaching or reinforcing during a game so players can be calm and composed in executing. When you bring your emotions into it you add one more variable that distracts the player from thinking about his or her own execution.
Why is he shouting at me? Does he shout at everyone like this? Am i being picked on? Does he think the goal was my fault? He never yells at Danny. When we coach demonstratively and we win, it looks like maybe it was all that dramatic coaching stuff that won the game. Do some coaches worry that if they win and appear from the sidelines to have done almost nothing, if they did all their work in advance, say, it might not be clear to parents and observers that their coaching helped cause the win?
She stayed behind the defense, yards up field, got three or four release passes and scored two. Her team won What a brilliant bit of coaching! Reinforcing decision-making over outcome: Making the right decision with an imperfect touch is often a good thing… at least as good as a good touch with a bad decision.
In the end, the decision-making is probably harder to learn than the touch. We have to remember that kids are going to try it a bunch of times and get it wrong before they try it and get it right. When it happens, make sure to reinforce the good parts. If you scroll down in the blog you can see the metrics they use to help assess their own effectiveness at playing possession oriented soccer and how diligent they are about collecting them. Just sharing such data w parents would help them to see the difference between winning and winning while earning their kids twice as many touches per game.
Only thing I would consider adding to their metrics is percentage of goalie possessions punted vs thrown or some other measure of building out of the back.
Anyway I thought it was a great example of walking the player development walk, not just talking the talk or not even bothering to talk the talk. On Watching Bayern Practice. On Growth Mindset for Elite Players.
The Game is the Best Teacher. On Routines to Build Attentiveness and Efficiency. I am actually a lacrosse coach not a soccer coach but everything you say relates to our sport as well. And you are correct that the most difficult aspect of focusing on future development is that the parents often will judge the club on current wins…and unfortunately you must choose between development and winning at the youth level. One way to ease this burden, however, is to try to find or start your own developmental league.
This way if all teams are playing kids at every position, giving equal playing time, focusing on making more passes, etc then there will be a more equal playing field. Whereas in a normal league the team that focuses on development has almost zero chances of winning. This way each kid gets a ton of relevant game action throughout their developmental years rather than being stuck on a huge field only getting a few touches per game.
Rather play games that allow the kids to make decisions and explore different solutions to game situations. This helps them develop intrinsic motivation to improve which will make them more likely to stick with the sport later into their teens. Kids who rely on others do to everything for them will likely develop into needy teenagers who will become a burden to their coaches and teammates.
My philosophy is that youth coaching in any sport is where the interesting stuff is happening. When a 9 year old comes to me and says they want to be a footballer, they have just handed me possession of their dreams.
That is real pressure. I agree with everything you have written. I would like to add to your words, not replace them with the following;. Possession football is good for all of the reasons you cover.
We want our players to aspire to the highest level, college for academics and pro for football. The players we love the most are dribblers. Build from the back. Even his coaches had commented at his club. He started to question whether or not he should move his son to a different club. He knew there was a "better-ranked" club about an hour away from his hometown and thought that might help his son.
What he didn't realize is that HIS efforts, away from the structured practice, were the reason why his son was improving. My response included many of the points below.
This past weekend I made it a point to watch the top U12 team in our state, ranked No. I was rather disappointed. I saw a group of 'average kids' with average skills kicking a soccer ball around the field just like most games everywhere else. Why are they ranked so high and why do they win so many games?
It's not due to outstanding talent, brilliant players, or great coaching, it is about numbers.