Does SoccerHelp overemphasize winning? If you spend much time on SoccerHelp you will see that it's designed to help Recreational coaches and "non-professional coaches" become better coaches so they can help their players become better individually and to also develop better teams. If you read our testimonials you will see that many are from parent Rec coaches who were seeking help to become a better coach so they could help their players. My experience is that most people prefer winning to losing -- its just a fact. If you read the articles on our site I think you will see that we're very much in agreement with you that winning shouldn't be overemphasized at the expense of good sportsmanship or player development. But it's impractical and, frankly, ineffective to tell people they shouldn't care about winning. What I believe you're saying is that ALL youth coaches (Rec and Travel) should focus on teaching skills and NOT overemphasize winning. We agree 100% that it's wrong to emphasize winning at the expense of player development, and I don't think there's anything on our site that says anything to the contrary. Now, if your reference to "clearing the ball" is meant to say that's always a bad idea, I disagree. Rec teams are not Select teams and trying to teach most Rec teams to play a controlled style that builds from the back simply won't work and is counterproductive -- it just leads to frustration, unhappiness and kids and coaches quitting; most Rec teams simply can't play that style and telling them they should is just wrong. You say "This advice is in fact not what these coaches of young teams need." Let me ask you. What advice would you give coaches of U-10 or U-12 Rec teams? Would it be to teach skills? What if they want to know what Style of Play can work best? Would you tell them to teach a controlled short passing style and stick to it even if they lose every game and half their team quits because they aren't having any fun and simply can't learn to play that style by practicing one hour a week for 4 weeks before the season starts? We've developed a different type of training program that is based on the use of Practice Games instead of drills. It's simply a better, more effective, more efficient way to train, and more fun too. You can read about it in an article that was in the Soccer Journal (Sept 2003). Here's a link to it: http://www.soccerhelp.com/Soccer_Journal_Article.shtml Here are some testimonials that will tell you about a lot of coaches who visit our site: "I have been a soccer coach for over 10 years. I signed up for your program and love your site. It is very informative and it saves me time, but best of all it is working for the kids. My U12 girls will be better players at the end of the season because of the program. Thanks for all your work." --Coach Joe, U.S.A. "Great Site! Iíve played soccer for 18 years through all the development, Junior Olympic, even tried out for the pros (in Canada way back when) so the technique and tactics are nothing new, but the drills for coaching kids (coaching 10 and 11 year olds) is very thorough. I have coached kids before, but lost their interest running more advanced drills, and look forward to implementing some of these 'games' at practice to keep their interest, and still teach the skills, and let them have fun." --Coach James, U.S.A. "I just wanted to give you an update on our progress since your reply. Our play has improved a lot. The kids really look forward to practices with all the games Iíve introduced: on our team of 9, we never have less than 7 show up, and usually have all 9, pretty good for a non-competitive league where they donít keep scores or standings! Thanks for your help." --Coach Don, Canada "I had so many parents tell me how much their child enjoyed soccer this year. Even first year players were scoring, playing like third and fourth year players and having a great time. Your hints, strategy, practice games and web site are fantastic. I'm moving on to division 5 next season. I noticed a big improvement in dribbling. It was amazing. The team scored a lot of goals, we usually had 6-7 a game. Your site has not only helped the kids, but it has helped me gain greater confidence as a coach." --Coach Suellen, U-8 Coed, Pennsylvania, USA Read this from Myron, a U-10 girls coach:
If you go to "Most Important" on SoccerHelp (http://www.soccerhelp.com/Coaching_Soccer_Things_To_Teach.shtml) , here are the things you will see we consider most important for Rec coaches and new coaches to teach:
- On March 5, 2002 he wrote: "I have been a coach for 3 seasons now, but we have still not won any games. In fact, last fall's season we only scored 1 goal all season (in 8 games)! Due to this lack of success, many girls have left the team, so I am starting this season with 6 new girls, 3 of which have never played soccer before. Given my lack of success, I am looking for this to be my last season coaching."
- On June 5, 2002 he wrote: "We ended the season with 4 wins, 5 losses and 3 ties and we won our last game 7-2 against a team that clearly had superior footwork skills but didn't know how to use those skills to create an advantage. Our team didn't have the best footwork skills in the league, but we proved that passing, positioning and improved field awareness (knowing where teammates and opponents are) were skills that elevated the whole team. After last season, wild horses couldn't keep me from coaching next fall."
Thanks for the letter. David
- Dribbling, Turns, Shielding the Ball and "Strength on the Ball".
- Hustling, Aggressive Play and "Winning The Ball".
- Proper Technique for Passing and Receiving with the Inside-of-the-Foot.
- Basic Terminology So You Can Communicate With Your Players And They Can Communicate With Each Other.
- Proper technique for an "Advanced Throw-In" and how to defend Throw-Ins so your opponent can't use them to create scoring opportunities.
- The concepts of "Positions", "Support" and "Shift & Sag" teach teamwork and, when combined with a "Formation" and "Style Of Play", they provide the organization for your team's play.
- A Lofted Kick.
- Teach the concept of "Passing To Space" and the concept of "Movement Off The Ball" as a way to "Create Space".
- Teach "Coaching Rule No. 3", Which Explains How To Defend The Opponent's Throw-Ins, Goal Kicks, Punts and Free Kicks.
- 1 vs. 1 Attacking and Defending Practice Games that are 1 vs. 1 are excellent for teaching dribbling, shielding, ball control under pressure, defending and aggressive play. Many of our Premium Practice Games teach these things.
- If you define "important" as teaching good sportsmanship and fair play, we agree 100%, but you don't need our help to teach those things and your players will learn a lot by watching their Coach and Assistant Coaches.