Hi SoccerHelp, I've been using your soccer practice games for about 3 years now for my U9 rec team and just became a Premium Member. Thanks for all your great ideas! The problem is that all the other coaches just let the kids shoot goals and then scrimmage the whole time and some kids look at their practices and think that is much more fun. The kids that are on my team are really improving because of the SoccerHelp Practice Games, but one kid said today at our end of practice and in the huddle, "If I'm on this team again, I'm going to quit soccer. It's boring." Maybe I shouldn't get discouraged because of one kid's comment when the other kids seem to enjoy practices. Any ideas? Coach Amy ------------------------------- Hi Amy, Thanks for being a Member. I've never had a letter like this, and we get over 2 million visitors a year. I only mention this to let you know how rare it is for a kid to complain about our practice games. That kid sounds like a real complainer -- if you changed, he or she would probably still complain. If the kid is just going to complain, ask him or her to set out and tell his or her parents that he or she isn't enjoying it -- perhaps it isn't too late for him or her to transfer to a different team. The point is, don't put up with it and don't let it bother you. Keep in mind that you must do what's best for your team -- not just one player. When you play other teams and your players have the best skills, parents will want their kids to be on your team, and kids who enjoy soccer will want to be on your team. Scrimmaging is a bad way to practice soccer. As a result of playing SoccerHelp Practice Games, your player�s skills will be noticeably better than the players on teams that just scrimmage. Your team will probably kill the others, if not this year, by next year, and it will be your kids who make the high school team. Coaches who just scrimmage are either lazy or haven�t thought it through. The effects won�t be immediate, but will show up by the end of the season. If 2 teams start with equal players with equal athletic ability and practice for the same amount, within 4 practices the team that uses our Practice Games will start to be noticeably better than the team that just scrimmages. But here are 2 ideas:
What to do if a kid complains that soccer practice is boring
Was on an undefeated soccer team
Scrimmaging is a bad way to practice soccer
Idea for a soccer team cheer after a goal as a way to let everyone feel involved when a goal is scored and to reduce jealousy
By the way -- Don't reward complainers -- if you do, your other players will start to complain so they get rewarded for complaining. Do you get the newsletter? If not, sign up and read the next 2. Please let me know what you do and how it works. David at SoccerHelp ----------------------------- Dear David, Thank you for the quick response and additional ideas. I'll definitely look into the patches. Tonight we had our first game and after having most of these kids for a couple of years now, we shut out the opposing team 5-0. I put the "complainer" as goalie the whole time and he really didn't have much action because the other kids are putting their skills to use and doing a great job. We couldn't have done it without SoccerHelp. In fact, we have had several new coaches join our league and I told them to go to Soccerhelp.com. Thanks for the encouragement and keep up the great work. Coach Amy ----------------------------- Hi Amy, That's great! 5-0 is a score that indicates both good defense and good offense. I'm guessing the kid who complained is new to your team -- as you win, the complaining will cease. Thanks for telling the coaches about SoccerHelp. David at SoccerHelp ----------------------------------------- Dear David, Finally getting back to you about our season. I think the dad of the complaining kid had a good talk with his son because his attitude improved even though he said that his parents made him play soccer. You were right...the more we won, the more the kids realized that maybe we knew a little bit about what we were talking about. We ended the season with no losses and two ties. It was exciting to see the kids putting it all together and I look forward to coaching again in the spring season. Coach Amy ----------------------------- Hi Amy, Congratulations on a great season. You're an excellent coach and the kids and parents are lucky to have you. Thanks for writing and thanks for being a Premium Member. David at SoccerHelp
- Do you use our patches? If not, I recommend you buy some. Get some "A for attitude" patches and D for Defense, and what ever else you like. Give them to the players who hustle and do the best in practice. Those who do what the coach wants and hustle, get rewarded -- those who don't, don't. Here's part of a letter from Coach Donna (U10): One thing that really helped was your idea to have the kids all come together after a goal and do "1-2-3 teamwork". After doing that, the kids, and myself forgot who made the goal!!! They ALL left the circle with a smile, whereas last year we were successful but not as happy because everyone wanted to score the goal! My approach yesterday was to play the kids where they would be successful and help the team the most. Once we had scored enough goals I then let them experiment with other positions. On paper my team should get slaughtered every time but they don't because they're brave AND stay in position. A mom from one of the other teams even asked to have her son come to my practices so he can gain more skills! :) That is thanks to all YOU do! (Note from David: I got the idea for the team coming together after a goal for a team celebration from the Brazilian National Team -- that's what they do.)
- Encourage competition in your practices. For U-9 I would play "Dribble Across a Square" each time as a Warm-Up and "Dribble Around Cone & Pass Relay Race" a lot, and "Win the 50/50 Ball".