SoccerHelp Tips Which is More important, Winning or Soccer Skill Development?(The following is from the Premium Forum. The links are to SoccerHelp Premium. If you�re a Premium Member, you should only have to log-in once as long as you leave a link open) Hi to the SoccerHelp Premium Forum, Subject: Why soccer in the US does not compare to Europe. I am a new subscriber to SoccerHelp and I have learned a great deal. As a teacher of the game what I notice from your site, when ever a coach asks you for advice it is always about how to win games and never about how to develope the kids into better soccer players. Could that be one of the reasons why when the kids get to high school, because they are not that good enough, they end up into another sport (football, basketball etc.) where they are taught properly thus having a love for that sport. I prefer not to call myself a coach and get involved with a team because in my opinion the emphasis is only on winning. I will continue to teach kids but not as a team and my daughter at 9 yrs is proof of my good teaching. She is a big inspiration to some parents who have girl children and were having second thoughts of getting them involved in soccer. With your permission if it�s ok I will post a link to the YouTube clip of her. I just want soccer to reach the other level and to be full of excitement in the United States, a sport that can be finally be talked about along side the others here in the US. Thanks again for a good forum like Soccer Help Johnny P ---------------------------- Hi Johnny P, Thanks for the kind letter and for being a Premium Member. Sure, it is ok to post a link to the You Tube clip of your daughter � I would enjoy seeing it. I agree with you that for young soccer players skill development is more important than winning, but there are 6 things to consider:
How to Develop Soccer Skills and Also Win
Why hustle and bravery are also critical qualities for good soccer players, and how to motivate players to shuttle, practice and be aggressive
How to Prepare Players to Play Soccer Fast and Under Pressure
The Keys to Developing Good Soccer Players and Teams
Why soccer in the US does not compare to Europe
Historically, in the U.S., American football and baseball have attracted many of the best athletes. American youth tackle football teams and many baseball teams practice 3 times per week. Players get better by practicing 3 times a week than once a week. My experience is that youth baseball and football coaches focus as much or more on winning that youth recreational soccer coaches do. Every soccer travel team coach I have talked to is very aware of the importance of skill development. In the US, there are many competing sports - I think more than in Europe, and that makes a difference. Also, as you know, the system of developing youth players is different in Europe. My understanding is that the professional teams have youth programs and travel the country scouting the young soccer players and recruiting them to play for their teams. I don't think we do that in the US. I think soccer is improving in the US and I think that can be seen at all levels of play. The keys to developing good players and teams are to teach young players to love the game (if they love the game they will attend practice and practice on their own), the skills they need to be successful, teach them how to be Brave players (to hustle and be aggressive), and how to play fast and under pressure. I think the SoccerHelp Practice Games can be used by most coaches to teach skills and to teach players to play fast and under pressure, and our patches can be used to motivate players. It is true that most of the letters I get are from coaches who need help, and often it is because they are losing most of their games. But I get letters from coaches who have used the SoccerHelp methods and win most of their games too. Coaches who are winning most of their games usually don't feel the need for help. Your daughter sounds great. I recommend keeping it fun and training her by using Practice Games that are fun and that teach her to play fast and under pressure. Thanks again. David at SoccerHelp
- Skill development and winning are not necessarily incompatible. Usually, the coach who wins is the one whose players have the most skill.
- It is important to incorporate keeping score and competition into soccer practice to the extent possible. I got the idea for competitive practice games from Anson Dorrance, the most successful US college soccer coach. Keeping score, a high ball ratio and game-realistic practices are 3 advantages of using SoccerHelp Practice Games instead of drills. Players will play as they practice. Practice Games teach players to play fast and under pressure, and that will better prepare them for real soccer matches.
- If players and coaches lose all their real games they often quit soccer, and that doesn't help anyone. Often by using a formation that fits the team, the coach can give the team a chance to be successful. The wrong formation or putting players in the wrong position can doom a team to failure, and that isn't good for anyone.
- Recreational teams don't have a lot of practice time and they need to be able to make rapid progress, which is an advantage the SoccerHelp Practice Games provide.
- A coach can BOTH win and develop players skills, and that is what the SoccerHelp Practice Games do. The Practice Games emphasize basic skills and especially dribbling.
- Motivation, Hustle and Bravery are critical. If a coach can get players to come to practice, then the players and the team will benefit. As you know, Bravery (aggressive play) and Hustle are critical to success. I have seen players with great skill who weren't good players because they were timid and couldn't win a 50/50 ball. Our soccer patches can be used to motivate players to attend practice and to be Brave and to Hustle.