Friday, February 20, 2009

Soccer Coach on Development

I received this email from a coach who happened to get the following email. The email originated from a Club Soccer coach in a different part of the country but highlights some of the problems all developmental coaches have.

Good Day to All,

Just wanted to provide some feedback about how indoor training is going. I think the girls are having fun, but there are still a lot of players who have not developed the basic foot skills needed to participate in some of the drills that are run. The need for mastering the basic techniques used in passing, dribbling, and receiving are critical in order to grasp the more progressive and advanced tactics and speed of the game. I am seeing very little improvement in the basic skills in many of the players. Some reasons may be:

- they do not work on it outside of the 1hr of training per week - the receptors used in learning are not fully engaged at practice. I say this because myself and the coaches are having to repeat and demonstrate the same thing over and over and many players will still revert back to using poor or improper technique in execution of a simple pass, dribble or movement. This results in spending more time on fixing these basic mistakes and not being able to spend time on more advanced stuff.

- work ethic for many players is substandard, they only move at speed when they are specifically told to or when the trainer or coaches are focused on them.

- competitiveness is severely lacking. Many players do not play hard when playing against their own teammates. They should play the hardest against each other so when it comes time for a game against someone else they are already conditioned to play aggressive with the desire to win the ball.

I really hate to run training doing only drills and running because I believe you learn how to play soccer by playing in games, but unless I see some changes then it is what we will have to do in order to get them focused on what they should be doing out there. This is a competitive travel club. Yes, we are there to have fun, but we should also be out there to learn how to play soccer at a more advanced level then recreation. Please talk to your players about these observations and why it is important to be coachable (having the ability to learn and execute), competitiveness (which makes not only them but also their teammates better), and to work hard in everything they do (fitness and discipline can beat talent). On top of all that we can still have fun!