Soccer coaching forum
and-again soccer forum
Register  |   |   |  Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
Oldtimer

Registered:
Posts: 3,260
Reply with quote  #1 
Last November there were a pair of topics on recognizing and finding "the good coach".  Drawing on the collective wisdom of the Forum I put together the following presentation for a group of parents of 8-12 year olds.  The parents ran the gamut from almost clueless about soccer and the dynamics of youth sports to those who've been on the front lines for years.  Written for the least knowledgable, and reflecting our bias toward training that is hugely weighted toward the technical for players those ages, it seemed to be well received along all parts of that continuum.  (There was actually applause.)
  
     Thanks to all those who contributed to those topics, notably Paulee, Chroniciguana, Ironman, AFB, mzbrand, colinbell, Ev, Goal150, and DwayneBarry.  There would have been significant omissions without their input.  Mr. Martin provided a great list. Words from Baldilox have been used verbatim.  Ditto from the superb contributions of Coach Kev, whose influence extends even to the inclusion of a list that is probably way too long.     

Finding The Best Soccer Situation For Your Child

There’s one question we get over and over again, usually posed something like this: “How do I find the best team for my child?”

Our answer is invariably the same, and it’s pretty simple:  “Find the best coaching available.” 

Then comes that pesky follow up:  “How do I do that?”

The answer to that one is nowhere near so simple.

First let’s define what we consider to be the best coaching.  To do that we’ll “start with the end in mind”, what we would like to see in an athlete in the long term.

Often overlooked is that the primary purpose of youth sports is what former NBA player Bob Bigelow says is “to develop better people.” Jim Thompson, founder of the Positive Coaching Alliance says that the most important outcome from youth sports is developing stronger, more responsible and confident individuals who will be successful in life.”

Think about it.  The life lessons, for good or ill, learned through sports will be more enduring, and are therefore more important, than anything these athletes will learn about a particular sport. 

Children learn what they live.  If a coach or club demonstrates fairness, honesty, loyalty, fair play, a sense of adventure and willingness to be “spontaneous and daring”, that’s most likely what athletes learn there.  On the other hand, if what’s demonstrated is questionable ethics, a lack of loyalty, a willingness to tolerate play at the gray edges of fair play and sportsmanship, that’s most likely what athletes will learn there.

Now let’s consider the soccer side of things, again from a longer term perspective.  “Developing Great Skills provides keys to an athlete’s success at higher levels of soccer and to that player’s lifelong enjoyment of The Game.”

There we have two longer term goals.  To achieve them most effectively developing the individual player must come first.  Recently, April Heinrichs, former captain and then coach of World Champion Women’s National Teams, pointed out what’s most needed in the development of American players: “Technique, technique, technique.”  Another coach puts it another way:  “Players who do not get a thorough grounding in The Game’s essential skills at the younger ages are being cheated out of their futures in the game.”

There are two barriers to this sort of training.  For openers, many coaches – including those who may have strong skills – have not learned to teach them effectively.  U.S. Soccer has recently revised the state level programs for licensing coaches (the “F”, “E” and “D” courses) after discovering that candidates for the National Coaching License couldn’t teach skills.

But another barrier, and maybe the more significant one, is related to increasing pressures to win more and more at earlier and earlier ages.  This easily leads to the trap of “winning today (at the sacrifice of tomorrow.)”  Here you see training that prioritizes team organization over player development and team environments where the fear of mistakes – because a coach believes that mistakes can make you lose - stifles boldness and creativity.

In other words, the failure to teach skills comes from those who can’t or won’t teach them.  It’s often a mix of both.

Experience counts:  True proficiency in all things requires thousands of hours of intense preparation and practice.  That includes coaching.  A great player will rarely be a great coach as a novice.  It’s one thing to be able to do it, something quite different to teach it.  Yale once had a swim coach who produced national championships but who was a danger to himself and others if he was in the water.  And some coaches with 20 years of experience are mostly repeating the first year for the 21st time.  But most coaches have a Teachable Spirit and want to continually learn and improve.  Experience is a great teacher. 

So now we have the parameters: experienced coaching that will provide positive character development and a solid technical foundation for playing the game at higher and higher levels for a long as the player wants to do so and is willing to make the effort to improve.  At its very best, coaching will inspire developing a player’s willingness to work hard to eliminate weaknesses.  But it will also involve developing strengths, soccer strengths and strengths of character, the things that make some players special, which set them apart, which define what coaches call the personality player”.

We’d love to tell you that you have lots of those kinds of choices.  You don’t.  Just on the soccer side, we don’t see any club that is fully committed to a model where the first priority is the development of skillful and creative players.

There are coaches, however, who have that priority.  Interestingly, you might find them with a club’s “B” and “C” teams.  (We’ve even heard of a U11 “A” team coach who’s frank about it – “I don’t develop players: that’s what the “B” team is for.”)  Without the pressures to win, coaches of “B” and “C” teams can feel more freedom to put a greater emphasis on individual development.

But we don’t know all of the coaches either.  So let’s look at what you can do to find that kind of coaching.  Here’s where it gets hard.  

First, do the homework.  Before anything else, be clear about your own family’s expectations.  Each season parents should consider the following questions:  Why do I want my child playing?  What will be a successful season for me as a parent?  What are my goals for him or her?  What do I hope she gains from the experience?  What do I think his role will be on the team?

Once you have done that, find a quiet time to ask the athlete the same questions.   Ideally, the answers will be in sync with yours.  If they are not, you’ll have to decide whose expectations the athlete will be asked to pursue.

Now let’s go outside the home.

Next, ask questions.  Last year, we produced a list of 12 Questions (forum folks can do a search) that you can use to explore the Player Development philosophy of a coach or club.  We understand that those questions are being asked at the meetings where the next year’s programs are being presented.  The answers aren’t always what we might prefer, but the message is getting out there that more and more a parent is becoming, as the commercial says, “an educated consumer” and might have expectations that are not solely focused – or even much focused - on what the scoreboard shows on any given Saturday.

Those questions are making a dent.

But that’s not enough.  To really be an informed consumer takes legwork, and not a little of it.  You need to watch several practices and games of a prospective coach to get a sense of the style and substance of the coaching and the environment in which that happens.

At this point, many parents will say, “How can I do that?  I played Football (or Field Hockey, or no sports at all).  I don’t have a clue about soccer.”  So, with the help of dozens of contributors to a website for coaches we’ve put together a list of things to look for – and recognize - even if you feel hopelessly clueless about soccer.  You will have a clue about these things.

 

Watch a coach’s practices (you may need to see 3-4 to get a true picture of the training environment.) 

       1. How are players greeted?  Is it warm, positive, confident? 

       2.  How engaged is the coach throughout the session?   

       3.  How much time are players doing, rather than stopped and listening?  

       4.  Is everyone on the team being coached?  Is there coaching that appears directed to increasing individual player strengths as well as eliminating weaknesses?  Does the coaching seem to inspire players?

       5.  “Correction is a compliment.” Is correction given in a positive manner that conveys the message both that I want you to get better and believe you can?  

       6.  “What gets rewarded gets repeated.”  How much recognition, using players’ names, is given to positive moments? 

       7.  Is effort and boldness getting positive recognition (and encouragement), or just the outcomes that succeed?       

       8.  “Doers make mistakes”.  Mistakes can make you better.  Are those kinds of mistakes praised or criticized? 

       9.  Do sessions seem well prepared?  Are activities set up before the session starts?  Are players moving with a ball at the designated starting time?  Is there good flow from one activity to the next? Does the session end on time?

     10.  Watch how many soccer balls are in play. At younger ages, a fair amount of time should be spent “everyone with a ball” or “a ball for two”.

     11.  What % of sessions includes some form of 1v1 play?  (All should.) 

     12. If working on shooting, does it include working on technique or just shooting games?  

     13. Overall, does the session seem to be focused more on developing better players or organizing the team for the next game? 

     14.  “Juggling makes every other touch better.”  Does it appear that learning to juggle is encouraged?

     15.  Is there any emphasis on exterminating “Useless Weak Foot Syndrome?”

     16.  A clue to player engagement: is the practice noisy, or is the only voice that of the coach?  Do the players appear to be enjoying their time together?

     17.  Watch players’ faces.  Do they seem to be enjoying it?  Better, do they have that scrunched-up-face look that comes with total focus and involvement? 

     18.  What’s the tone of the end-of-the-session summary?  Does it efficiently sum up what was done and why?

     19.  When it’s all done, do the players look satisfied with what they’ve experienced? Do they leave with smiles and happy chatter? 

     20.  Does the coach leave the same way?

 

And now, attend a couple of games. 

       1. Whose game is it? Games should largely belong to the players.  Does the coach largely “Train and trust” the players or is there a constant stream of instructions that micromanages play on the field. 

       2. Is the positive/negative environment of the team the same as at practice, regardless of the score?  

       3.  Even if you can’t hear what the coach is saying pre-game, half-time and at the end, how would you describe the tone? 

       4. What are parents saying/doing on the sideline?  It’s amazing how much parental sidelines reflect the influence of and respect for the coach. 

       5.  Is the post game summary “quick and done”?  It takes everyone, including players, time to process a game, so the in-depth stuff should wait until the next practice. (A timely reminder here that one of the things players most dread is the PGA - Post Game Analysis - which happens most frequently on the CRH  - C _ _   R _ _ _  H _ _ _.)   Does the coach’s summary end on a positive? 

 

Finally, let’s consider one other item. 

Youth soccer commitments are year-to-year.  There’s often a large turnover on rosters between selection for U11 teams and the first game at U12.  (A question about those numbers will be added to the Twelve Questions list.) This reflects the flaws in tryout processes.  But it can also reflect an inability to develop the players selected.  Too often, the grass is greener elsewhere and teams will look there for a replacement rather demonstrating commitment to those they’ve chosen.  If that happens where you are, just keep in mind that nobody ever owes more loyalty to a club or team than that club or team exhibits to its athletes.

But it’s also important to reexamine your child’s situation each year to assess whether his or her development is satisfactory.  It can be hard to switch teams, but as we tell the players getting a poorly sent pass, “You don’t want to turn one bad ball into two.”  Remember that the answer to the original question is, “Find the best coaching available.”  That quest, however, will be worth the effort.



__________________
"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
SoundSoccer

Registered:
Posts: 1,579
Reply with quote  #2 
Very Nice!

I think you should put this in a PDF format ... call it something like "The Soccer Parents Manifesto" and distribute it.

If you need help with that, let me know.

__________________
"Yesterday you said Tomorrow"
http://www.soundsoccer.com
Bird1812

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 4,898
Reply with quote  #3 
Great OT!  I will definitely get that distributed through other forums I frequent.  One question, what is CRH?  Actually two questions, can you give me a link for the 12 Questions?
 
 

__________________
"It's the quality of your effort that counts most and offers the greatest and most long-lasting satisfaction." - John Wooden
TJBrown

Registered:
Posts: 2,836
Reply with quote  #4 

Well done oldtimer!


__________________
Whatever happened to.... Nah, don't want to go there.
Oldtimer

Registered:
Posts: 3,260
Reply with quote  #5 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bird1812
Great OT!  I will definitely get that distributed through other forums I frequent.  One question, what is CRH?  Actually two questions, can you give me a link for the 12 Questions?
 
 


1. Car Ride Home.  When I asked the same question of the group, I got a pretty good chorus of the correct answer.  (We've been over that ground with them before.)  I then thanked them on behalf of their kids.

2. http://andagain.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=3416941  Post #9 is pretty close to the current working version.


SOUND, a pdf version will be up elsewhere c. mid-April.  Will post the link then.

__________________
"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
ryanknapp

Registered:
Posts: 67
Reply with quote  #6 
Brilliant stuff. Seriously...well done! I'd love to share it with some of the folks here at the National Office if that would be okay with you. We won't publish or use, just so they can see where that is coming from!
__________________
Digital Manager @ NSCAA
http://www.nscaa.com

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” - Buddha
Oldtimer

Registered:
Posts: 3,260
Reply with quote  #7 
Member # 5709.

An e-mail is headed your way via the NSCAA website.

__________________
"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
ryanknapp

Registered:
Posts: 67
Reply with quote  #8 
I should have just dropped my email here! rknapp [at] nscaa [dot] com. Fire away!
__________________
Digital Manager @ NSCAA
http://www.nscaa.com

“Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is to the one who endures that the final victory comes.” - Buddha
mslater

Registered:
Posts: 9
Reply with quote  #9 
Tremendous post here. Thanks oldtimer.
scoachd

Registered:
Posts: 2,812
Reply with quote  #10 
Overall I think there is a lot of good information here.  The biggest issue is that I think it is overly focused on style rather than effectiveness.  The best coach my kids ever had was far more likely yell at them for doing something wrong (shirts out, ball flat, being late, talking too loud while the previous session was still going on) than to give them a warm greeting. 

And while he certainly could also be charming and positive with the kids, if a parent took their kid elsewhere because the coach seemed cold and harsh, they would have lost out on getting trained by one of the best coaches in the country at developing youth talent.  Similarly with your #1 in games, whether a coach sits on the sideline like a log or is active and energetic is largely irrelevant.  It is not how much they say or don't say, but instead the quality of their content.  In games, poor youth coaches tend focus on the present and comment on outcomes while good coaches tend to focus on the future and provide comments that attempt to provide insight. 

The number one thing looked for was the appropriateness and effectiveness of instruction and activities.  Did the coach see things that needed to be corrected and did the coach effectively convey information that would help the player either not make the mistake or better take advantage of an opportunity the next time in presents itself.  The next thing I looked at was whether the players were engaged. 


Oldtimer

Registered:
Posts: 3,260
Reply with quote  #11 
Point taken scoachd.  But remember the that the target audience includes many who could have very little idea about substance.

The juggling, 1v1 and shooting items (11, 12, 14) are more about substance.  And while what you and I might see in any of those areas would be different from what a parent might see, I think that similar conclusions would be reached from those at either end of the experience spectrum.

__________________
"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
scoachd

Registered:
Posts: 2,812
Reply with quote  #12 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtimer
Point taken scoachd.  But remember the that the target audience includes many who could have very little idea about substance.

The juggling, 1v1 and shooting items (11, 12, 14) are more about substance.  And while what you and I might see in any of those areas would be different from what a parent might see, I think that similar conclusions would be reached from those at either end of the experience spectrum.

The problem is the most important things (in my eyes) at the bottom where parents might not get to and rather unimportant things are placed at the top where everyone will read and assume they are important.  Furthermore, I completely disagree with the first point in the games.  The problem coach is the one constantly giving direction to players on the ball (like shoot, pass it , don't lose the ball, etc.). 

A coach that spends a lot of time giving direction to players off the ball related to larger team tactics is probably much better for the players than one who says nothing.  Do you really want coaches spending time with 11 or 12 year olds in practice?  I certainly would not.  I'd much more prefer that time spent doing technical work with the ball and perfecting small group tactical decisions near the ball.  What parents should be instructed to look for coaches are coaches explain the how or why in their instructions rather than coaches who's comments are results oriented.  I don't know the first thing about the sport of field hockey, but it wouldn't take me more than a few minutes to figure if a coach was soley trying to direct players or was also looking for opportunities to teach them.

I'm pretty focused on this because I think a lot of advice given to coaches is wrong.  There is zero research to support the statement that "games should belong to the players."  My philosophy is that practice environments and formal games are both places for players to have fun and learn.  The difference is that at a practice environment I can have every player working with as many balls as I want while in games I am limited to working with a limited amount of players on the field with one ball.  Games also provide officials and often unfamiliar opponents which are typically not available at the practice environment.  As such there are many things that are far more effectively taught and, or reinforced in a game environment. From my view and experience, coaches that don't take effectively advantage of game day opportunities to teach are inefficient with their time and typically less effective coaches. 

AFB

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 6,435
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scoachd

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtimer
Point taken scoachd.  But remember the that the target audience includes many who could have very little idea about substance.

The juggling, 1v1 and shooting items (11, 12, 14) are more about substance.  And while what you and I might see in any of those areas would be different from what a parent might see, I think that similar conclusions would be reached from those at either end of the experience spectrum.

The problem is the most important things (in my eyes) at the bottom where parents might not get to and rather unimportant things are placed at the top where everyone will read and assume they are important.  Furthermore, I completely disagree with the first point in the games.  The problem coach is the one constantly giving direction to players on the ball (like shoot, pass it , don't lose the ball, etc.). 

A coach that spends a lot of time giving direction to players off the ball related to larger team tactics is probably much better for the players than one who says nothing.  Do you really want coaches spending time with 11 or 12 year olds in practice?  I certainly would not.  I'd much more prefer that time spent doing technical work with the ball and perfecting small group tactical decisions near the ball.  What parents should be instructed to look for coaches are coaches explain the how or why in their instructions rather than coaches who's comments are results oriented.  I don't know the first thing about the sport of field hockey, but it wouldn't take me more than a few minutes to figure if a coach was soley trying to direct players or was also looking for opportunities to teach them.

I'm pretty focused on this because I think a lot of advice given to coaches is wrong.  There is zero research to support the statement that "games should belong to the players."  My philosophy is that practice environments and formal games are both places for players to have fun and learn.  The difference is that at a practice environment I can have every player working with as many balls as I want while in games I am limited to working with a limited amount of players on the field with one ball.  Games also provide officials and often unfamiliar opponents which are typically not available at the practice environment.  As such there are many things that are far more effectively taught and, or reinforced in a game environment. From my view and experience, coaches that don't take effectively advantage of game day opportunities to teach are inefficient with their time and typically less effective coaches. 


I agree with some of this and disagree with other parts.  Some disagreement may be a matter of my misunderstanding.

Lets focus on players in the Golden years of technical growth: 8 to 12 year olds.

I finished coaching my two U9 girls teams earlier today.

In the first game I had the "A" team.  The players know this is the "A" team.  We also bring players from the "B" team up for each game.  It is played 6v6.  I brought a total of six players, one from the "B" team.  I was missing one of the "A" team players who was on spring break vacation.  The referee before the game looked at me and said you only have six players.  I said I know, that is enough.  He looked at me like I was nuts.  The opponents had 11.

I made no more than 10 comments during the game.  Five were directed at the "B" team player, playing up.  All were compliments for good passes.  She needs confidence more than specific instruction.

My other comments came during half time to players.  I told and showed one girl not to try to reach around a screening attacker with her leg to tackle ball.  Instead, I showed to take a step back and continue funneling the attacker.  There is no power on such a tackle. 

I praised other girls for specific things they did in the game that we had worked on in practice, namely how they approached the ball, checking to and then turning the defenders.

The opposing coaches yelled throughout the game.  I did not hear a single bit of praise.  Mostly it was run there, pass there and the constant, "Don't let her beat you like that!"

Final score was 3-1, we won. 

scoachd, I do not think you are suggesting that communication that the other coaches were doing was appropriate.  It did not help the players in any respect.  Worse it was distracting.  When the coach yelled the players would turn their attention tot he coach and away form the game.  Often the players turning to the coach would be more than the player he had directed the comment to.

I do think the game is a proper place for learning, but how we do the teaching is different than practice.  We need to know that we too often are a distraction to the players while they are playing.  If we make comments they should be after a play when the player is not involved.

The time for specific instructions is when they are not playing.  Then you can demonstrate and get feedback that they understood.

I do think you can ask questions of a player.  Why this?  Did you see that?  Even these should be rare for they are distracting.  They are reserved for getting the player to better focus, communicate and make better decisions.  Get the player to think rather than think for the player.

The second game immediately followed and involved the "B" team.  We had eight players, including one "A" team player I had stay.

The game was called after ten minutes due to lightning.  In that ten minutes I made two comments to the players on field.  One was some praise.  Another was to ask a player why she made the pass she did.  I received a basic BS response (the ball went out of play because it was kicked away to no one when she was under light pressure.)  I smiled and said, "Okay."  She got the message to look up and play smarter without being embarrassed.  Something she did fine on her next touch. 

I spent the time on the sideline talking to the two subs asking them questions.  What would happen next?  What should player Y do?  How do you shield a ball?

After the game we talked for perhaps 30 seconds as a group under the shelter, before leaving.  All I said was see you at practice on Tuesday and that we will work on passing and first touch.

The coach in the second game for the opponents said nothing to players on the field.  The match was fairly even and was tied 0-0 when halted.

I think Oldtimer is right on point.  Too many coaches if given license to talk will talk non stop and distract the players.  Finally the players at older ages simply tune them out.

When few comments are made and they are pointed and quick, they are more likely to be heeded. 

It is very difficult to give a concise and accurate comment that can correct a player, especially a technical correction in a game.  Instead coaches are apt to utter the dreaded, "Don't do that!"  What a worthless waste of words.  The player does not know what they did wrong and have no clue as to how to do things right.

To show the right thing you have to get them on the sideline.  You have to talk then through it and show them. Then put them back in and ask them to do it in the game.

I know a few pretty good technical coaches here who over talk in games.  Their comments are usually "Sally, run there!" Or, "Betty, track with her!"  Once or twice in a whole game, maybe, that is helpful; but, with them it is non stop.  By U14 their players cannot think without getting instructions from the coach.  Their players are good technically, but cannot think.  Where they were our equals or better at young ages, by high school we have passed them by, because they never learned to think for themselves.

In slight moderation instruction is okay, but too many coaches, especially new ones seem to have a compulsion to be barking like bloodhounds the whole game.  It is not good.

If you are teaching parents what to look for in a coach of young players, I think it is much better to teach them to look for the Quiet Man (reference to John Wayne movie is intentional.)





__________________
Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
Oldtimer

Registered:
Posts: 3,260
Reply with quote  #14 
      1. Whose game is it? Games should largely belong to the players.  Does the coach largely “Train and trust” the players and let them think and make decisions or is there a constant stream of instructions that micromanages play on the field. 
 
Coaches who largely disagree with this, scoachd, turn out bushels of players who have never learned to think for themselves.  (The part in green, by the way, was added for the version sent to ryanknapp and has since been cleaned up even a little more stylistically.)  My preferred style is to ask questions of players once play has moved on, in the manner of AFB's example.
 
As to the order of things, it is roughly start to finish.  I think that even the hopelessly clueless would recognize that.  There is a place for rank ordering, but this isn't it.

__________________
"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
scoachd

Registered:
Posts: 2,812
Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtimer
      1. Whose game is it? Games should largely belong to the players.  Does the coach largely “Train and trust” the players and let them think and make decisions or is there a constant stream of instructions that micromanages play on the field. 
 
Coaches who largely disagree with this, scoachd, turn out bushels of players who have never learned to think for themselves.  (The part in green, by the way, was added for the version sent to ryanknapp and has since been cleaned up even a little more stylistically.)  My preferred style is to ask questions of players once play has moved on, in the manner of AFB's example.
 
As to the order of things, it is roughly start to finish.  I think that even the hopelessly clueless would recognize that.  There is a place for rank ordering, but this isn't it.


I'm not articulating my issue very well.  The problem isn't with the statement - of course players are going to need to think for themselves, but instead the methodology that coaches should only coach during practice and let players play while the coach sucks a lollipop because he's "properly prepared them during practice."  The reality is that good practices should also have games built within them and times where kids just have fun and there are things many situations that happen during games that are best coached during games - especially when there is very limited contact time between player and teacher. 

For example, the people that espouse leaving "game day" to the players would question you asking kids questions when they are trying to play.  Of course, the fact that the situation when you ask might be by far the learning moment for the kid escapes them.  BTW, my preferred style is a little different.  I prefer to ask questions before the game and then use the game to help the players identify the game situations and reinforce the proper tactics to deal with them. 

So once again, the point I think that needs to be conveyed is that it is not the amount of communication between the coach and players that is the issue but the appropriateness and type of communication that matters.  It is the coach that attempts to make the decisions for the player that is a problem not the coach that communicates with them during games.  Sure constant micromanaging is worse than a lot of micromanaging, but neither is good.

On the other hand a coach that is providing constant timely feedback on the quality of the decisions that were made or reminders on what the players should be looking for is of a great benefit.  That is unless you want to argue that accurate, timely feedback inhibits the learning process.  

Lawrence

Registered:
Posts: 429
Reply with quote  #16 
Old timer this is really great. One addition I would make to the first one
Quote:
     1. Whose game is it? Games should largely belong to the players.  Does the coach largely “Train and trust” the players and let them think and make decisions or is there a constant stream of instructions that micromanages play on the field. 

Would be to watch how the coach reacts to mistakes by the player. I have always felt that we, as coaches, generally want to have them think and try but it is important for us to "permit" them to make mistakes and allow them to learn from them. Otherwise we can have the situation where the player tries to do the "right" thing but fails may not try it again for a long time. This is especially true when they are trying something new from practice.

SoundSoccer

Registered:
Posts: 1,579
Reply with quote  #17 
"Too many coaches if given license to talk will talk non stop and distract the players.  Finally the players at older ages simply tune them out.

When few comments are made and they are pointed and quick, they are more likely to be heeded. 

It is very difficult to give a concise and accurate comment that can correct a player, especially a technical correction in a game.  Instead coaches are apt to utter the dreaded, "Don't do that!"  What a worthless waste of words.  The player does not know what they did wrong and have no clue as to how to do things right."



 
A slight tangent AFB:

I believe that coaches should be afforded the same opportunity to think for themselves, learn and grow.

I am not sure the way to teach a coach the nuances of communicating during a game is to distrust their ability to do so therefore recommending they say nothing.

I think the "mean" is what we are looking for and not the ends of saying too much or not speaking at all?

IMO, like with the players, the coach will only learn and change through guidance and mistakes made through trial and error.

I admit though, that my bias is toward appealing to someone's higher nature rather than forcing them to not use their lower.






__________________
"Yesterday you said Tomorrow"
http://www.soundsoccer.com
AFB

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 6,435
Reply with quote  #18 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundSoccer
"Too many coaches if given license to talk will talk non stop and distract the players.  Finally the players at older ages simply tune them out.

When few comments are made and they are pointed and quick, they are more likely to be heeded. 

It is very difficult to give a concise and accurate comment that can correct a player, especially a technical correction in a game.  Instead coaches are apt to utter the dreaded, "Don't do that!"  What a worthless waste of words.  The player does not know what they did wrong and have no clue as to how to do things right."



 
A slight tangent AFB:

I believe that coaches should be afforded the same opportunity to think for themselves, learn and grow.

I am not sure the way to teach a coach the nuances of communicating during a game is to distrust their ability to do so therefore recommending they say nothing.

I think the "mean" is what we are looking for and not the ends of saying too much or not speaking at all?

IMO, like with the players, the coach will only learn and change through guidance and mistakes made through trial and error.

I admit though, that my bias is toward appealing to someone's higher nature rather than forcing them to not use their lower.






Randy,

If you mean we should impose rules, I agree.  I find enforced silence of coaches and parents, such as Silent Saturdays, to be counter productive. 

We do need to teach coaches and set examples.  And this is what I see Oldtimer doing.

Further, I believe it is the job of DOC's and mentors to set an appropriate example and coach coaches.

One piece of advice more coaches should follow during games is found at Proverbs 17:28 - Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.

__________________
Some wisdom from Winston Churchill:

"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened."

"You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life."

"You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they’ve tried everything else."
scoachd

Registered:
Posts: 2,812
Reply with quote  #19 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lawrence
Would be to watch how the coach reacts to mistakes by the player. I have always felt that we, as coaches, generally want to have them think and try but it is important for us to "permit" them to make mistakes and allow them to learn from them. Otherwise we can have the situation where the player tries to do the "right" thing but fails may not try it again for a long time. This is especially true when they are trying something new from practice.

That is where comments acknowledging the correct attempt are important as opposed to the coach how is simply focusing on getting a result.  Or acknowledging a player made a good decision, but a better one was available.  Also a big part of communication is not just correcting what is wrong but looking for new things players are learning to doing right.  So when a player makes a good decision on a pass, covers a run the way they have been taught or plays a pass with the weaker foot they've been encouraged to use, a good coach will take the opportunity to acknowledge it.  Again it is not the amount that is the issue, but instead what is communicated and how it is communicated. 
Oldtimer

Registered:
Posts: 3,260
Reply with quote  #20 
It only took 7 years:

https://playersfirstsoccer.com/blog/

Trying to steer some traffic this way, but none of my attempts to contact current "management" of the forum have been successful.

__________________
"Winning is important. The lessons learned by winning and losing in sports last a lifetime. However, the goal of every youth coach should be to help young soccer players understand and enjoy the process of participation and to teach the skill necessary to succeed. When the pressure to win begins too early, the passion and the love for the game can be lost." - Jay Martin, editor, NSCAA Soccer Journal
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.

COPYRIGHT @ 2004 - 2016 AND-AGAIN, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED