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We were finally able to play some early season games last weekend. With the stops and starts we’ve had to our training during the late winter and early spring seasons it was hard to know what to expect. Add to that the fact that we were missing a number of players from each of my teams because they got a head start on their Spring Break trips.
That gave us the opportunity to bring in some guest players from the teams below ours. The players we brought up did a great job and fit in really well with our team.
I also spent last weekend putting the Rec League schedule together for our club. That’s always a challenging process but one that I enjoy. It’s like putting together a big puzzle but there are no pictures on the pieces. You just have to find the best way to stick them all together.
As we get ready to start the Rec League season it’s also time to organize our RecConnect program. I talked about this back in episode #116. You can check that out for details on that program.
Today’s question comes from Phil. He’s asking about agility training for young players.
“I coach a u9 team turning u10 this year. I’d love to hear your thoughts on agility training and when to start, and how much do you think agility training helps with ball mastery?
Given the precious amount of practice time we have and all the things we need to work on, right now I have been prioritizing ball skills over foot skills… but can see the need on my team for some agility training. I encourage my parents allow their kids to play multiple sports because I believe that helps as well. “
Thanks for the question Phil!
I believe that you can give young kids the basic agility work they need while using a ball.
I suggest that my players start a program called, “SoccerFIT” when they are U12 or U13. I’ve had Scott Moody from SoccerFIT on the podcast a few times.
As the players get older I think they can focus more on the athletic components of the game. As young players they need to spend as much of their time with a ball as possible.
In this Episode
Today I want to share an episode that I posted more than three years ago because I think it’s one of the most important ones I’ve done. It focuses on breaking down and teaching the five core skills of soccer.
In Future Episodes
With the players back from spring break next week I think we’ll finally start to get into a rhythm regular training and games. I’ll share how that is going in the coming weeks.
Great episode. How to you get your teams to use these skills i.e. Scissors, Cryuff, Chop in actual games? Seems like a lot of girls can execute these moves in training sessions but are hesitant to use them in game situations.
If the players are reluctant to try the moves I’ve had one of the parent keep track of how many moves each player did. This gets the players focused on the process of trying moves and not on whether it works for them right away or not.
Love your podcast!
Have you heard of TOVO Academy with Todd Beane?
I saw him in Chicago at the United Soccer Convention. He stated that we should not be breaking down soccer into technical parts such as teaching kids how to dribble, pass, shoot, etc. Rather we should put them in situations like 3 v 1 and have them figure out solutions to problems.
For example, he is against teaching moves like the Cruyff and made the point that his step father, Johann Cruyff never practiced this move. It was a solution to a problem he encountered in the game.
Just curious on your thoughts on this.
Thanks Tom. I appreciate you listening!
I’m not familiar with the TOVO Academy.
The guided discovery method that you describe has it’s place. Some players pick up the idea just by watching a demonstration but others need to understand the parts before they really understand how to do it.
My guess is that Cruyff spent a whole lot more time with the ball at his feet than most of our kids do. Giving them ideas is a way to make up for a lack of learning through trial and error.
I agree with breaking it down into component steps. I was teaching my middle school girls how to execute a Maradona. I took it step by step reminding them to get the technique down first, then add speed later. One of my returning players executes this move very well now that she focused on proper technique THEN added speed.
I also believe that defenders need foot skills and 1 V 1 attacking moves just like midfielders and strikers. How many times have you seen defenders trying to clear the box, say after a corner kick, and they get beat by an attacker with better ball control?
When in doubt, always, always start by covering basics like the Matthews or simple chops. To quote Lou Holtz “Ignore the fundamentals at your own peril.”
This is a great episode, to be honest I coach, I read a lot, try to study all the time new stuff to help my players and you really help with your podcast. thank you.
I’m glad you find the podcast helpful.
Thanks for listening!
Hi Tom, can you provide the link for the original podcast? Are there any episode materials to reference? Thanks for your help!
Jon, Check the show notes page for episode #44.
Can you repost the drills from the notes? I just joined the Patreon and loved this episode but can’t find the notes with the drills.
I’ll get those up over the weekend Joseph. I’m glad you enjoyed the episode.
Thanks for becoming a Member.