It is that time of year when coaches of all nationalities are drawn to the United States to gather together at the largest soccer convention in the world.
And, yes, I will be in Baltimore because this an unmissable event. I love to see all the coaches that I have come to know through SoccerCoachWeekly.net so if you see me there make sure you make yourself known to me! I try to see as many coaches as I can.
There is always so much to see and so many events I want to go to … its mind boggling. Over five days there will be more than 250 educational opportunities consisting of live field demonstrations, classroom sessions, meal and social functions, award presentations, coaching diplomas and more… a fantastic coaching bonanza.
For those who are attending and those who are unable to attend, I thought this would be a great opportunity to showcase a few presenters past and present from the Convention with sessions that all coaches can use to help develop their players and make a success of their teams:
We all love attacking sessions and Ian Barker, Director of Coaching Education at United Soccer Coaches has some great ones. Speed of play and penetration looks at getting the ball behind the defence to attack the goal in 1v1s. Good movement and passing with a smart final pass are the orders of the day. Attack from deep looks to improve the combined play of a team’s forwards and the attacking midfielders. This is vital for teams that play the ball quickly to get into the final third and threaten the goal.
You can also listen to the podcast I did with Ian called Educating the coach. It gives you a good idea of what you can expect when you go to the Convention
Explosive squares from Adrian Parrish, the Kentucky Youth Soccer Technical Director, is one of the best ways to coach support and movement off the ball as well as making sure players learn how to deal with the basics of passing and receiving. After making a pass you will often see players standing still and admiring their work, you will also see players struggling to create good supporting angles for the player with the ball – this session helps you deal with that.
There are many things for a coach to work on if he/she wants a successful team. Ball master from the Coaching Director at US Youth Soccer Sam Snow looks at players’ awareness of group shape and off-the-ball movements. The presence of the other groups executing the same objectives in the same space raises the demand on players of tactical decision making and precision of their ball skills. It’s good fun and a fantastic session for player movement and passing combinations.
Ricky King head coach of Vancouver Whitecaps FC Alberta South Academy Centre has a fantastic session Double team that helps coaches to build on the defensive relationship between centre backs and central midfielders in a phase of play. It’s a great session. It involves midfielders blocking routes through the middle of the pitch and also recovery when the ball is lost.
Ian Barker is the director of coaching education at United soccer coaches which is a member of US soccer and is the biggest membership organisation of soccer coaches in the world. He has been inspiring players and coach educators since he arrived in the USA in 1987. In this podcast Ian talks about coach education and the high standards USA coaches are striving for. MORE
This game encourages supporting and movement off the ball as well as making sure players learn how to deal with the basics of passing and receiving. After making a pass you will often see players standing still and admiring their work, you will also see players struggling to create good supporting angles for the player with the ball. MORE
The practice allows you to start to introduce the idea of how multiple units on the field start to work and interact with each other. It also introduces the idea of recovering once the ball passes you on the field. MORE
Last night I played 5v2 for half an hour with stops to show what it was I wanted the players to do when they were either trying to play the ball or working in pairs. Players make a lot of mistakes in games like this but mistakes are one of the best ways the players can learn and understand the game. MORE
It was the first game of the season on Saturday and the local council had decided to close the main road leading to our club's ground. So the phone calls started coming in thick and fast: "Dave we are going to be late." MORE
PIcking a style of play for your age group is vital to a successful season. Your players will have more fun and enjoy playing much more if they are in a formation that helps them play the game. Find out which formation is best for your team. MORE
When parents and players cause problems it can sometimes be a daunting task dealing with them. Parents especially can be a demotivating experience for many coaches and often causes a lot of anxiety when they are faced with a parent that does not agree with your outlook on the game, where you played their child or the tactics that you use. MORE
Wow that has been some off season this year with the pandemic and all the changes that have had to happen to get coaching soccer back on track. Getting the team back together can be a tricky business at the best of times so you can make use of Soccer Coach Weekly's Pre-season Guide to help you get the team ready for the first matches of the season. MORE