Easy Ideas for Practicing in Small Spaces Without Goals

By | February 27th, 2020|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Player Development, Session Planning|Tags: , , , , |

While AYSO would love to provide every team at least half a field with a goal for every practice, there will sometimes be space restrictions that force coaches to share smaller spaces and/or rotate use of goals. Even still, there will be times before games that you need to practice (warm up) without much space and [...]

The Importance of Juggling

By | February 15th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Player Development|Tags: , , , , |

Juggling in soccer is the act of using all parts of your body to keep bouncing the ball in the air. Learning to juggle at the 8u age can seem tedious for players, but it's a wonderful skill to incorporate into your practice and pregame warmup. It gets the players comfortable using multiple surfaces of their [...]

First Practice Player Meeting

By | February 15th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Communication, Fun, Player Development, Team Management|Tags: , , |

I like to have players come 15 minutes early to the first practice where I host a players-only meeting with the coaches. My overarching goal is to start to establish my team’s culture. As a part of that I want them to get to know me and each other. Here’s a typical agenda: Names - Go [...]

Pregame Huddle

By | February 13th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Player Development, Team Management|Tags: , , |

Every coach has a style of pep talk they prefer. Go with what works for you. Having tried many different varieties including analytical, intense, funny, etc. I can tell you it is very situational. At best I can offer some do's and don'ts. Don't: Introduce new concepts - That's a very stressful time to try to [...]

Constructing an Ideal Drill

By | February 11th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Player Development, Session Planning|Tags: , , , , |

All other things being equal, the more: Touches on ball, Physical conditioning, and Digestible tactics you can incorporate into each activity, the faster your players will develop and the more fun they will have. So how can we incorporate this knowledge into our drill construction? Increasing Touches on Ball Sitting in traffic is one of the [...]

Practicing in Inclement Weather

By | February 7th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Team Management|Tags: , , , |

It’s 1p and you’ve got practice in a few hours. It’s either already super hot outside or been rainy all day without much hope for relief. The fields, however, are still open and available. Do you cancel practice? This is a very situational and nuanced decision. I will say that, generally speaking, I never cancel practices [...]

Dealing with Snacks

By | February 6th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Team Management|Tags: |

This doesn’t need to be complicated, but having tried many different things here’s what I recommend: Have them, at least through U12 Have your team parent assign the role alphabetically and the parents can switch amongst themselves as needed Ask that your team parent send a confirmation text to the snack parent the morning of the [...]

The Cheer/Chant

By | February 6th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun|Tags: |

This topic is near and dear to me as I really enjoy working with my kids to come up with memorable and/or funny cheers or chants. I have yet to coach a team through U14 that (even if skeptical at first) didn’t eventually really enjoy a pregame funny cheer or war chant as the case may [...]

Picking a Team Name

By | February 6th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Fun, Team Management|

The best advice I can offer to you is to never get attached to a name before your team hears it. The worst thing is when kids show up to a practice and the coach proudly announces the new team name to lackluster enthusiasm. The best way to ensure you never get this response: Let your [...]