Equipment Reference

By | February 16th, 2019|Categories: Coaching, Team Management|Tags: , , , , , , |

Here is the needed equipment and requirements for each age group: 8u and below Soccer Ball - Size 3, properly inflated (it should be about 10 psi, or only slight give when pressing firmly on the ball) Shinguards - Worn completely under soccer socks. Shinguards cannot be worn over socks then folded over Soccer socks - [...]

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 [...]

Restarts and Set Plays

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

Restarts (goal kicks, corner kicks, throw-ins, kick offs) offer up the opportunity to create "set plays". These are essentially scripted plays that all players know what to expect and how to execute. The types, variation, and complexity of set plays increases over time as players get older. For 8u, your set play for a throw-in could [...]

The Importance of Scrimmages

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

Scrimmages are literally the most important thing you can do to help solidify your players’ understanding of your formation/system before the start of the season. There are just no easy substitutes. I recommend a minimum of two before the start of the season. The biggest gains your team will make will be during the first few [...]

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 [...]

Creating a Successful Culture

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

Culture starts at the top but ultimately needs to be bought into by your players and parents. A successful culture is one that allows for faster player development while still promoting the enjoyment of the sport. Coaches all have different personalities but there are some aspects of culture that I believe should permeate every team: Discipline [...]

Pregame Warmup

By | February 13th, 2019|Categories: Coaching|Tags: , , |

The pregame warmup, like your lineup, pregame speech, and game-time coaching are important factors in maximizing your team's success. The goal is to get the players limber, ready to run (but not tired!), comfortable with the ball, and acclimated to field conditions--all in usually 20 minutes. Easy, right? Before we get into some things I recommend, [...]

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 [...]