Filed under: Soccer Coaching, Soccer Skills, Soccer Training, Soccer News, Soccer Fitness, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Refereeing, Dave Clarke | Tags: coaching, linesman, offside, referee, roles, teams, youth
You might, like me, have also found it strange how mobile phones start apparently ringing, pulled muscles come into the conversation and urgent dog walking needs to be taken care of… any excuse so as not to have to run the line!
As coach of the team, I haven’t had to run the line for a couple of years… that was, until this week, when I’d gone to watch one of my boys play. Over came the coach, and before I knew it, I was the one preparing to stand up to the shouting and ridicule!
So off I went tripping over the siblings sat too close to the pitch whilst trying to avoid the potholed parts of the touchline.
The referee was chairman of the club and pretty well qualified, with 15 years’ experience as the man in black. But twice in the first 10 minutes I raised the flag and wasn’t spotted. On the third occasion, I stood waving away trying to get the attention of the referee to a chorus of “you must be joking!” from opposition players and parents alike.
“Does he know you’re there?” quipped one of comedians. Up my arm went again as the opposition started another attack. “NEVER!” shouted their manager who was standing half way down the pitch obviously in a better position than myself. I wondered why I was bothering!
During an attack in the second half the ball was put in the net by a boy clearly standing in an offside position. “I’ve given it,” shouted the referee to much cheering from the opposition players and parents.
I asked him if he’d again failed to spot my flag waving. “Look,” he said, “I’ve given it; you were too slow.”
“Too slow?! I am not a professional linesman,” I was about to say – but the moment was gone and I still had a job to do… not that I was enjoying it much!Needless to say I was glad when the final whistle blew and I could give the flag back to the referee.
“Thanks”, he said, with a smile.
In fact that was the only thing that prevented this from being a completely thankless task.
The point of all this – youth soccer coaching may come with many pitfalls and frustrations, but the rewards are plentiful, and real, and when you do things correctly, it really does get noticed.
There are many worse roles in soccer – running the line being one of them!
Take out a 97p trial to Soccer Coach Weekly today.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training, Uncategorized | Tags: academy, bernie friend, Chelsea, red card roy, roy mcdonough, southport, youth
Red Card Roy, the autobiography of Roy McDonough … A must read… put this on your Christmas reading list.
It’s such a glamorous life being a professional footballer… every young player’s dream to be given a contract to play football every day of your life. Just like Balotelli or Beckham or Torres or van Persie…
… but not like Roy McDonough.
Because the hero of Red Card Roy collected his first red card at 16 for trying to strangle the referee in a schools cup final and went on to clock up a British record of 22 red cards.
And yet he could have lived the dream – Roy could have been a hero at Chelsea.
Roy’s autobiography is full of insights into the pressures facing today’s young players – from the heartbreak of release from Birmingham as a youngster to a desperately lonely spell at the famous King’s Road club.
I get a lot of emails from readers of my youth coaching publications who ask me for advice on how to get their young players signed up by the big boys… here’s a reason to keep them away.
This is a tale straight out of Chaucer… The footballer’s tale.
Booze, birds and football… what more could a young man wish for? But the pressures he faces day in, day out, culminating in the suicide of his strike partner at Colchester, John Lyons, show the other side of the coin that players face as they struggle to become a David Beckham or a Clint Dempsey. Anger and loneliness are no strangers to Roy McDonough.
A book that is compulsive reading on many levels.
There are some great footballing tales. McDonough was brave enough to dump legendary Liverpool hard man Tommy Smith over the touchline into a pile of snow and vengeful enough to get sent off after seven minutes of an FA Cup tie for planting a kung-fu kick in Stoke manager Tony Pulis’s ribs.
It’s also a fabulous X-rated romp through the different leagues in England. I recommend you read it because I couldn’t put it down as I rollercoastered between sadness and open mouthed astonishment at what went on in Roy McDonough’s world.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: billy clifford, Chelsea, England, fa youth cup, midfield, playmaker, youth, youtube
At the moment he thrives in the atmosphere of Chelsea U21s where he has built up a great understanding with the more famous Josh McEachran. Their appreciation of what each other can do gives them an extra dimension to the quality and skill of play all over the pitch.
His youth team manager, Dermot Drummy is very impressed: “He’s a very good player Billy, an absolutely excellent standard of player for me and he’ll set the way we play; a leader on and off the field. [He’s] a fantastic trainer and he’ll set the standard for us on and off the pitch like that…we want that sort of leadership.
“He’s a player who can play anywhere. He has a footballer’s intelligence, he has everything, and he’s a winner.”
Indeed he is, having played a key role in FA Youth Cup and Premier Reserve League trophy successes in recent times. He also joined Andre Villas-Boas’ first-team squad on tour in Asia in 2011 and has been on the substitutes bench in the UEFA Champions League.
His versatility and ability to also play wide or at full-back will make him an enticing and intriguing prospect for a loan move to a Championship team – in the right team he would be a huge asset.
Hopefully he will progress over the next couple of years because this boy is exactly the type of player England needs.
Watch this video clip of him and see his vision and skills.
See also The Brazilian attacker
See also The German defender
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Football, how to be a parent, parental support, parents, Soccer, youth, youth soccer
Parents have a big influence on the type of player their child becomes. Parents have powerful emotions generated through their involvement with their children, which can be both positive enablers and negative barriers.
These will have wide-ranging and long-lasting influences on those young players. Parents need to look at the “big picture” issues and responsibilities, and not fall into making the common mistakes which abuse this power.
Top 10 mistakes
- Taking their child’s sport experience too seriously, and not mixing in the appropriate levels of fun and recreation.
- Expecting perfection in their child.
- Living vicariously – as though they were taking part themselves – through their child’s sport experiences.
- Making negative comments about other children, parents or coaches.
- Having an unrealistically overblown assessment of their child’s talent.
- Contradicting the advice and guidance of their child’s teachers, trainers and coaches, leading to the child being confused and torn in loyalties.
- Failing to realise when their child is developing their skills rather than being competitive.
- Failing to see the value of sports lessons as preparation for life itself.
- Not realising that their child can learn valuable sport and life lessons even when they lose.
- Labelling their child a choker or other name.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: 1v1, Alf Galustian, Charlie Cooke, coerver, fulham, skills, speed, www.youtube.com, youth
I have worked with lots of coaches and coach educators and believe me, Alf Galustian is a very good coach. I watched Alf coach for two hours in torrential rain – conditions that would have had you or I scuttling for the safety of the changing rooms.
Alf not only took control of a dozen or so players he had never coached before, he talked everyone through his coaching style, his coaching points and the skills he was giving to the players.
I picked up so many ideas and tips during that first two hours that I was already planning my next coaching session. Alf is a co-founder of Coerver Coaching and a specialist skills adviser to the English Premier League.
The purpose of the Coerver Coaching Youth Diploma is to give attendees, whether they are a professional academy coach, junior coach, teacher or parent, a greater understanding of how to plan and execute more effective coaching sessions.
The course is held at Premier League team Fulham’s excellent training ground and with the presence of academy players and first teamers, you really feel you are in a pure coaching environment.
Then the slick Coerver team moves into gear and their ideas and values are brought to the fore by Alf who focuses on how the course develops you the coach and how you can deliver those ideas to develop the individual.
It’s all about touch, control, confidence, 1v1s, 2v1s, 5v3s, movement on and off the ball, feinting, beating your partner, keeping the ball, winning the ball back – and respect, confidence, fun.
It truly is food for thought on how you coach your team.
The Coerver Coaching concept concentrates on attacking, fast-flowing football and this style has been demonstrated during the past few years by teams such as Barcelona and Spain.
In Alf’s own words: “What Coerver brings is that individual component, the ability for a coach to improve his or her players’ individual skill. Increasingly it is individual skills that can make or break a match and win the game.”
The final session of the day is about how to build and deliver a session. It was run by Coerver’s excellent coaching director Scott Wright who coached Fulham U12s for the session. If you go along to the next Coerver Coaching Youth Diploma course, make sure you write it all down, you could run it with any age group and I lost count of the number of skills you work on.
It is great stuff. This course will make you a better coach. If you can’t go on the course then why not invest in the Coerver CD set, there’s lots of material on how to help you plan your sessions.
To order the CD in Europe:
To order the CD in the USA:
There will be two further Diplomas in the summer, one at Manchester City on the 5th & 6th August & the second in Dublin, 13th & 14th August. www.coerver.co.uk/youthdiploma
Listen to Alf on this video below
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Bristol City, cheltenham, Colchester, goal of the season, leeds, Reading, Swindon Town, youth
Last weekend saw my one of the teams I coach take part in a 6-a-side tournament which was very competitive. There was a broad range of teams in both size and ability playing and we had been put in a very strong group.
There was some fabulous football played by all the teams in our group, and I couldn’t help but admire the amount of work that had been put in by all the coaches that were there.
It made me feel that the future of the game was in good hands when I saw a lot of clever one touch play – and there was a fair share of spectacular goals.
One thing about playing 6-a-side on small pitches is that there are lots of chances to shoot and this was something I tried to encourage my team to do. We scored two spectacular goals from outside the area but for most of the games we tried to walk the ball into the net – something that may have worked but the speed of the movement bamboozled even their own team mates and a couple of taps in sped by.
But it did prove exhilarating to watch and players, parents and coaches came away with a great feeling from the experience.
As a culmination of a fantastic season in both Youth Alliance and Academy Leagues, the League Football Education (LFE) is running a Youth Goal of the Season, you can see the top goals by following the link below, and you can vote for the one you like best.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: age, development, youth
What another coach would understand, but this guest didn’t, is that within an age bracket, say U10s, there can be up to a year difference between some of the players.
And that makes a huge difference in youth teams. some players will grow quicker than others and be taller and struggle to cope with coordination, while the younger ones find they are brushed off the ball easily.
You should try and give each one of your players targets to meet during the season and also give them as much time playing matches as the older ones in your squad. By helping them to develop you may just find a gem that you didn’t realise you had – and a lot of coaches never discover that the players they leave on the bench every week could make a difference to their teams.
You could give players targets at each session or match, like “I will try to head every ball that comes to me at head height”, or “instead of dribbling into the box every time I will cross the ball”. You must make a note of this at the end of the session or match and talk to your player about it.
It is not unlike the top teams who have to bring young players through to the first team. At Chelsea Carlo Ancelotti is keen to bring youth through and that is hard when you have such a strong first team. However Ancelotti reckons he has found a star player through his youth experiments. “In six months we have found a fantastic young player in Josh McEachran. Others from the academy are close to playing for us. We hope to find more.”
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: argentina, creative, lose, messi, win, youth
After the Argentinian side went out of the World Cup I have been watching with interest to see if they, like Brazil, will adopt a more European style or stick with its traditional style of attacking play.
At youth level, coaches are encouraged to play either 4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2 on the grounds those formations should ensure the continued production of attacking midfielders. In games you rarely see any pressing of the ball, so players can stroll around with all the time in the world to be creative.
On TV they like to highlight the best moments of skill from the weekend much like they do on Soccer AM but the skill is the highlighted whether it leads to any attacking or defending move or not.
I warm to the idea, its all about the fun element, and that is what I should be seeing up and down the country in the parks and grounds where youth soccer takes place – it’s the idea that playing the right way is more important than winning.
It gives young players the time to be creative and leads to very watchable matches. When did your U8 midfielder get time on the ball without someone shouting “pass it!” or worse “get rid of it!”
There is one problem with this romantic idea of how the game should be played – the only side Argentina has beaten in a World Cup knockout game without going to penalties in the past 20 years is Mexico.
What does that do for the beautiful game?
Take a look at the latest Argentina sensation Javier Pastore the future of Argentinian football – linked with a £40m move to Manchester City.