Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice


Tournament Season
June 3, 2008, 9:50 am
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Team Management | Tags: , , ,


It’s soccer tournament season in the UK. Now that all the leagues have finished, the tournament season brings with it a welcome relief from the heavy pitches and cold weather we hopefully left behind in February. We are now playing on good close cropped grass that allows quick passing soccer.

 

I have written a lot about tournaments in Better Soccer Coaching because they are a totally different experience to the usual match day.


I like to use these tournaments to let all my players have some fun, have a laugh and generate a lot of team spirit to take into next season.

 

I’m not saying I don’t go to these things for a bit of silverware, but it’s not my main aim. Yes, my teams have won them and they have been disappointed, crying as beaten finalists, but the object of the day is for all my players to play and for all of them to have fun.

 

This weekend at a tournament played in lovely surroundings near the Thames with the sun shining and a welcoming atmosphere I saw a number of things that caught my eye.

 

  1. One of the under 12 teams turned up, erected a tent with sides into which they disappeared. This they did at the end of every match, so I sent one of my parents to spy. The manager had a magnetic board and was going through moves that had gone on during each of the 8 minute games. Talk about taking it seriously.   

  2. After a match in which one of the teams won 1-0 they were set upon by the opposition who chased them into one of the tents with their fists flying. It was the mothers of the team who pulled them off. The manager was just shouting at them to “come away”. Outrageous behaviour.   

  3. The manager of our under 16s had got his team through to the semi-final, but rather than watch them he kept watching one of our younger teams – which hadn’t won a match or even scored a goal – because it was their last game and he hoped they would get a goal. In the event they drew 0-0 which made him cheer louder than when his team scored in the semi-final. This is what the tournaments should be about.   

  4. When our under 12s were about to kick off for an important last game which could see them into the semi-finals I asked one of the parents where her son was. “Oh no,” she said aghast, “I’ve just let him go on the bouncy castle!” And boy was he having fun, and boy did he have to run across the pitch to make kick-off.

 

I love tournaments, the quick games, watching my teams using fast passing to get the ball from one end of the pitch to the other. But there are certain elements that try to ruin the day.

 

I bet all of you have stories to tell about tournament behaviour. I know my colleagues at Better Soccer Coaching do. Let me know yours by replying to this blog below.

 

Dave Clarke, editor, Better Soccer Coaching

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