Soccer Education Process It’s more about solving problems, much more than just mastering techniques Small – Sided Games: most efficient and effective way to create meaningful, realistic problems for the kids to solve. The solution, then, belongs to the players
Small – Sided games Learn the game through games You cannot teach faster than the kids can learn. When does the teaching stop, and the learning start ? Players take ownership of the game
Recess vs PE Class Performance in real games vs real opponents The fluid, chaotic setting of soccer resembles recess more than PE class Learning will require a different model Small - sided games bridges the structure of PE class and soccer’s competitive and chaotic nature.
No Lines, No Laps, No Lectures The small – sided games model requires the coach to construct simplified forms of soccer each centering on a real soccer problem. The children learn how to play the game by mastering each simplified form.
Soccer is a Game – Play On The small – sided model is designed around the players solving simplified soccer problems with their skill. The game is the main source of instruction and the focus is on learning as opposed to teaching. Games revolve around solving problems and at the end of the game, there is feedback (result).
Team Play Requires Teamwork Soccer is a game of us vs them. It requires cooperation and competition. We have to solve problems and give problems they can’t solve.
Elements – define what soccer is Goals give the game meaning and direction. Field sets the physical boundaries Ball – possession determines roles Rules set limits and controls behavior Players – teammates (cooperation) opponents (competition)
Soccer – by definition Soccer is a game with specific rules between 2 teams and each team is trying to score more goals than the other team. Small – sided games provide the most natural, efficient and effective way for children to learn the game. They learn the techniques and tactics, find solutions to problems and determine their own level of involvement.
Coaching in small – sided games The first step is to identify the problem Adjust the elements accordingly Build the game around an actual soccer problem Tweak the elements until right The “coachable moments” will happen repeatedly.
Goldilocks rule Make the necessary adjustments until the game is right for the kids. Consider all the elements and remember to keep the activity age- appropriate. Too much or too little will stifle progress
Principles of Play In Possession: Penetration and Depth – threaten the space behind the opponents Width – stretch the defending team from side to side Mobility - attackers switch or change positions
Principles of Play Opponent in possession: Apply pressure – single most important defensive principle - mark player with the ball Cover and support – helping player Balance in defense – distance between players – no gaps between players Depth in defense – when the defense cannot be beaten by a single action Compactness – numbers around the ball
Soccer’s Main Moments We have the ball – ball possession They have the ball – lost possession Transition – losing possession and regaining possession The immediate position of play determines when and where the players move within the game.
1 vs 1 through 8 vs 8 Each level will build on and incorporate the lessons from the preceding one, while laying the ground work for the next. 1 vs 1 – it’s all on you !! 2 vs 1, 2 vs 2 – now with a teammate 3 vs 3 – first sign of shape – triangle 4 vs 4 – new shape – diamond (depth)
1 vs 1 through 8 vs 8 (2) 5 vs 5 – field players only – add an additional player in the center of the diamond 6 vs 6 - now include the keeper 7 vs 7 - introducing wingers 8 vs 8 – beginning of line play ( keeper, backs, midfielders, forwards)
1 vs 1 through 8 vs 8 (3) Distance, angles, timing and learning to use them properly is developed as you progress through the different levels. As young players are exposed to a variety of games, they learn the ideas and master the techniques necessary to progress to the next level.
Coach – The Soccer Doctor Observe - reading the game Diagnose - what’s going wrong ? Prescribe - build a small – sided game Treat – patience, tweaking, repeating
The Soccer Problem At what moment – we / they have ball What is the problem ? Whose problem is it ? Where on the field does it occur ? When does the problem occur ? Why does the problem occur ?
Build a game to correct problem Start with the players that have the problem Create a field where the problem occurs Duplicate the situation Include only rules that can help correct
Stages of Learning Remember that a team can only travel as fast as the slowest player. Stage 1 – Orientation Stage 2 - Look for the biggest problem Stage 3 - Fine tune the solutions Stage 4 - Progress to different games Stage 5 - Evaluation
Orientation Be very brief getting the game started Most games should take less than 1 minute to get started Use this period to evaluate the game, not the players, because first you must make sure that the game is right. Tweak the elements as necessary to enhance the learning process.
Look for the Biggest Problem Ask yourself, “ if I could change one thing to make the game better, what would it be ?” Concentrate on the one team that may be the biggest problem. It’s about solving problems The team that is better at giving and solving problems has a real advantage.
Fine Tune the Solutions After awhile most of the organizational problems will be solved. You will know that happens when the teams play a pretty good-looking game, with confidence and sense of purpose. The game flows. Continue to challenge them with new ideas or increase the speed of play.
Progress to Different Games Learning is a permanent change in behavior. When players carry the lessons learned from one game to another, knowledge has been internalized. Small – sided games pose problems for kids to solve. They take those solutions to the next game and learn new ones.
Evaluations Objective - scoreboard, won/loss record, goals for/against -- Measurable and quantifiable Subjective - “what you like “, opinion Evaluate things that are under your control – keep in mind that time must be wisely used
Limiting factors in player development Talent - inherited traits – speed Motivation - internal and external Internal – self-generating force - self-starters External - rely on outside sources for inspiration Environment - the atmosphere you create at practice and games -- FUN
Evaluating Player Types Start with just 3 categories: Those who score goals Those who make goals Those who win the ball back Pay attention to their natural tendencies -- where are they most comfortable and effective ?
Evaluating Player Types (2) Is the player at the right level ? At the right level, but in the wrong role or position ? Players sacrificed for the good of the team – (need a keeper or left back) When the level changes – promotion or relegation
The Players Key Qualities Technique – the tools that a player needs to accomplish their objectives Insight -- Reading the game, understand a situation and have a solution. Personality -- handle pressure, stress and adversity – team player Speed -- physical, mental, technical
Coaching Mentality First things first: Get their attention and have them buy in to the message The connection between your players’ thoughts and the results of their action. Coach their thinking to change their behavior
Coaching Mentality (2) You cannot see anyone’s thought process You will need to infer by observing body language, listening to comments, and asking questions. Become an active listener and a critical observer. Consider how much they care, their fear of failure and how quickly they grasp things. Consider winning soccer as playing good soccer
Concentration in Youth Players Success depends on their ability to concentrate. Concentration is defined as directing one’s attention to something in particular. Players must keep their attention focused on their immediate situation.
Concentration in Youth Players Small – sided games develop concentration by engaging players in continuous play. Both mental and physical concentration and stamina are developed. Standing in lines allow concentration to wander. Put them in situations where they can’t afford to daydream.
Concentration Breakers Outside influences – parents, referee, coach, injury, fear of failure When the game stops -- ball out of play Transition moments – ball change hands Fatigue -- when physical fatigue meets mental fatigue, learning takes place. Release from tension – pressure’s off
Developing Concentration Work smarter, not harder Mental training is one of the biggest differences separating small – sided games from drills and exercises. In small – sided games players stay engaged and have a vested interest in the final result. The continuous flow of the game forces players to stay focused at all times.
Concentration Summary Small – sided games are the most practical way to mold the basics of a player’s mental development at the earliest possible age. A good way to increase their mental capacity to resist distractions is to decrease the amount of time that players have to think and act.
Street Soccer in the 21 st Century Small – sided games trace their origins to the street soccer games of the past. They represent a return to the old-school style of learning, free form recess rather than a structured PE class. Player – centered Kids set their own standard Ability, not age main criteria
Street Soccer in the 21 st Century Street soccer was played in an endless variety of forms, with different numbers, on different surfaces, with different goals, rules and even different balls. Players learned quickly how to adapt to the changing situations and conditions.
Street Soccer in the 21 st Century Small – sided games allow children the greatest opportunity to develop all the basic skills within the context of the match, while they also encourage children to develop their own identities in the game.