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JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #1 
In our city we have developed a u9,u10,u11, and u12 team. I am coaching all of them due to the absence of any other soccer coaches in our city. We are in Alabama, so we compete with the Birmingham kids (the largest soccer city in the state) and we are an umbrella organization to them. Our girls get to mix in with theirs, and since I am also the high school coach I have to push my kids in their direction after U12 due to rules not allowing me to coach them in high school and club. 

Our girls come straight out of Ayso, and most do not come until u10. We just had a combine with all of the girls their age in Birmingham and it allowed me to see where they stand with the other girls. 

Based on what I saw, and talking to the Birmingham coaches who also watched them, our girls tend to be more technical in the sense of passing, looking for space, head up. They are better in drills than the Bham girls. The girls were insanely raw when I got them, no skill whatsoever so I had to teach them the basics of the basics. Overall our girls can do technical moves much better than theirs and can pass much better. Better knowledge of the game, know when to overlap etc

However the Birmingham girls in a game are much better at dribbling in traffic and are more explosive. They never get their heads up and literally never pass. 

If you watch a scrimmage, you more than likely would say the Bham girls are better game players right now due to their explosiveness and dribbling in traffic. 




Each practice I do technical drills, ( i dont care about the lingo of not calling it a drill and calling it an activity )
I do lots of 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4. And i am very big overlapping.   I follow the US model in the sense of expanding activities and 4 activities a practice. But I very rarely scrimmage without restrictions. 

The Bham girls follow the US model. The do technical first, then a 2v2, then expanded 2v2, then straight up scrimmage every single practice. 


Should I change what I do? They do have the benefit of unlimited number of kids to choose from so they get to choose all the good athletes. I basically get what I get. 

It looks like my kids will be far more technical players when they get older. I feel it is important to focus mostly on technical until U14 so they have all the tools they need when they start focusing on 11v11 and tactics. I feel ours will pass them eventually but I am not really sure. 

They tend to focus more on creating selfish game players (dribblers)  I say selfish in the sense of extreme desire to score. Not selfish in necessarily a bad way. 



Looking for thoughts. Am I right? Wrong? Should I do anything differently?

Brianm

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Reply with quote  #2 
I also end practice with scrimmages. Might be 6v6 on a small field, might be 11v11 on a small field, maybe full sized, might be 8v8. I mix it up depending on what I am looking for and the number of players that are available. Small sided games are fine but I believe they need to scrimmage without restrictions because that is what they are are doing in a game.
MrSoccer

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"However the Birmingham girls in a game are much better at dribbling in traffic and are more explosive. They never get their heads up and literally never pass."

How can they pass their dribbling with their head down? If I was a scout I see a player dribbling with his head down. Why would I want them. It's the first think you teach new players dribble with your head up. When they are first learning to dribble.

How do their team mates know when to make runs?

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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #4 
Would love to offer advice but I'm not convinced that whatever I give would not be censored if the new owners didnt agree.
JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSoccer
"However the Birmingham girls in a game are much better at dribbling in traffic and are more explosive. They never get their heads up and literally never pass." How can they pass their dribbling with their head down? If I was a scout I see a player dribbling with his head down. Why would I want them. It's the first think you teach new players dribble with your head up. When they are first learning to dribble. How do their team mates know when to make runs?



That is the thing, they don't really pass much. But because they are so much better dribblers than everyone, and seem to be faster, more explosive and physical they beat the crap out of everyone. 

These are the girls viewed as the best players.  will say as these kids get older obviously they learn to pass etc. I guess they focus on dribbling more when they are younger and neglect everything else. Whereas I think passing, learning space, and technical all around is more important. 

Our team is far more technical, but they beat us 5-1. They are better under pressure


Also remember these girls are u10, u11 and u12
JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachkev
Would love to offer advice but I'm not convinced that whatever I give would not be censored if the new owners didnt agree.


Would love to hear it anyway lol
newsocdad

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Reply with quote  #7 
I do not think it is the lack of scimmages -- although there is nothing wrong with scrimmaging from time to time. 

I suspect (as it sounds like you suspect) that you are seeing athletic differences.  A young player with the athletic ability to  consistently beat defenders 1v1 is not likely to be thinking "pass".  They can be a bull in the china shop and bust their way for a shot.  As we know -- the problems come when the defenders get bigger and faster and begin to understand support and cover.  The head down 1v1 players will either adapt and get their head up, or they will switch to another sport.

Of course, when kids hit puberty a fair number of them slow down relative to their peers.  That too throws the 1v1 game off for lots of kids. 
JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #8 
I guess the biggest question is should I change how I practice? Their girls, since they are better at this moment are getting picked for the Pre ECNL team, and getting to play in higher divisions. Whereas mine will be split between Division 1 and 2 but I feel 100% of them will eventually move up to Division 1 or possibly Region teams etc. 

I personally hate the way USSF wants you to coach and think it is incredibly dumb. Scrimmaging every practice makes no sense to me. 



But I keep wondering if maybe I am missing something because their kids are still ahead of ours. 




So again, our girls are really really technical but they struggle under pressure still. They are not as fast in a game

Theirs are not as technical but they are great under pressure. 



Would you rather have a really technical 11 year old and over time teach them under pressure etc. 

or

A kid that is not that technical but great in a pressure game




I feel after u14 teaching technical gets harder and harder. And tactics are for the later ages. 
Brianm

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Reply with quote  #9 
Try ending your practices with a 15 min scrimage for four or five practices and see what happens.
MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Don't think they are better dribblers then your players. There not what do they do beat one player in an open field then push the ball up and run on to it?

Do you work on tackling and do you have an organized team defense. If you do they won't beat you.

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pitadad

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Reply with quote  #11 
"they get all the good athletes, I get what I get" 

Don't worry, your, more technical, players will grow/mature and in a few years most likely surpass the "dribbling with head down" players.

I would recommend adding more "dribbling" type of activities to your sessions.

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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #12 

The following is a recent post I posted in the Communicating Pattern Play thread...
I feel that it can also be applied to this one.

You could engage with the players by establishing some simple 'AIMS' of play.
Don't go too heavy with integrating patterns of play all at once.

So, in SSGs, you give each team a different 'AIM'...
i.e.
- TEAM A: On possession, try to play forward with your first pass and second pass back, then the next pass forward
- TEAM B: On possession, try to get a shot on goal within 6 seconds.
Play for 5 minutes, then swap roles and repeat.
Then play a 10 minute match so you can challenge who can score the most

Don't forget the blueprint for SSGs though: CHALLENGE >> COMPETITION >> CONSISTENCY
Teams are challenged, they compete to be the best/win the game, and to be consistent.

The WHOLE point of early practices should be FUN.
The games, the easy drills etc should have players laughing and enjoying the competition.

Its ONLY when players enjoy what they do, do they do what they enjoy.
Remember....AIMS

JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSoccer
Don't think they are better dribblers then your players. There not what do they do beat one player in an open field then push the ball up and run on to it? Do you work on tackling and do you have an organized team defense. If you do they won't beat you.



They are better in traffic. 

For example my players can beat just about any defender 1v1 in open field. However theirs can dribble in traffic through three different players and come out with the ball.



And yes we have an organized defense, however they cannot keep up with the higher skilled dribblers. 7 out of my 12 have been playing for 4 months, and the other 5 a year. 


JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachkev

The following is a recent post I posted in the Communicating Pattern Play thread...
I feel that it can also be applied to this one.

You could engage with the players by establishing some simple 'AIMS' of play.
Don't go too heavy with integrating patterns of play all at once.

So, in SSGs, you give each team a different 'AIM'...
i.e.
- TEAM A: On possession, try to play forward with your first pass and second pass back, then the next pass forward
- TEAM B: On possession, try to get a shot on goal within 6 seconds.
Play for 5 minutes, then swap roles and repeat.
Then play a 10 minute match so you can challenge who can score the most

Don't forget the blueprint for SSGs though: CHALLENGE >> COMPETITION >> CONSISTENCY
Teams are challenged, they compete to be the best/win the game, and to be consistent.

The WHOLE point of early practices should be FUN.
The games, the easy drills etc should have players laughing and enjoying the competition.

Its ONLY when players enjoy what they do, do they do what they enjoy.
Remember....AIMS




I will try that
Goal150

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Reply with quote  #15 
Here's the thing about the USSF model and any practice model: The structure, the order of events/drills, IS NOT coaching. 

There has to be design of a practice sessions and when and where you stop and give coaching points and observe to see if they apply is much more important than order of events. For me, scrimmaging, is mostly about seeing how the lessons are taking hold. 

Do you run a vastly different session each practice? Limit the number of drills you use and become super-familiar with them and the coaching points. Select these drills based on what you want to develop within your players. Repeat practice sessions, your players won't have to adjust to a new drill each time and they can begin to focus on refining their play either technically or tactically. 

Overall, your players don't seem to have been playing for a very long time, so you need to be patient. Give it at least a year to see the improvement. But you, as the coach, need to strive for highly effective learning training sessions. You could burn through a year of practices with minimal development. 
JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianm
I also end practice with scrimmages. Might be 6v6 on a small field, might be 11v11 on a small field, maybe full sized, might be 8v8. I mix it up depending on what I am looking for and the number of players that are available. Small sided games are fine but I believe they need to scrimmage without restrictions because that is what they are are doing in a game.



Thats what the USSF license coaches say, however how can kids this young scrimmage all the time with no restrictions if they do not understand the game well enough or have the touch to make it worthwhile. 

Our season started 2 weeks after I got my D license, so I started out trying to end with a short scrimmage. Absolute Chaos. They got nothing out of it so I changed it to only scrimmaging with a few limitations once every 3 weeks. It was more effective. 

Am i sacrificing a little comfortability in pressure situations? That might be true. It is my guess, but I am not sure. 

My 2 best U11 players just went up and practiced with their 2nd team. (Both of their teams play in the top bracket though, both very good). They were the best players through drills, and the best except 1 player in 2v2 games. Then the scrimmage came. They are the only ones who saw space, created scoring opportunities that didnt consist of dribbling 30 yards with the ball, and were talking on the field, BUT watching the scrimmage the other girls were still so much more explosive, better in traffic and pressured much better. 

I just do not understand how all their teams are more explosive and faster with the ball than we are. They don't train hard. The entire practice the kids were lazy, didn't try and just kept asking to scrimmage. 
JBrowntown7

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goal150
Here's the thing about the USSF model and any practice model: The structure, the order of events/drills, IS NOT coaching. 

There has to be design of a practice sessions and when and where you stop and give coaching points and observe to see if they apply is much more important than order of events. For me, scrimmaging, is mostly about seeing how the lessons are taking hold. 

Do you run a vastly different session each practice? Limit the number of drills you use and become super-familiar with them and the coaching points. Select these drills based on what you want to develop within your players. Repeat practice sessions, your players won't have to adjust to a new drill each time and they can begin to focus on refining their play either technically or tactically. 

Overall, your players don't seem to have been playing for a very long time, so you need to be patient. Give it at least a year to see the improvement. But you, as the coach, need to strive for highly effective learning training sessions. You could burn through a year of practices with minimal development. 



No most of my practices are very similar. We tend to do the same kind of drills or drills with the same concept. A lot of technical, a 2v1, or a 2v2 style activity and we end on 4v4 or 6v4 type activities. 


I do feel I see a ton of development, I just seem to be lacking in the explosive area, dribbling in traffic, and the speed, however I know a lot of that comes with experience. 

We basically are creating two different kinds of players. I develop really technical, possession oriented players. They develop fast, aggressive strikers. 
Goal150

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBrowntown7



Thats what the USSF license coaches say, however how can kids this young scrimmage all the time with no restrictions if they do not understand the game well enough or have the touch to make it worthwhile. 

It's not all the time. 10 minutes of unrestricted play is sufficient. If you have 20 minutes blocked off for "scrimmage", then play 10 restricted and 10 unrestricted. 

Quote:
Our season started 2 weeks after I got my D license, so I started out trying to end with a short scrimmage. Absolute Chaos.

That's the job of a youth coach: bringing order to that chaos. They did get something out of it: fun. Don't ever short change that, because that's why we play. And you got something out of it: you learned that they're still not close to how you want them to play.


Quote:
I just do not understand how all their teams are more explosive and faster with the ball than we are. They don't train hard. The entire practice the kids were lazy, didn't try and just kept asking to scrimmage. 


1. Who cares? They are not your players. Develop the players you have. You've looked at their program and deemed that you cannot take anything from it. We now play Development Academy teams (we are not one) and they stomped us. But I've used that as a guide post to get us to that level. 

2. Sounds like athleticism, you can erode that lead very quickly. I've done that with many of the teams I have coached. First seasons we get routed, sometimes by double digits. By the second, third, fourth seasons we pull away. My current group started that way, at U9 we got our butts kicked. Now at U11 when we go to tournaments they put us with the Development Academy teams because while we're not at that level yet, we're better than the other teams. 
RealMad1

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Reply with quote  #19 
I don't think I could stress how much players need to scrimmage. I often add restrictions to the scrimmages and then do free play; like Goal150. As a coach told me, we can't train players during the week and then play games and they don't have experience in the format of the game. 

If you were a player at their age, I am sure it would be more fun to play the game rather than just do activities. They need those experiences for both learning and enjoyment.

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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #20 

The Coaching Structure at the top should be viewed as vehicles for coaches to use to 'transport' their players from where they are to where they want to get to.

You can have a Rolls Royce, a Porche or a rusty Model T Ford...its the DRIVER that makes it work even though they all look different.

So it is with coaching - you can have the BEST coaching program, the BEST structure......its the quality of the COACH that makes it happen.

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