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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #1 

"Show me a better way"...is a phrase I often use to challenge both players AND coaches I mentor.

It encompasses the 3 C's approach I use with Drills/SSGs/Functions...
Challenge >> Competition >> Consistency.
Players like to know WHAT they have to do, (challenge), who they are competing with (competition) and what is expected of them (consistency)

I do this by using questions that challenge them...
"Who can do this the best??"...
"Who can do this the most in the time available?"

Set easy to understand challenges that THEY can quickly get started on...
Keep the competitive element at the front of their focus to develop their 'match game'...
And ensure that standards don't drop below certain agreed levels.
To the coaches...
"Can you think of a better way to do that?"
"Have the players learnt from the activity?...and how would you test this?"

So, thats MY way....have you a better way??

Brianm

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Reply with quote  #2 
I do that at halftime. I will ask the players what do we need to do? If it is good we go with it if not I will explain to them why. Most of the time they know what needs to be done. I like think that the reason they know is because they pay attention in practice.
MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #3 
I think guided discovery is something you know and think your players don't know. Yes, they might see it but if you know it why not show them at the time it happens by using freeze play?

Every once in a while they might do something in the game that you never saw before. To me that is the best. That happens when you actually give your guys the freedom to try things they never did before. There are not afraid to make mistakes. Most coaches will stick their noses in if it doesn't work. But, if their idea was interesting why do that? You might say man that was a good idea and let them play.

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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #4 

MrS,
The problem I have with Guided Discovery is that if a player doesn't 'discover' anything then its tempting for the coach to 'nudge' them to find it which then negates the whole process and reason for running the current activity.

Using free play is an outdated mode of Stop>Tell>Play>Stop scenario which kids find really boring and so they will mentally begin to switch off. I use the more effective way of challenging questions AS they play....."Who spotted what David didn't do there???...", "...Yes...he DID it.....So who can do it as well?"
Quote..."Every once in a while they might do something in the game that you never saw before. To me that is the best. That happens when you actually give your guys the freedom to try things they never did before. There are not afraid to make mistakes. Most coaches will stick their noses in if it doesn't work. But, if their idea was interesting why do that? You might say man that was a good idea and let them play."

 If you remember, I posted a while back, a Small Sided Game called 'Outrageous' which I have renamed "Tekkers" for the new generation.
The main aspect is that its a normal game with 2 teams of equal numbers and goalkeepers YET its the ONE challenge which turns it into a great learning activity.

1. CHALLENGE: YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING ORDINARY ON CONTACT WITH THE BALL
- NO ORDINARY PASSES
- NO ORDINARY CONTROL OF THE BALL
- NO ORDINARY RUNNING WITH THE BALL
- NO ORDINARY DRIBBLING
- NO ORDINARY SHOOTING
- NO ORDINARY COMBINATIONS BETWEEN PLAYERS
- NO ORDINARY CORNERS/FREE KICKS/THROW-INS/PENALTIES
- NO ORDINARY HEADERS
- NO ORDINARY PLAY FROM ALL PLAYERS INCLUDING GKS (NO ORDINARY SAVES/DISTRIBUTION ETC)

As long as its not silly or dangerous (i.e. sticking the ball between legs or up jerseys etc) then anythings possible.
To see it in action after a few minutes is amazing.
It achieves ALL what you stated above
 - Every once in a while they might do something in the game that you never saw before. To me that is the best.
 - That happens when you actually give your guys the freedom to try things they never did before.
 - They are not afraid to make mistakes
Run it as a stand alone SSG or as an end of practice reward or whatever.

For it to work though, means you MUSTN'T coach any players during this time so they ALL have to make their OWN decisions as to what to try. Sure you can often call "Tekkers" to encourage them or "Yeah Tekkers" if they HAVE done something fantastic.
Try it.....it simply WORKS.


 


 


 


 

MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #5 
You know what's interesting about freeze play? It actually works to show players what they did not see. But it does nothing for players to see things new special things that even we have not seen before.
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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #6 
And thats what we ALL as coaches are trying to develop our players to achieve....to 'see' 3-4 seconds ahead of play, to make the instant correct decisions needed to be first to the ball, to be aware of and negate earlier any threats when the opponents have the ball.
ianrudy

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Reply with quote  #7 
I've always struggled with this balance of showing the kids "what could be" vs. "letting them discover".  My question is that I can do the challenges and leading questions, but sometimes they still need to see it once or twice to know and I usually freeze play to show this, is there a better way than freezing and showing?  

Using the ball and having asking them questions on what they would do and why during that freeze is in my opinion the guided discovery part, but sometimes we still need to "give" them the answer especially when it's a new concept they have never been exposed to and in that case you just need to move them around and show them.  I've always encouraged the creativity through the decision they make.. so even when we get ready to restart for real after the freeze I always tell the girls, only do what we worked on if it is "on" be aware that the defense might adjust because they now know what is coming so improvise and make a different decision if you need to.  Options.. show them potential options.. challenge them to try different options through challenges and focus on the decisions they make (I really can't thank you enough for that one coachkev.. the Matchday concept taught me this one in spades!).  Did they make the wrong decision because they didn't know the tactic or because they didn't have the technique to pull it off?

coachkev

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianrudy
I've always struggled with this balance of showing the kids "what could be" vs. "letting them discover".  My question is that I can do the challenges and leading questions, but sometimes they still need to see it once or twice to know and I usually freeze play to show this, is there a better way than freezing and showing?  

Using the ball and having asking them questions on what they would do and why during that freeze is in my opinion the guided discovery part, but sometimes we still need to "give" them the answer especially when it's a new concept they have never been exposed to and in that case you just need to move them around and show them.  I've always encouraged the creativity through the decision they make.. so even when we get ready to restart for real after the freeze I always tell the girls, only do what we worked on if it is "on" be aware that the defense might adjust because they now know what is coming so improvise and make a different decision if you need to.  Options.. show them potential options.. challenge them to try different options through challenges and focus on the decisions they make (I really can't thank you enough for that one coachkev.. the Matchday concept taught me this one in spades!).  Did they make the wrong decision because they didn't know the tactic or because they didn't have the technique to pull it off?

Using the correct affirmations works for me ian.
As I see a 'situation' that demanded a decision and action and the player makes the decision AND carries it out I will audibly call out praise for it "....That was a GREAT decision to play the ball to X..."What a GREAT tackle there"...etc

When I've frozen play, I feel the players lose sight of what was GOING to happen and will therefore switch off slightly...
I know we use question & answer elements but I like to have a bit of fun given with messages.
I will call a certain player over when the ball is dead and say something (if say, their first touch was poor).." Hey Tony, here's a present for you" and I simulate putting my hand in my pocket and giving them something to which the player holds out their hand (there is nothing in my hand)...and I'll say "...here you go....its a 2nd Touch, because I know you're not getting any because your 1st Touch has left you behind"....100%, players will have a little laugh WITH you and not take it wrongly, but also they get little 'messages' to help them in the immediate future.

ianrudy

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Reply with quote  #9 
Yep I get you and trust me I have a definite "personality" with the girls.  And sure after they have learned a concept positive reinforcement (especially in games.. my thing is giving them a big thumbs up when they make a good decision) is the way to go but what about when first learning?  So remember I'm in the younger age range so anywhere from 7-10 year olds (coach older girls as well but primarily focused with U8-U11 right now).  

So for example I've been working on the idea of when to dribble and when to pass.. take space.. getting defenders to commit, when to take on versus when to pass.. what are the queues.. getting our heads up.. helping them with expanding on many of the dribbling concepts we have worked on in the last few weeks (1v1 focused skills.. finding a dribbling style and personality.. all good ball comfort skills.. idea of faking with body.. feinting with the ball and going fast after.. the 3 F's LOL [wink] and I was using this last session as a bridge to when we come back from vacation and start in with passing, first touch, and rondo type activities and seeing how they have processed the 3 F's over the last few sessions.  I would find a good moment.. freeze the play.. talk through options with the girls.. get suggestions.. use the ball and rewind play and we would work through how to make that decision and then they would go off and play for awhile and I'd look for if that decision moment would appear and praise or even those little pauses of them processing the information and maybe not immediately applying it but you could see the wheels turning (better than the heads down dribblers I have sometimes!).  Sure some of my more tactics savvy girls picked up on things faster than others..  So continual improvement right.. it was effective I felt and the girls enjoyed the session.  How do I make it better?  What was another approach maybe I could have taken to help with that concept that maybe didn't involve a freeze?  And I did 4 minute rotations of only dribbling with the ball and then removing that and playing normal.  Entire session was an hour.. we did a little technical warm up for 15 minutes and then played 4v4+1 (9 girls showed) the entire time working on this idea.  Just trying to expand the way I coach and keep learning differing techniques to solve the same problem.
coachkev

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Reply with quote  #10 

ian,
This is how I have eventually come to use a common format that helps me to keep the pace of training up.
I call this the 3C approach - CHALLENGE >> COMPETITION >> CONSISTENCY
If you make sure these three are included in all your activities (including the warm up) then the performance levels will always be high
I've also found that I can use the same format in my own coaching to keep me focused.

Taking your own idea above.
I would first be looking at WHERE to dribble first before the when and when not.
You do not want to be encouraging players to dribble right in front of their own goal do you?

So, the first 'C' would be...."Who can get past an opponent in the attacking half using a dribble or using a one-two pass with a teammate?
The second 'C' would be...."Which team can dribble at the right time and which team can pass at the time?"
The third 'C' would be the coach's responsibility in not allowing big errors without a comment while praising good decisions.

By using this format, it becomes clear for the players, who will know whats expected of them, for the coach to quickly organise, and for the team to be consistent in their overall development.

 

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