Monday, November 19, 2007
Below are some outcomes from a US Youth Soccer coach from Michigan after attending the "Y" License coaching course:
"I wanted to let you know what an impression the course had on me and how profoundly it has altered the way that I think about coaching. I can't say that I have got it all into practice yet but am working on it and make improvements each week through reflection. And there is always the rule of unintended consequences- I had previously (last year with my Under-9 girls) used 3 girls in goal on a rotating basis and let the others get away with not wanting to. This year at the beginning of the season I announced that everyone would play goal for at least one half this fall (8 games with 6v6) – I have always created an expectation that they will all play both offense and defense. There were groans but everyone accepted since I said no exceptions. Lo and behold one girl who absolutely didn't want to do it has the fastest reflexes I have seen at this age (she stopped a point blank shot at her waist and a foot to her left by deflecting it away with her hand) and is not afraid to roam all over and smother the ball. She got a kick out of it and, who knows, may turn into a goalie of her own volition some day. It is driving me crazy when I seem teams we play using the same girl in goal the whole game (and I know a few of the teams have just one goalie- at Under-10) – her options in the sport are really going to be limited as she gets older. Inquiry-based approach to training and to the games has also been a big hit – hands are shooting up all over the team when questions are asked. During games I typically just need to ask a question of a player on the field to get movement (and usually not a quizzical look). So thanks."
US Youth Soccer advocates that players get exposed to playing all of the positions up through the Under-14 age group. We also teach the use of Guided Discovery as an important coaching method in youth soccer with all age groups. I look forward to meeting you in a National Youth License course soon!