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Coaches Blog

Sam's Blog is a bi-weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam Snow is the Coaching Director for US Youth Soccer.

 

Coaching Education Philosophy

Sam Snow

US Youth Soccer provides service and resource support to our member associations at the state and local levels by providing youth coaches with developmental and age appropriate methods and curriculum of coaching.
 
Our Educational Philosophy
The Game Within The Child (Quinn, 1995) is at the center of all belief, decisions and actions taken by the child, coach and organization. Our goal is to unlock the game within children to reach their full soccer potential.
  • Play- Children come to play the game, not to work, not to listen to the coach lecture, and not to discuss the game. They come to PLAY, and playing equates to fun.
  • The Game is the Teacher- players learn best by actually playing the game in an environment where they feel free to try new ideas.
  • Organized Spontaneity- Encouragement of free and unbridled play by modifying the playing environment to small-sided games (3v3, 4v4, 6v6, 8v8) and limiting the amount of input from the coach. Again, the game is the best teacher.
 
Curriculum & Methodology
US Youth Soccer believes in an age and developmentally appropriate educational curriculum of coaching education. The needs of Under-6 players and coaches are different than those of Under-12 players and coaches. Developmentally appropriate methodology includes addressing the psychomotor, cognitive, and psychosocial implications of child development. US Youth Soccer will emphasize continual development of our educational curriculum.
 
Continuing Education
A commitment to further the development of a Continuing Education curriculum. Coaching courses, clinics and seminars as well as multimedia resource material is available or will be developed for the continued improvement of our youth coaches.
 
Goals
  • A commitment to provide educational materials and opportunity for education to every parent coach working with players ages 5-12. Approximately 70 percent of all registered youth soccer players are 11 years of age or younger. These parents are the least experienced and most in need of relevant coaching information. These coaches should complete an introductory education program prior to working with youngsters. This could be considered part of their responsibility and commitment.
  • The willingness to accept pertinent information and utilize acceptable methods of coaching in working with youngsters. This would mean that the youth coach would agree that their central role is that of a facilitator: set up the right environment and let the game teach!
  • Adopt modified games of 3v3 for Under 6, 4v4 for Under-8, 6v6 for Under-10 and 8v8 for Under-12 play as outlined in the US Youth Soccer Recommended Playing Guidelines. This would not only improve the playing environment for players, but also could establish and affirm the role of the youth soccer coach as facilitator.
  • To promote an understanding of the game and that soccer is a vehicle for learning and child development. The game should not be viewed in an adult sense, with competition as a means to an end, but in a child's view of joy and fun.
 
PLAY IS THE KEY WORD IN PLAYER DEVELOPMENT