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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.

 

Red Card for Concussion Management

Sam Snow

As we watch a marvelous 2014 FIFA World Cup the games have been spectacular and more than once the underdog has won. During the matches great goals have been scored and fantastic saves made. But a few times clashes have occurred and, at least once, a serious head injury that any television viewer could see was a concussion. I highly recommend that you read this blog from Dr. Dev Mishra: http://blog.sidelinesportsdoc.com/?p=1027

Now read these many resources on the topic available to you on the US Youth Soccer website.

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/hey_doc_when_can_i_return_to_play/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/heads_up_us_youth_soccer_and_cdc_team_up_to_help_keep_young_athletes_safe_from_concussion/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/concussion_resources_from_cdc/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/blogs/blog/?BlogPostAlias=head_bangers&BlogAlias=parents_blog

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/us_youth_soccer_and_axon_sports_bring_affordable_concussion_management_to_leagues_teams_and_clubs/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/blogs/blog/?BlogPostAlias=/blogs/an_ounce_of_prevention1/&BlogAlias=parents_blog

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/blogs/blog/?BlogPostAlias=its_not_russian_roulette_&BlogAlias=parents_blog

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/youth_sports_organizations_launch_sports_concussion_partnership/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/us_soccer_federation_statement_on_head_injuries_in_soccer_and_padded_headgear/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/ConcussionEducation/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/news/qa__head_injuries_with_doug_andreassen_washington_president/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/blogs/blog/?BlogPostAlias=ready_for_spring&BlogAlias=coaches_blog

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/youth_sports_organizations_launch_sports_concussion_partnership/

http://www.usyouthsoccer.org/us_youth_soccer_to_participate_in_nfl_safety_roundtable/

 

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Lopsided Match

Sam Snow

The score was 5-0 in favor of my team. So it’s time for a change in game strategy.

Many coaches struggle with how to keep a run-a-way match in check. Some coaches will play all of the “second string” players, some will put kids in positions they don’t frequently play, some will impose restrictions on how the team scores — such as only from crosses, etc. Here’s another idea for coaches in approaching this situation that occurs too often in youth soccer.

Tell your team: "You must work to get the kid on our team who has never scored in a match a goal now. If that kid scores then we go to the teammate who’s only scored once and get that player a goal. And so on with the player who has scored only two goals in a career — on and on. But what if time elapses and the team has not succeeded in helping that teammate who has never scored a goal to put one in the back of the net?

Then that’s the first team assignment in the next match. When that match is and against whom we are playing is immaterial. The match could be against a fierce rival, for the state cup final or against the last place team. The outcome of that match is less important than the lesson to be learned by the players — we accomplish a team assignment together. No matter how hard it may be or how long it may take, our team pulls together to achieve that challenge.

That mentality — and to meet that challenge — will take confidence and conviction. Most especially, the will to “stick to your guns” must come from the coach. There will be pressure in that next match from some parents, perhaps some players and maybe even from club officials to not require the team to accomplish the challenge given in a previous match. No, many folks will want the new game strategy to be only about that particular opponent.

There’s an old saying that sports build character. This challenge might build character in the players and staff — it most certainly will reveal it!

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Kid Focused, Coach Driven

Sam Snow

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. The mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues.

Last November the Institute held a roundtable on Project Play:
http://www.aspeninstitute.org/events/2013/11/20/aspen-institute-project-play-kid-focused-coach-driven-what-training-needed

Both youth soccer coaches and administrators will benefit from reading the report. Here is the link to the final report from that conference.
http://www.aspeninstitute.org/sites/default/files/content/upload/Kid_Focused_Coach_Driven_Summary_Report.pdf

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Long Term Player Development

Sam Snow

Around the world the fact that soccer as a team sport is a long term developmental sport has taken hold. Just look at the curricula of soccer coaching courses from almost every member of FIFA and you’ll see aspects of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) in them. Outside of soccer circles you’ll see the phrase as Long Term Athlete Development. Soccer coaches at every level of the game need to be familiar with these principles. To help you get your tutorial started or reinforced, take a look at this set of videos from our friends at the Ontario Soccer Association. There are 30 clips altogether; about 90 minutes to view entirely. I would suggest watching them all.
 

 

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