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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.

 

US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program Coaching Manual

Sam Snow

2015 ODP logo

The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program has contributed to the improvement of players, coaches, administrators and referees since its inception in 1977. No other high performance soccer program has such a long and deep history in growing the game in America. In 2014 we began a process with both the boys and girls programs of helping the players and coaches learn and execute the American style of play. The contents of the accompanying Manual are derived from the information shared with us by the Youth National Teams of the USA to raise the level of performance for international competition. US Youth Soccer encourages all teams participating in high performance soccer to utilize the Manual to its fullest. By doing so clubs will raise their overall level of play and should, in time, produce more players and coaches capable of making their way farther along the pathway toward the Youth National Teams.

View and download the US Youth Soccer ODP Coaching Manual here.

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A Few Tips On Running Your Training Session

Sam Snow

A Few Tips on Running Your Training Session

Before you take the field for your next training session, check out some of these tips that could enhance your session.

 

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Figure 1 -  At the outset get eye level with the players – it helps to bond the group and to keep the attention of youngsters

 

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Figure 2 - Get into action quickly - less talk, more play

 

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Figure 3 - When you are explaining the rules of the activity or making a coaching point for the team, gather them in front of you for clear communication and undivided attention

 

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Figure 4 - Organize the equipment, the training space and the players before you start an activity during the training session

 

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Figure 5 - Sometimes you can adjust the training space [dimensions of the grid] on the fly

 

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Figure 6 - There's not always a need to stop an activity as you set up for the next activity

 

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Figure 7 - Occasionally have a fellow coach video tape your training session

 

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Figure 8 - Ask for feedback on that video from your club director of coaching or a more experienced and higher licensed coach in your club

 

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Figure 9 - ALWAYS maximize the kids playing time

For more tips on creating a training session check out our freshly updated document on "How to Write a Training Session Plan"

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Defending Corner Kicks

Sam Snow

Iowa Soccer runs a wonderful coaching symposium each year in Des Moines. I had the privilege to conduct some sessions for the coaches at the 2015 edition. One of the sessions that I coached was on defending against a corner kick. I thought that I’d share with you my ‘cheat sheet’ that I wrote for myself as a reminder of key points before I ran the session.

Defending at Corners – Key Points:

Goalkeeper

  • The goalkeeper is the primary organizer
  • Near post cover
    • Far post optional
  • Angle of hips to see the ball and the field
  • Positioning to get a path to the ball
  • Jump early
  • Talk – keeper or clear (away)
  • Come out to the ball or stay to handle the shot
  • If you come out then catch or punch the ball
  • If you caught the ball then do you distribute immediately or hold the ball for 6 seconds
     

Field Players

  • Mark the best scoring spots and then pick up runners
  • Have a marker at short corners
     

Both

  • Proper positioning of the goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and forwards
  • Deal with the type of service
    • Outswinger
    • Driven ball
    • Inswinger
    • Short corner kick
  • Move first
    • Get between the ball and the opponent
  • Jump early
  • Clearance (head or foot or fists)
    • High, wide and long
    • Make the clearance into an outlet pass if possible
  • Move out together after a clearance

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Worthwhile Coach

Sam Snow

Chris Panayiotou sent out this message not long ago to a group of coaches across the country.  I think it is one that all club coaches should read. Chris is the Developmental Director of Coaching for Virginia Rush Soccer Club and the Developmental Technical Director for Rush Soccer. Here’s the message:

See how your team does on this quiz…

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.

5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for Best Actor and Actress.

6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series Winners.

How did you do?

The point is, none of us remembers the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They’re the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers or coaches who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

6. Name a half dozen heroes whose stories have inspired you.

Easier? The lesson? The people who make a difference in your life aren’t the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They’re the ones who care.

 

Find more coaching information at http://www.coachestoolbox.net/

 

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