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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.

 

Benefits of the National Youth License

Sam Snow

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!