I. Characteristics of the Player
The fundamentals of the game of soccer are techniques. Our players become so comfortable with the ball under pressure, that they are able to spend their energies managing the game, not just the ball.
Our players consider the opponent, their own proficiencies and deficiencies, the weather and field conditions, the style of refereeing, the score, the time, the result needed, etc. to make good decisions on the fly and without coach intervention.
When our players make sacrifices and put in time and effort, their expectation and love for the game instantly elevate. This is also known as competitiveness. We want our kids to be more competitive, and raise their expectations by getting them to love the game!
II. Technical/Tactical Training
Throughout a players development there should be a sound distribution of training that players receive on both the technical and tactical pillars. The physical and mental pillars are constantly being challenged during training and development.
The biggest area of focus is on the technical side of development. Once a player stops worrying about controlling a ball they can begin to think about solutions to the problems the game presents. The sooner we get our players to solve their own problems without the coach the more successful they will be.
There is no “kicking” in soccer. You can dribble, pass, or shoot. A pass is a kick with a plan to get it to a specific teammate and a shot is a kick that has the intent on being a goal.
Attacking and defending shape should be limited to triangles and diamonds, width and depth. We introduce the ideas of each with the expectation that they will not fully grasp it by the end of the season.
We help players understand that defenders play mostly behind midfielders, midfielders play in front of the defense and behind the forwards, and the forwards play in front of the midfielders. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd attacker and defender concepts can be introduced, but once again do not expect competency by the end of the year…that is for a later age group.