I noticed a big improvement in my player’s shooting balance and technique during our games last weekend. I talked about the session I did with them in Episode 88 – Balanced Shooting.
We talked about the key points before the game so that they were fresh in the minds of the players. I think it’s important to do this with my players in order to make more of a connection between what we do in training and what I’m looking for on game day.
Coaches relate what they’re doing in training to game situations all of the time but talking about training before games reminds them of the work they’ve done during the week and makes it more likely that you’ll see a good transfer of training to the match.
I came across this video this week that shows adults trying to play on a HUGE field that is much too big for them. They relate this back to the challenge faced by 11 and 12 year olds trying to play on a full sized field.
The video is from a few years ago but I thought it provided a good explanation of the need for children to play on a field that’s in proportion to their physical and technical abilities.
If you think that youth players should start playing, ‘real soccer’ as soon as possible I hope that this video helps you think twice about that idea.
“My question is, I started teaching my girls to plant their foot in front of the ball while it is rolling forward so when they strike the ball their plant foot is in the proper place. As the girls were doing this they noticed a better strike on the ball. Should I keep focusing on that part also or just concentrate on the balance alone?”
The way Mike approaches this with his players makes sense, the ball is rolling away so planting in front will mean the ball is in the right place when the foot swings through to strike the ball.
On the podcast I go through how I use coaching points like this with individual players rather than the whole team.
This week I talk to George Nichols about the study he did for his Masters in Sports Coaching dissertation. It’s focused on the qualities of a healthy coach / player relationship. We discuss how he organized the study, the questions he ask, the common themes that emerged, the Honesty – Truth – Respect Spiral and his keys to creating a great relationship with your players.
The show notes include a complete transcript of our discussion as well as the ‘Mind Maps’ that George talks about in this episode.
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I haven’t settled on a topic for next week. There are a couple of things I’m working on so the one I get most excited about will probably win out. Check back next week to find out what it is.