This weekend the US Youth Futsal Nationals are taking place here in the Kansas City area. Teams from all over the country are coming here to compete. Boys and girls teams from U9 to U19 will face off to determine the champion in 21 different divisions.
I’ll put together a complete report about the event for next week’s show as well as how my teams are taking the lessons learned during the winter season to continue our development outdoor this spring.
“I have been coaching some of this group since they were playing under 9 and my approach every season has been to rotate the team captaincy each game day as the season progresses. That worked well and each week the players were quite excited to know who would be captain for that game and with it the responsibility for the coin toss and choosing which way to play. For some though the captaincy began and ended there. Last season I gradually gave those players that did show more on field leadership additional opportunities to be captain. With all of the team now at High School they are now very familiar with the concept of House & School Captains and that these roles are handed out on merit rather than just because it’s ‘your’ turn this week.
I wonder now whether it is the right time to appoint a team captain and perhaps a vice captain for the entire season. I hope this would encourage them to view the role of captain as more important and perhaps something to really aspire to. It can help some to take that next step in their leadership development as they can take on more responsibilities not only on match day but also into the weekly training sessions. For example, helping organise the team into warm-ups as they arrive at training and pre-match. Being a little more vocal game day and also at training.
I would be interested to know if you have any thoughts on this with regards to it being the appropriate age to make this move? Also whether you see merit in the team themselves voting for the captain as opposed to me the coach simply appointing someone. I do like the idea of getting this buy in from the team but at the same time I am a little wary of it becoming a popularity contest.”
Thanks for the question Graham!
To be honest, I’m not a fan of captains at any age. I feel that it promotes a hierarchy in the team and I want EVERYONE to take responsibility, be vocal and be a leader.
I’ve tried having captains and it’s never worked for me. If the players vote then it’s just a popularity contest. If I pick the captains then I must like them more than the other players. I’ve found it to be a lose / lose scenario.
I just rotate who serves as captain for each game. More often than not, I end up sending the keeper to the coin toss because I want the extra time to organize the field players.
Team captains are certainly a tradition in our sport but I think it’s a position that is only truly useful at the top level. Perhaps if I were coaching a High School or College team I would feel differently but as a youth coach it’s caused more trouble than it’s worth.
I don’t have to use Excel for the roster and Gmail for the contacts and a calendar for the schedule. I can have everything for my teams in one place. It really saves me the hassle and possible confusion of dealing with a lot of different programs
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In the past I’ve talked about player motivation and more recently about the qualities of the most effective coaches as well as the coach / player relationship. This all got me thinking about one of the most important factors that affects a player’s performance and a child development. That’s their confidence in their ability.
Today I’ll talk about what destroys a child’s confidence. How you can tell if your players are confident in themselves. Most importantly – What we can do to build our player’s confidence.
Here are some links to blog posts and web sites that I looked at in preparation for this episode:
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Next week I’ll wrap up the winter Futsal season with a report on the US Youth Futsal Nationals as well as what I want my teams to take away from the training we’ve done that will help them continue to develop during the spring.