Being a good team player is one thing, but being a great soccer team captain is another. Very few players will have this golden opportunity in taking up such an important leadership role. However, if you are fortunate to take up the role of a team captain, then you will need to be a good leader for your teammates; this is both during soccer training and off the field.
There are different types of leaders present. However, the best are those that lead by example; they communicate well and when such a leader gives you a compliment you feel stronger and taller. If this is the kind of leader you are hoping to be, then read on to find out how to train and develop yourself to be a great soccer captain.
1. Lead by example
Leading by example is a key point in developing yourself for the leadership role. If your teammates see that you are positive and always working hard, they will follow suit and look up to you for the proper guidance. Some of the ways you can show your efforts to your teammates is; do not jog at a time you are meant to be running and try not giving up along the way. If you slack off, or you give less effort in the game it is a sign that they also do not need to try as hard.
In youth soccer the players need to be able to demonstrate certain skills in order to secure themselves not only a spot on the team but also a particular position. Those positions require specific skills and these skills can be evaluated in a competitive way. The youth soccer players are usually taught these skills during tryouts.
Soccer players need to have certain abilities like agility, ball control and speed which can be taught with a lot of footwork drills. These drills need to make a player able to move through defenders, change direction without losing control of the ball and also sprint down the field for a goal.
Coaching youth soccer can be rewarding and entertaining at a beginning level as you can influence and teach a young peer something new and you can enjoy the success at a different level. There is a great amount that can be learned from coaching including the excitement of working with youth.
Youth soccer players are in a phrase where learning is critical and students learn through various methods. One that is critical to youth soccer is demonstrations. You can tell a youth player 100 times and they may still not understand the skill until they get a visual. Visual learning is key to successful youth soccer programs. How do we get this visual learning concept? A visual demonstration put together with the auditory commands we ask kids to do every day will connect the missing elements and often have kids have a much better understanding.
Drills are a huge part of development, especially for youth players. Coaches have the critical decisions of putting together youth soccer drills to match the levels of the players. These drills include individual, groups or paired drills that can help teach skills for all positions.
We have all done it, being that soccer kid in the backyard dreaming of hitting the winning goal in extra time. We run around daydreaming we are our dream soccer athlete because we just saw them on TV. Kids need to remember that soccer drills help lay the foundation for skills needed that make the difference between good and great players. The sooner we can start soccer drills the more developed kid’s game play is going to be and the great thing about soccer is that a smaller, quick player with technical skills can excel compared to bulkier players without those skills.
Soccer players are required to have high levels of fitness and athleticism combined with technique. Soccer practice is how we develop those skills and techniques while having a built in fitness program while doing that. Soccer practices need to have a main objective of what technical skill we are going to work on which could be: dribbling, passing, receiving and kicking. Athleticism and skills includes changing direction, and varying their speed without losing the ball. Understanding body control and individual drills will help them with these types of skills.
The first thing learned and necessary in soccer is the ability to dribble. If the skill of dribbling is never learned the athlete will not be able to play soccer, as it is the most basic skill needed. How do we move the ball as an individual in open space if we cannot dribble? Now how we dribble can be evolved through advance play and practicing complex moves, but the basic dribbling skill is a must have for any soccer player.
The fun in soccer comes from being able to move the ball around and control where you want the ball to go. Players, even the newest ones, must start working on skills from day one and if they work on soccer skills, they will see great progress fast.
Many drills are orientated towards the full team practice style of work. There are many individual drills that often get overlooked and there value is not appreciated. Let’s look back at a player’s beginning when they first started. Most players remember getting that first soccer ball, it was that free one with the giant advertisement covering it, or it was the best color available at the sports store. Then they set up in the back yard making memories with individual drills as they scored against the fence time and time again.
People who are interested in the career of becoming a soccer coach or part time coach need to prepare themselves to take on such an endeavor. Many coaches of youth league are thrown into the position of head coach because their kid’s team needed a coach. Anyone who volunteered would have been thrown into the same position. With the proper preparation, people can be prepared to coach soccer and even be successful, thus having a feeling that he or she did not let the kids down. After all that is why you took the position in the first place, to do what’s right for the kids.
There are many avenues to look at when looking for and choosing drills for practice. There seems to be endless websites that have drills lined out for all ages. Many are free and some have small fees that give you access to 1,000’s of drills with illustrations, videos and coaching points. Coaches must remember that these drills pass on their strategies, game situation tactics, and philosophies to encourage players to better themselves.
How do we make a better passer, shooter and dribbler during soccer practice? We develop both feet and when developing both feet in a soccer player, the earlier the better. This development needs to be implemented within the first year of soccer practices for youth players. Even if the age of the player makes it most difficult to have foot equality, it is crucial to have players understand that they need to have foot equality. Start developing this skill early and it will help keep kids from trying to be so strong footed. If they understand that trying to do everything with one foot is not the way to play soccer they will attempt and put more importance on trying to play the game correctly early.
In youth soccer what is the best player on the field always have in common? We must look at the game and the best player always has one quality skill that most the other kids (under 10 leagues) have not developed yet. What is it?
How do we increase efficiency and get the most out of every minute of Drills?
1. Touches Matter:
The more we get players/athletes touching the ball, the better. Incorporate passing and dribbling to set up the actual drill you are running. A drill designed to get some goalie work can incorporate passing and dribbling, so now we have three players outside the goalie getting work. An example would be a pass & shoot combo drill, any variation, but the kicker is the two setting up the drill. So we have 2 working the drill with the goalie, and two working a retrieving drill, i.e. be behind the goal and they dribble the ball back to set up the pass & shoot combo. This is a way to get more kids working on skills, running around, and getting more touches.
How do we get more kids involved in the youth soccer practice?
This happens weekly, where you will a kid that is just out of it and not into practice, maybe even giving you a hard time. In youth soccer we must remember there is a lack of maturity and singling out a player will only prove the coach’s lack of maturity. We don’t reinforce bad behavior so why would we example it?
Remember back to the youngest time in your life when you began to play soccer and think about why you ever kicked that ball. Why did you? It was fun! Enjoyment and fun are somethings that in the heat of competition and on the field for practice is often lost. We have to start going back to the basics and make sure this game we love is still fun, because if it is not then the kids shouldn’t be playing.
Too often the phrase “student of the game” is related to players. We hear it on the sports news and relate being a student to being a player. Coaches must learn the game in order to teach it and that is obvious, but what is sometimes over-looked is the fact that coaches can never be complacent.
Whether you are watching on TV or bought a ticket, let’s look past being just a spectator. This is how coaches watch games and it is much different than when others do. There are so many skills and strategies being played out away from the ball that it is a waste to chase the ball with your eyes all the time. Game plan to watch a game, and that takes focus and concentration. If you are wanting to look at fitness level of a team, effects of fatigue, and effort away from the ball then stay focused to watch for those things. Strategic planning (grouping things together that can be watched at the same time) makes seeing what you’re watching easier. The three previous examples can all be seen away from the ball and you can see all three at the same time. Bad planning would force you to try and see the whole field and absorb everything at once and that would be too much to watch. Remember, when trying to watch everything you miss the most.
INSTRUCTIONAL SOCCER PRACTICE FORMAT:
WARM UP (roughly 5 minutes)
This segment should include general body movement and coordination exercises that may be or may not be with a ball. Without them being aware of it, this introduces players to the demand to bring up body temperatures and stretch muscles in advance of physical activities. The use of a ball for stretching is preferred over static stretching. Static stretching may also be introduced at this time, but it is not as enjoyable as playing with the ball. Besides, it is not really necessary for this age group.
WATER BREAK (recommended – roughly 2 minutes)
The importance of diversity in soccer skills is evident. There is no chronological order as to what skill should be learned first, which should be second, and so on. However, some skills are a must-have for every player and you, as a soccer mentor, will probably want to coach them first.
It is always convenient for soccer coaches when children hit the U6 - U7 age bracket. That is when they start to understand soccer a little bit more and when their bodies can handle quite some serious drills. This is incredibly helpful to coaches who manage small children.
Firstly, it is essential to remember that each player is an individual who will develop in different ways from the next. Being different than other peers means that they will mostly try to adapt. However, children can't differentiate good from bad, which is why most of them think that "if I show my worth, they will accept me". The only outcome of such "logic" is selfishness.
A coach should always remember how important it is to teach fundamental skills accordingly. As writing skills are built from the alphabet forward, so soccer skills develop from the most basic first touches on the ball.
A coach must be fully prepared and ready for training sessions with his team. He must have all exercises selected and the complete training plan in his mind. He has to dedicate his time and effort to find interesting drills to present to his players. Every training step should be designed in detail and the particular file must ready to become a setup. Imagine a number of soccer equipment perfectly organized and placed on the ground - and the training is ready to start. So, what's to happen next in a scene like this?
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