My daughter and I just came back from the premier Manchester City Americas Cup organized by Surf down in San
One of the most common explanations for why we cannot compete on the international stage is that our ‘best’ athletes
Our women’s national team has an impressive record. According to this Wikipedia page, the U.S. WNT has three World Cup titles,
Creativity is used a lot to describe the better soccer players. And many of us probably recognize it when we
Mark Cuban has jumped into futsal here in the United States. And, according to the Dallas Morning News, FC Barcelona,
This is a MUST READ on the single biggest issue in youth player development in our country. I’ve posted about
Consider these two scenarios: In scenario one a nine, ten, or eleven year old defender without an easy/obvious forward passing
“Young players arrive in MLS from colleges. They don’t know tactics and very little technically. Physically, a lot.” -Andrea Pirlo, one
“During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player
I spoke to two FC Barcelona youth coaches in Spain earlier today and asked them whether they take size into account when assessing youngsters. Their response: “Never”. We all know that size and athleticism matters if you want to win youth games. We’ve all seen those stronger, faster youngsters dominate games. Teams win this way. But size and athleticism are a weak predictor of longer term success in soccer and has little to do with true longer-term player development. It misses the essence of the game.
I came across this futsal court wandering through a neighborhood in central Barcelona this morning. This is soccer culture. Easy
This post goes to the core of coaching quality and player development, and the problems that come from focusing on ‘winning’ instead of ‘competing’. I have posted about this topic many times before including here, here, and here. Failing for the Future is a term coined by Todd Beane, former professional player, coach, teacher, father, and blogger. He is the son-in-law of Johan Cruyff, one of the legends of the game. Here is his post in its entirety: My son failed this weekend and I was so proud of him for doing so. Unfortunately, while I was in awe of his courage his coach was screaming at him. Let me explain how the very same event can be a point of pride for his father and a point of disgust for his trainer. My boy sprinted down the right flank toward the goal as Jan, the left winger, centered a low driven ball toward the top of the box. Jordan beat
“They [many coaches] may be coaching individuality out of our kids with their ‘pass the ball at all times’ philosophy.”
U.S. born and raised experienced coach guesting with my daughter’s U13 team tonight: “Never use the outside foot to pass,
You might have read a couple of my posts that talk about the massive negative impact of our lack of
Some of my recent posts describe my concerns about too much focus on ‘quick passing & moving’ at too young an age. Coaches are trying to copy the Barcelona style of possession play and many parents are happy to see lots of passes being strung together and tend not to like the player who doesn’t pass quickly. But I’m concerned that this leads to one-dimensional soccer and doesn’t give the players what they need to creatively solve problems during games against strong, tactically smart opposition. I am concerned that we are not emphasizing enough a critical part of youth player development: creativity, technical skills, and risk taking, that, when later combined with smart passing and fast movement, leads to top-level, entertaining soccer. So take a look at this clip from Barcelona’s youth academy. These are ten or eleven year old boys. Watch carefully the many skills and soccer IQ used just in these ten seconds. Their toolkit is large already!
Great documentary on Cristiano Ronaldo. Enjoy!