As Rinus Michels said “A player should move up once he is ready.” The key word here is 'ready'. Working with young football players on a daily basis, the question comes up quite often, “can my child play up?” I can understand and appreciate what the thought process here is, if my child is 'playing up' they will be further challenged, they will become stronger, they will learn to be faster. However, pushing a player or a number of players to play up a year (or more) can also have the total opposite effect. Here's why:
Wednesday, 1 May 2013
Who said your training games can only take place in a four-sided grid? Here are five small sided games that take place in a circle. Each game is designed to improve awareness and encourage players to make their own decisions.
Game 1 - Find the Open One
Organization & Rules
- Four teams of two.
- Four gates placed around the circle.
- One team occupies two of the gates.
- Inside the circle the teams play 2v2 and one team acts as the neutral players (creating a 4v2).
- The two players occupying the gates must move around the circle to occupy different gates during the match.
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
Below you will find five simple small sided games that allow players to make decisions that lead to positive/negative outcomes, enabling players to learn from the decisions they make. For more games like this you can download my 50 Training Games Booklet found here.
Game 1 - Command and Conquer
Game 1 - Command and Conquer
- Two teams of six players.
- Six gates surrounding the pitch.
- Start off with three players from each team in three gates and 3v3 in the middle.
Monday, 15 April 2013
It's more than just a place for people to get together and play football. In this case, the word (club) represents a group of like-minded individuals who work together towards the development of a common goal/objective. A true football club represents an identity that is found in each one of its loyal members.
Below you will find ten key elements aimed towards the development of a football club.
- A philosophy that runs through the club. The philosophy of the club is what drives it forward. It should flow from the very top (first team) to the very bottom (youngest team) and it should be understood by every member of the club (staff, players, parents, fans).
- The philosophy of the club is used to design the club plan/curriculum. Depending on the philosophy of the club, the next step is to design how the philosophy will be implemented throughout. This is done by creating a well-thought-out club plan/curriculum. This plan is the blueprint to how the club will operate.
Friday, 12 April 2013
|AJ Blugerman (right), a player we will always remember|
Recently, I faced a situation which was, by far, one of the most difficult situations I’ve ever had to deal with as a coach. You may have heard this story in the news – A.J. Blugerman, a member of my U16 team, lost his life in a tragic car accident on Good Friday, March 29.
Over the last couple of weeks, many thoughts have run through my mind, along with a roller coaster of emotions. The experience has left me questioning a number of things about life in general and, more specifically, the meaning of the word “coach”. I think these feelings were always there, but it quickly became clear to me that there is more to being a coach than the x's and the o's. The relationship between player and coach heavily outweighs the wins and losses, the training, and the games. The realization was that we do more than just a lead a group of players, we become their trusted friend, a mentor, an older brother or father figure type, for young boys and teens who are often seeking guidance in the journey of their life.
Thursday, 11 April 2013
A Look at the Champions League Semi-Finalists and When and Where they Began their Club Football
An athletes first experience will often determine how long they remain involved with that sport. It can also be recognized as the first step towards building the passion necessary to be the best. Listed below are the football players we can expect to see in the upcoming UEFA Champions League semi-final and which club allowed them to begin their journey on becoming the world's elite.
Player name – first club ever played with, Country (age of enrolment to age of departure)
Pique – FC Barcelona, Spain (age 10 to 17)
Xavi – FC Barcelona, Spain (age 11 to -)