Monthly Archives: February 2014

Interesting Reads – 2/21/2014

Achievement Goal Theory and Why Kids Quit Sports

Lots of kids drop out of sports by the time they hit 13.  70% in fact.  With the upside of sports on kids being so positive, that’s a disturbing number.  The good news is that most of the reasons are within the coach’s influence of control.  When looking at the competitive side of things, Achievement Goal Theory (AGT) also tells us that what motivates people the most is demonstrating mastery of a task or to one’s self.  That link in the article to a 15 minute video on AGT is worth the time.

Why Kids Quit Sports

Unleashing Creativity in the Uncreative

Being creative is an important part of soccer.  Usually when I read things on how to get kids to be creative the overarching theme is usually a “hands off” approach.  However, there are going to be some players that struggle with that kind of freedom.  In fact, there are going to be kids who need a bit more structure, a little more praise and a bit more engagement from you.  Know your players and get some tips from this great article.

How to Unleash the Uncreative Children

More Bad News for Crossing

I love data and analytics. This analysis is another angle of why crossing has the lowest percentage of success for scoring goals.  The other article is in this post from last week.  Now, if you follow me on twitter and/or read this blog, you know I care more about development than about winning.  So why should this matter? For me, it just puts things like crossing and completing passes in the attacking third into perspective.  It’s hard.  It can help shape the expectations for you, your parents and your players.

And there are a lot of pretty graphics.

How Can an Attacking Team Get Close Enough to Expect a Goal?


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Filed under Coaching Tips, Developing Creative Players

Putting Things in Perspective – 2/14/14

Focus on the Individual

“Our idea is: don’t think about teams anymore, just think about individuals. It’s all about developing the individual.” – Dennis Bergkamp

If you are coaching players under the age of 14 the focus should be developing the individual, not the team.  Technical over tactical.  Skill and technique over positions.  Develop the whole player.  Most of us who volunteer will not meet Cryuff’s profile for the ideal youth coach.  We don’t have to.  As long as we never assume we know it all (note to self: this means you!), keep questioning, keep learning and focus on developing the best all-around player both on and off the pitch then great things will happen.

Cryuff & Ajax’s ‘Way Forward’

A Little Cross on Crossing

It takes about 91 open crosses to score 1 goal in the English Premier League (EPL).  91!  These are not the set plays resulting from free kicks or corners, but all the other crosses.  What this research indicates is that if EPL teams focused a little less on crossing they would score more goals.

Good too keep in mind when you’re out there teaching crossing for the youngsters.  It’s hard for the pros to execute and we’re teaching kids.  Have patience and put things in perspective.

Crossing in Soccer has a Strong Negative Impact on Scoring

Talk Less

If you want players to learn more, have them stop looking and listening to you so much.  Watch those lines in practice.  Standing around isn’t even on the pyramid.

Passive vs Active Learning

Pulled the image from this link, but made it a little bigger for this post.

Stay Positive

In addition to creating an environment where mistakes are OK, it’s important to focus on the positives after games that just don’t go well.  Highlight the things that did go right during the game – you were watching for those, weren’t you?  And those problems during the game aren’t problems.  They are teachable moments.  They are opportunities to find solutions and to get better.


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Filed under Coaching Tips, Development Over Winning, Positive Coaching