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