Our coaching philosophy is based on creating a fun and player-centered environment for our players. Each training session is structured around moments of the game and their principles where we'll provide players with an opportunity to transfer what they learn to the game and gain their own insights. Through our fun and challenging training methodology we develop players abilities based on the moment of the game:
- Winning the ball
- Losing the ball
5 Elements Of A Training Activity:
1. Organized – is the activity organized in the right way.
2. Game like environment – can the training relate to the game
3. Repetition – is there enough repetition, when looking at the overall goal of the session.
4. Challenging – Are the players being challenged?
5. Coaching – Is there effective coaching and engagement based on the age and level of the players.
Our communication is clear and concise while we ask players guided questions. We focus on giving players the responsibility of self-reflection by asking them discovering questions. At the younger ages, we give more directions and focus on the interaction so the learning of new skills becomes fun.
How Do We Guide Our Players
We focus on giving our players the responsibility of self-reflection by encouraging them to think strategically about the game and the effectiveness of their actions. This helps them develop a much better understanding of the game, including not only what and when to do, but also why they should do it. This model is based on the newest research adopted by the USSF (United States Soccer Foundation).
How Great Coaches Help Players Discover Solutions?
1. BEING SPECIFIC
Before we engage with players using guided questions, we determine the specific concept we want to explore, for example, finding openings, pockets, etc. This will help ground the conversation in the player's experience and existing knowledge.
We often ask players questions while using familiar keywords.
- Why do we want to close an opening?
- What can you do to close an opening?
2. TURN IT INTO A QUESTION
The key here is to develop questions that allow players to think about the goal of the training session and the objective of the activity. This is how a coach can focus the players’ attention and check for understanding.
- How else could you have gotten the ball to your teammate?
- When is it important to keep the ball close to you?
- What could you do next time to keep the ball?
3. BE PATIENT
To ensure your guided questions are effective, we need to make sure to be patient while waiting for a response from our players. It’s important to give them a few moments to understand our coaching question, reflect and consider a few solutions before they respond.
When given this time to think, our players learn to reflect and are guided and empowered to discover the solution on their own.
We Use A "Player Centric" Approach
We believe that the game is the best teacher for the players as long as their environment allows for it. As our players experience soccer through play, we ask them guided questions using familiar keywords to help them reflect. This will aid their development and empower them to make discoveries and apply solutions directly to the game on their own. Our goal as coaches is to guide and support players in their soccer experience towards fulfilling their full potential.
What Else We Do As Coaches?
- Give unconditional attention to players
- Engage with parents
- Ask questions
- Help individuals play as part of a team
- Practice self-reflection
- Create a positive environment
- Serve as a Role Model
U.S. Soccer’s Six Tasks Af A Coach
- Coaching games
- Coaching training sessions
- Leading the team
- Leading the player
- Managing the performance environment