Disney awards

08 Jun What’s your fit?

10 years ago, I began coaching soccer. It all began when I felt the urge to be involved in competitive soccer again, but my playing days were over so I was going to have to be a coach. I was hungry to prove myself, I wanted to do a good job and be successful. My first job was a girls JV coach at McKeel Academy. I devoted dozens of hours to being the best that I could. Every day we had practice and I poured my heart and sole into it. We finished 11-3 and I fell in love with coaching, cried my eyes out at the banquet and was totally, completely hooked. But, I noticed JV soccer was not as respected as the varsity team.
Read More

04 Jun Development Academy’s Part 1

There is so much to say about this that I am not sure I can fit this into one post... so I am calling this part 1. Also, I am admitting to being totally biased here, I am going to come right out and say that I do not support development academy's. I fundamentally disagree with their premise, something I plan to explain in detail over the course of these blog posts.
Read More

12 Dec Who Plays? Part 1

These are by far the toughest decisions I make as coach; who starts, who plays, for how long and where. In high school soccer, I coach the highest and most competitive level 90% of American kids will play. As such playing time is not going to be divided up evenly, nor does it have to be according to Dr. Nicole Lavoi, Associate Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women in Sports However... Every week, every game the starting 11 is up for grabs. If you want to start, get lots of playing time and play the position you want, you better meet three criteria to even be considered. First, physically show up to practice. If you don't come to practice, even for a good reasons, you miss the lessons on how I want you to play as a team, therefore you may not play. Second, when you show up, be there mentally also, with the right attitude. If you are physically there but mentally somewhere else, it shows in how you practice. It is painful to watch a group of players "practice" who aren't really practicing. Third, be a skillful player. Even if you attend everything and are mentally fully engaged you must be more skillful than the other players who have met the same criteria.
Read More

16 Sep Parents, Soccer and Chess.

A few weeks ago. A parent got angry with me. They didn't like the position I was playing their child on the field. They thought he was a great forward, and perhaps he is, but I thought he was a better defender. Perhaps most importantly, a defender was what the TEAM needed. Here is a great article I wanted to share. I hope you will take the time to read it, because it is really good. I have copied the article below for those too lazy to use the link. Thanks to my assistant coach who sent me the link.   "I had a parent email me last week seeking advice for how to help her 10 year old son deal with the fact that the coach is playing him as a defender, whereas he’s usually played as a forward. It wasn’t clear to me from her email if the issue was hers or her son’s, so I (hopefully subtly) encouraged her to figure that out first. I then tried to get the point across to the parent that BEING A TEAMMATE is being a member of a team and doing what is needed – being on the bench, being the goalkeeper, being the goal scorer, being the defender that stops the other team from scoring, or the weak sided midfielder that runs up and down the field all day and rarely receives the ball. You get my point. Being on a team means you do what the team needs from you at that moment. Being a teammate means you play your heart out in whatever position you happen to be assigned. Just like a chess match, each position is essential to the proper performance of the team. I get this. Or at least I thought I did.
Read More

06 Sep Well Said…

“The way the game is educated, told, driven, we are still far away from real soccer nations,” Klinsmann told the Post. “The biggest educational problem is people think it's a coaches' game in the United States. It's not. It's a players' game.   “There's too much emphasis on telling people what to do.”
Read More