I have borrowed the 5 bullet Friday idea from one of my favourite performance leaders, Tim Ferris.
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Technique + Game Intelligence = Success
As I mentioned in the first article yesterday technical development should be placed at the cornerstone of youth development. Technical ability is a base requirement and will ultimately determine how far young players will go in the game. If young players can successfully master the ball, then they will have the confidence to consistently make the right choices and create solutions for themselves, and others on the field.
Understand your starting position and roles on the field
The development of young players is much more successful when they understand what is required of them. I advocate that up to U15 young players tactical training should be restricted to developing awareness on the field. In effect, what space can be exploited and decision-making should be developed around what technical skills and movement should be used to exploit this space. Game formats should progress from 4v4, all the way up to the 11v11 game.
Develop your balance – it is an important skill often overlooked
Balance is an important skill to develop for young players. Players are required to complete soccer tasks balanced on one leg. Passing, receiving, shooting, crossing and dribbling are all completed while balancing on one leg. Many players and coaches overlook balance and take it for granted. However, it is like any other skill – it has to constantly worked on and improved in order to improve performance. The best players in the world all have great balance and this allows them to complete soccer specific skills and movements at high speed, without losing their footing.
A young players practical guide to goal setting
Ask any young player what their soccer goals are and they will inevitably talk about playing for one of the top club in the world – Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Manchester United. As I’ve spoken in my earlier blogs good technical ability is the foundation of a player’s level of ability and will ultimately determine what level they play at. However, as players progress in the game they come up against other players that area as good as them technically, tactically and physically. It is then that young players have to be prepared mentally in order to successfully compete and excel against opponents.
How to Prepare for Pathways to Europe?
As soccer nations, the US and Canada are still very young.
With that comes a lack of structure at the professional levels of the game, when compared to the more “mature” soccer nations of Europe. There are fewer professional playing opportunities for the young North American players and a lack of clear pathways to play professionally.
Embrace Hard Work in all your training sessions & games this week. Hard Work beats talent ……when talent doesn’t work hard!