Depending on what province or state you are in there are different approaches to taking your coaching certifications to the next level. In Ontario, The Ontario Soccer Association, offers numerous courses which range from introductory classes which include Soccer For Life to more in depth certificates such as your provincial licenses A, B and C amongst others. Each certificate ranges from a two day session to much longer. There are also different forms of evaluations depending on the certificate you are enrolled in. That being said, do not be intimidated by these programs. The courses can all be attained in a relatively short period of time by those willing progress in the sport.
This year I had the pleasure of training a competitive soccer team that consisted of girls 15 years of age and younger. The way I prepared for training in week 1 and the way I prepared for training in week 10, were completely different. Here is what I learned.
You’re playing on a new team with new players, a different coach and they play a different system. Now you have to force your way into the line-up. How do you do it? Unless you’re a clinical goal scorer and can impact the game greatly, you’ll likely play where the team asks you to play. And yes, this could be in a position where you’re greater strengths are not as highlighted as before. This does not have to be a bad thing but now you have to do your best to understand your teammates, your opposition and communicate this as a unit. Here are three ways you can do so:
For many, sitting on the bench carries negative implications. This is especially true for parents who guide their children through the early years of competitive sports. These parents continuously criticize the coach and pump their children with false perspectives. The reality is that not everyone can start a game. The reality is some players are more skilled than others. The reality is, you don’t deserve to be on the field…yet.
In many of our blogs on Goalden, we’ve talked about the lack of a system in North America to develop players that have the calibre required to play at any level in the world. When someone tells me something isn’t good, I like to ask: ‘ok, well compared to what?’ In this particular situation, I am talking about the North American soccer system compared to the European soccer system which, without a doubt, is the best in the world. But what if we’re asking the wrong question? What if we’re comparing it to the wrong system? What if we have the wrong goals? Suddenly, things change…
Canadian journalist, author and speaker Malcolm Gladwell wrote about the 10,000 rule where he says if you want to become a master in anything then you must practice for 10,000 hours. Now 10,000 hours is a long time and will require a lot of hard work but let’s break this down and look at some professionals who did this. Afterward, it won’t be such a surprise that they became the best in their field.
I recently read an interview with Anson Dorrance, famous University of North Carolina women’s soccer coach. In his interview, he talked about the importance of the psychological aspect of soccer – more specifically, core values that help create a positive psychology.
My team had a game recently and, because of my injury, I was sitting on the bench with our coach and other team-mates. When you remove yourself from the game, you take on a different perspective and, therefore, see the game differently. Your experience of the game is entirely different. The very first thing I realized is just how many bad decisions my team-mates were making. It’s not to say there weren’t good decision, and many of them, but the bad decisions really stuck out.
In all my years as a soccer player, I have come across every type of player: skilled players; weak players; hard-working players; angry players; and the list goes on. I respect every style of play I come into contact with, except one: passive players. The reason I respect everyone’s style of play – even though I might not agree with it – is because not one of us is the same. We all have different builds, different skills and different beliefs in life. Passive players, however, do not deserve respect because they discredit themselves and the game.
One of the most frustrating things to see is when players stop playing the game. A player thinks they’ve been fouled so they stop and expect a foul to be called, or defenders think the play is offside so they stop, raise their hand and look at the linesman. This is naive soccer. Never stop playing until you hear a whistle.