Alright, soccer afficionados

Here’s what I posted on FB.  I got some good suggestions, though not quite as much as I was hoping.  You know what to to do…

Okay, so Sarah’s soccer team will be moving to 7v7 and having goalkeepers next year for the first time. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I should be doing to improve my coaching approach so that 1) the girls get better at soccer while 2) maximizing success in games. So, here’s the key constraints—this is rec and most all the best players in terms of technical skills and aggressiveness will be playing at a higher level. So, I will be coaching not-particularly-aggressive girls with not-particularly-refined ball skills for 90 minutes a week plus the game. So, what can I do in that time that will maximize individual development and team success? More focus on passing? Teamwork in small numbers? E.g., Wall passing, pressure-cover, etc? General field awareness and positioning? Set plays? Something else? Short version: what’s the Moneyball approach to coaching U9 girls rec soccer next year? (While I’m at it, I’ve been thinking 2-3-1 on formation, but very much open to input there, too).

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

2 Responses to Alright, soccer afficionados

  1. Mika says:

    I won’t get into details but on a more general level I’ve been thinking about two things as a parent. My daughter played soccer two summers when she was 5 & 6 year old and she has played floorball for one year in a proper team.

    First thing is that the coaches never seem to explain some basic things clear enough. They seem to take for granted some things that are crystal clear for them but many times are not for kids.

    Second point concerns aggressiveness. When my daughter started playing in her present team it was almost like she was a bit afraid about the physical side of the game. Then she did some voluntary extra practice sessions with some of her team mates. They practiced with ~two years younger boys about 10 times and it really gave her aggressiveness a boost. She realized that it is ok to fight for the ball and physical contact is totally cool. It’s part of the game and you shouldn’t avoid it. The boys certainly didn’t 🙂

    Good luck!

    • Steve Greene says:

      Thanks! I’ve definitely come to the conclusion that I need to spend more time focusing on fundamentals. Like some of the girls really cannot even kick the ball very well. That’s technique and I need to help with them that. Don’t know if I’ll be able to find some U7 boys to help my daughter practice being aggressive though ;-).

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