New Q&A Document Loaded to the Website!

Filed under: Game Strategy, Soccer Conditioning, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching, Youth Soccer Formations by: admin
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Coaches, I just loaded a new question and answer document to the free Coach Mark Soccer Club website.

It’s a great resource to get quick answers to your questions.

Remember, the site also has great documents like soccer formation diagrams.

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Youth soccer practice drills – keep the kids happy and engaged!

Filed under: Drills, Practice plans, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coaching by: Coach Mark
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So, how does a youth soccer coach keep the players happy, engaged, and interested in “practicing” soccer? I think it is through the use of “games”, not “drills”. I never call them drills until the kids are at the U13 age or older. Younger players want to “play games”, not “run drills”.

If there is a competitive element to these games, that’s all the better. Many young players are already developing a competitive edge. So, use that and keep them engaged in the practice.

One of the oldest, but still tried and true practice “games” is Sharks and Minnows. It goes by many other names, but the concept remains sound. My absolute favorite practice game for the younger ages (and some later ages) is “Sharks and Minnows” – watch this video –

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That video does a great job of explaining it. This game is called by many other names, but the concept is the same.  Keep the rules simpler than those described in the video for 9 year olds and younger. Start with one or two sharks. As he/she kicks the other player’s balls out of the circle or square (you can build one with cones or use the center circle like the video), each of those players then become sharks until only one or two minnows are left. That’s it, keep it simple.

This “game” teaches them 1) ball handling skills, 2) defensive positioning, 3) shielding the ball, 4) short burst movements and 5) lower body control. It’s a perfect “fun” game in a lot of ways, that teaches excellent ball handling and other useful skills without the players even knowing that they are learning something. It all appears just “fun” to them. And they learn some great techniques at the same time!

To your soccer success,

Coach Mark

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The 4-4-2 Soccer Formation – Are You Using It … Correctly?

Filed under: Game Strategy, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching, Youth Soccer Formations by: Coach Mark
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Coaches,

Across the world, the 4-4-2 soccer formation is the most widely used 11V11 formation there is. It is known as a defensive formation, but with only slight changes, it can be a deadly offensive formation too. Some coaches play the 4-4-2 soccer formation with a diamond formation for the midfielders. Some coaches like to rush one center midfielder into the attack with the forwards. Many coaches choose to keep the other center midfielder back is a “holding” responsibility. No matter what way you like to play the 4-4-2 soccer formation, it can be a great strategy for your soccer team.

Coach Mark Soccer Club has all you need to know about playing this universal formation. I’ve got a free soccer responsibility diagram with a diamond, one more without, one more with an attacking center midfielder, and one more variation also. I also provide more coaching notes than any other formation I’ve provided to date.

Check out Coach Mark Soccer Club and download the 4-4-2 formation and all the wonderful information and coaching notes for free!

To your soccer success,

Coach Mark

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Youth Soccer Training – The Eight Basic Equipment Types Required

Filed under: Drills, Practice plans, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coaching by: Coach Mark
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Hosting a youth soccer training session can be a lot of fun. When hosting a soccer training session with children, you can expect to see them, their family members, and even a few of their friends comes to watch the training. This makes for a very exciting time for everyone. Coaches get the opportunity to personally develop each player individually, while others watch in amazement at the pure skill and agility of the child that they are supporting. However, it is essential to bring along some basic equipment that is required for youth soccer training.

 

The first thing that you should bring to your youth soccer training session is a soccer ball for each player. While you should allow it to be permissible for a child to bring their own soccer ball, it is important to understand that many children may not have their own soccer ball. There are many children who may simply forget their soccer ball. This is why it is essential to have a steady supply of balls available. Be sure to make a rule that if a child brings along their own soccer ball they should write their first and last name in permanent marker on it. This will ensure proper identification after the youth soccer training session is over.

 

The next thing that you should be sure to bring to a youth soccer training session is a large container of prepared ice water. You can purchase a cooler that has a spout to make it easy to get the fluid from the container. Be sure to purchase a large amount of cups that the children can use. Normally, these cups will become misplaced and a child may use a new cup each time that they get something to drink. You may wish to explain to parents that a child should bring a bottle of ice water with them to soccer training. Be sure to stress the importance of placing their names on the bottles. Many children may even like to bring sports bottles.

 

The third thing that you should bring to a youth soccer training session is enough shin guards for all of the players. It is important to have these items available to avoid the risk of injury in your players. Many children may forget their shin guards, or may not be able to purchase a pair for themselves. However, as a coach, it is essential that you take these things into consideration to ensure that all players are able to enjoy a safe practice session.

 

When coaching a youth soccer training session, it is very important to be certain that you bring a whistle. In many cases, this will be the only method that you can use to gain the attention of the children. This is especially true if the training area is relatively large. You do not have to invest a lot of money into the whistle for it to be effective, but it is necessary that it has a high enough quality to be heard. You may choose to bring a few extra whistles to ensure that you have a backup in case the first one becomes lost or damaged in any way.

 

The next item that you will need at a youth soccer training session is a way to separate the group into teams. This may be as simple as different colored vests, t-shirts of different colors, or even flagging devices. There are many drills and other activities that may require you to have at least two teams, so, having a method of identifying your teams are very important.

 

If you coach girls, hair scrunchies, and elastic head bands can help them see the ball, the field and their teammates.

 

And don’t forget a first aid kit. Band-aids, antibiotic ointment, athletic tape, instant ice packs and many other parts of a good kit will come in handy.

 

Lastly, a large set of cones can come in very handy. They can be used to form the outline of a field, create goals to shoot at, force the players to get in lines, mark a dribbling course, and so much more!

 

Don’t forget to check out Coach Mark Soccer Club for more great, free information about how to run a well organized practice!

 

To your soccer success,

 

Coach Mark

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Soccer Formation Diagram And Soccer Team Calendar – More Free Products At The Club!

Filed under: Game Strategy, Practice plans, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching, Youth Soccer Formations by: Coach Mark
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Coaches,

 

I’m celebrating! And with good reason. My daughter scored four goals in her last game! So, I just have to celebrate the only way I know how. By giving my fellow youth soccer coaches some more free documents to coach better, have more fun, and win more games.

 

I have to be fair to you and let you know that I gave my club coaches two new files to download for free. One is a three midfielder soccer formation diagrams, with the complete explanation you need to provide to your team. The second document is a graphical team calendar your team manager and your palyer’s paretns will love you for!

 

Go over and join the club to get your free soccer formation diagram and soccer team calendar now! Here’s what they look like below.

 

          

 

By the way, did I tell you my daughter scored four goals?

 

To your soccer success,

 

Coach Mark

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Youth Soccer Formations – Using the 4-3-2-1 Christmas Tree Formation

Filed under: Game Strategy, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching, Youth Soccer Formations by: admin
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A 4-3-2-1 formation is a large youth soccer formation for youth players. The newer, small-sided fields normally wouldn’t feature this number of players on the field at one time. If your team plays on a large enough field, many coaches consider the 4-3-2-1 or “Christmas Tree” formation.
This leaves coaches new to this youth soccer formation wondering how to teach it to youth soccer players. Well, here are a few quick strategies from Coach Mark.
 
The 4-3-2-1 soccer formation is typically a narrow formation, with two of your midfielders having primary responsibility similar to a forward position. Your two forward-most midfielders are effectively playing forward or striker positions and primarily responsible for scoring along with your striker.
 
Your center midfielders plays the standard midfielder role. That is; coming back to the defensive zone to move the ball forward, keeping the ball in the offensive zone, and setting up / passing the ball to the offensive midfielders and striker.
 
The center backs and full backs play the traditional defensive role, which is to clear the ball from the front of the net toward the closest sideline, and to move the ball / pass up to the center midfielders along the outside edge of the field.

The most important things to remember for youth players in this soccer formation are;

1) To stay in the designated lanes or area of the field. It can get too easy for youth players to “bunch up” or slide toward the middle of the field.

2) The six players that will be on the offensive end of the field can get too focused on the middle of the field. They need to remember to stay wider than their tendency might otherwise be.

3) This formation relies on the abilities of your center midfielders and forward midfielders to possess the ball, and pass it effectively to the forward midfielders and the striker.

Below is an image you can use to help explain this youth soccer formation to your players.

 

 

The Coach Mark Soccer Club can provide a FREE, custom PDF diagram showing formations like this. Please visit the new website by clicking here – Coach Mark Soccer Club, and you’ll be downloading FREE documents, diagrams, strategies, and other resources within five minutes! The site helps coaches, assistant coaches and team managers organize and build better youth soccer teams.
To your soccer success,
Coach Mark
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Coaching the Youth Team Clip

Filed under: Videos, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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Soccer Coaching Tip – 2nd Defender

Filed under: Practice plans, Videos, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach by: admin
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How to Coach a Soccer Team : Change of Direction

Filed under: Videos, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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Coaching Soccer – Effective Use of Small Sided Games

Filed under: Game Strategy, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach by: admin
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By Nigel Reed

Small sided games are the back bone of developing fundamental concepts of the game and provide the coach and player a like a simplified “game like” environment to explore and teach the concepts. (I have covered the Basic Principles of the Game in another article)

Small Sided Games are a must for the major part of your coaching sessions. You do need to ensure that a lot of ball drills are used to ensure that players are technically able to play, and I structure my sessions such that players get a lot of touches as part of the warm up. Having technically sound players makes it far easier to introduce some of the concepts of small sided games.

However, the vast majority of learning comes from small sided games.

What is a Small Sided Game?
Read more…

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12 Tips For New Coaches in Youth Soccer in the Attack

Filed under: Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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By Ken Long

If you spend $30 to buy a book on coaching youth soccer, it will be 200 pages of great advice that your girls cannot use. Your job as a coach is to reduce all that excellent advice into a set of rule sthat your players can remember in the middle of the game while they are running as fast as they can. This is no easy task for the inexperienced coach.

You should have your players maintain a soccer Journal and encourage them to study their notes in between practices. These offenses principles would make a nice one-page entry in their journal. These are the words that you should use in practice to make sure that they understand and apply the principles of offense.

Offensive principles for youth soccer:

When our team has the ball, your job is to:

1. Spread out and use all of the space on the field
2. Use your teammates to invincible
3. Support your fellow teammates and talk to them
4. Take the ball wide and be ready to pass
5. Carry the ball to the corner
6. Cross the ball to the center
Read more…

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Youth Soccer Drill: Scissors Technique

Filed under: Drills, Videos, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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Becoming A Soccer Coach – Essential Advice That You Need To Know

Filed under: Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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By C Turner

Many people harbor dreams of becoming the ultimate soccer coach. In this article, I can help your dreams come true.

Soccer (or football) is a global sport. In fact, if you didn’t know already, it’s the biggest sport in the world with fanatic followings in every country and corner of the globe.

This means that you are normally in one of two situations:

– you live in a country that is passionate about the sport and everybody loves soccer.

– you live in a country where soccer is overshadowed by other sports but is growing rapidly.

The great thing is, you can succeed as a soccer coach in both types country.
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Soccer Coaching Tip – Dribbling for Control

Filed under: Drills, Videos, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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Soccer Coach License – Do I Really Need One?

Filed under: Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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By C Turner

There are many licenses now available for budding soccer coaches, but are they really necessary? In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown.

I don’t know about you but I hate exams. They are such a pain in the back side. Having to sit down in a hall and prove that I know how to coach soccer, or even worse – having to deliver a presentation to a board of examiners. Surely all this is not necessary, right?

Sadly, it is so I recommend you face the reality – here’s why.

Nobody needs a license to coach soccer (actually there is one level where you do, more on that later). You just help out some kids or young adults, assist them with drills, motivate them, make tactical changes, plan for your next game etc. Why would you need a qualification to do that? Surely, there is no replacement for experience?

Yes, experience is more important actually but it’s a “chicken and egg” situation. You need a license to get better jobs to get experience. And without experience, you cannot get the better jobs either. Here’s what you should do. Most countries have a soccer licensing body, usually the national soccer association, who offer a variety of qualifications. Just get yourself what is normally called the “Level 1” qualification. It’s real easy and a cinch compared to your high school exams. And you’ll actually learn a lot too.

Once you have your Level 1 badge, you’ll find that a lot of doors open to you. People can recognise that you are serious about coaching soccer because you went to the trouble of getting your badge. They’ll help you get the experience you need to ascend the coaching ranks and maybe one day become pro.

Oh yeah, remember how I said that you don’t need a license to coach soccer? Well, actually, the top European coaches now have to take the UEFA Pro license to keep their jobs. So, if even the pros have to take some exams, then one exam for you is not going to hurt now, is it?
Want to learn more about becoming a pro coach? Need to know what it takes to become part of the elite set? Discover what you need to know about a soccer coach license and much more and get a sneak peak look at the new soccer coaching bible at http://www.EliteSoccerCoach.com

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Youth Soccer Drills – Coaching Youth Soccer

Filed under: Drills, Videos, Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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Youth Soccer Rules for the Beginner Coach

Filed under: Youth Soccer, Youth Soccer Coach, Youth Soccer Coaching by: admin
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By Steven R Parker

The Basic Rules

The following are some of the most commonly observed youth soccer rules, as dictated by the United States Youth Soccer Associations (USYSA) and the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Remember that youth soccer rules can vary between leagues and age divisions, so always consult the local soccer authority for the final word on rules and regulations.

Each team is comprised of 11 players- 10 on the field and 1 in goal. According to youth soccer rules, a team is allowed a maximum of 3 substitutions during the match if it is part of an official competition. While all the players on the field must wear jerseys of the same color, the goalkeeper must wear a different colored jersey than their teammates and the referees. Most goalkeepers choose to wear a goalkeeping jersey, a pinnie or mesh training vest, or a t-shirt.
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