First of all, the tapes are absolutely excellent. The video quality
is much better than I expected, and the overall layout was excellent.
The reminders at the end of each segment (the written words
that captured the major points of the previous discussion) were
very well integrated. I can see now why you charged $60 for
the tapes. It's obvious your team put in a tremendous amount of
work on the series. It's very well done.
I found it very informative.
I've got a long laundry list of specific topics to comment on. I'm
also going to reference your "Practice" book because I feel the tape
and book are a very good complement to one another. I've got your
"Practice" book almost memorized, with the cover so worn out I'll probably buy another one soon.
2. From your book, I've long avoided having the kids line up for drills.
Koach Karl : John let me begin by eliminating the word drill from your soccer vocabulary. From now on use the word 'game' instead of drill. Everything that you present to the players and everything that you have the players do in practice should be a game.
For example: If you are working on taking corner kicks. You would begin by finding a player capable of taking the corner kicker and another player who could deflect the ball into goal. The 'game' is 2 vs. 0. Since it is 2 players with one ball situation it belongs in the 1+1 section of the FUNdamental Practice routine.
Once you add the goalkeeper now the 'game' would become a 2 vs.1 'game'. Since there are more than two players and one ball involved this would belong into the second half of the FUNdamental Routine and under the Small Sided Games section.
Your video did an excellent job of reinforcing this concept.
Koach Karl : Thank you!
However, one problem I've always had is in kicking practice.
Koach Karl : John I believe you are referring to 'shooting' practice rather than 'kicking practice.'
How can I avoid having them stand in lines during shooting practice?
Koach Karl : By not asking the players to stand in them!
Unless you have multiple goals and multiple goaltenders, I don't see how to get around it. In fact, in your video, when you show kids kicking the ball (the Push, Peek, and Place) was especially well illustrated, you only show 2 children, the goalie and the shooter.
Where is the rest of your team? Are they performing the same game or another game?
Koach Karl : Of course having multiple goals and goaltenders would be ideal. However, few facilities give us that luxury. Even if they did you would still only allow one player at a time to shoot on goal. One player shooting on goal for realism. One player at a time so that you could observe weaknesses and make corrections. One player at a time for the sake of safety!
Where is the rest of the team?
Koach Karl : At that time, I would have suggested having them play a small-sided game with the assistant coach observing. This is still an alternative.
However, since making the video I have found using the 1+1 environment presented in my updated practice book, "FUNdamental SOCCER - Practice of Champions" more beneficial. Let me explain the new approach:
Use 'the SERVE' and adjust the Receivers goal to the size of a regulation goal. Begin by having the Server go through the pattern using instep touches (0nly). The Server then uses the 'Push - Peek - Place' buzzwords during his self-talk sequence.
At the same time the Receiver runs through the pattern and then protects the regulation goal marked out by cones. Each set of two players (pairs) would have their own working area. You would probably have the starting forwards work only toward an actual goal to create better habits. In the 1+1 environment you are encouraged to help the players when needed.
You would then progress into the 1 vs. 1 segment of the FUNdamental Practice Routine. The shooter would have his 'Push-Peek-Place' pattern set up at a distance where he/she can successfully hit the regulation goal. The rest of the team, meanwhile, would be playing toward their small goals. Each team member rotates into the regulation goal pattern for their opportunity to shoot on goal during the allotted time period. In the 1vs1 environment the coach is encouraged to observe and take notes as to which players will need extra help in shooting - at the next practice.
Use your imagination and adjust the practice environment so that your players will not have to stand in any lines. My contention has always been - If the player is moving and the ball is moving Then learning is taking place. Once the player stops moving or the ball stops moving Learning stops.
One of your goals for practice should be to keep the players and the ball moving. Hopefully, they will be moving either in attacking or defending a goal…!
That's it for now. Thanks for your great books and video series. I've
got a lot to digest. Hopefully I'll learn fast so that the kids can have even more fun than they are already having.
Thanks for being a tremendous resource to beginning coaches like me.
Without the resources you've provided, I would be having a much more
difficult time coaching, maybe not even coaching at all due to lack of
knowledge. Keep up the great work!
FUNdamental Reader: We will cover John's third question in our next issue. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments to make on this subject. Please let us know and we would be happy to publish them in future issues of our magazine!