Tips for Your Young Athlete: How to Replace Nerves with Confidence

Tips for Your Young Athlete: How to Replace Nerves with Confidence

As an athlete, no matter what age or level of intensity, we deal with nerves, anxiety and pressure when it comes to the big game. Believe it or not, feeling nervous before a big game is normal! We put so much hard work and dedication into our sports, all we want is for the hard work to pay off on game day. It wasn’t until I followed these three tips that I turned nerves and anxiety into confidence when it mattered most

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The American Future Coach: The DaVinci Coach

The American Future Coach: The DaVinci Coach

UEFA’s brilliant Technical Director, Andy Roxburgh, penned the phrase DaVinci Coach shortly after the book ‘The DaVinci Code’ hit the bestselling charts. His 2007 presentation in Basle, Switzerland focusing on the skills of the European future coach captivated an audience of European Technical Directors who came away inspired and anxious to get to work. Over the years I have found that Andy has that effect on people. It set me on the road to thinking about the skills our American “Future Coaches” must have in our unique and challenging position.

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Passing Game for Spatial Awareness Development

Passing Game for Spatial Awareness Development

Players have the ball at their feet for approximately 5 minutes out of 90. What do they do the rest of the 85 minutes? They must learn to move off the ball and to move into open passing lanes to be open at all times to help the player on the ball or the next player on the ball. Here is a great session to teach this.

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1v1 Finishing Game

1v1 Finishing Game

This drill will teach strikers poise in front of goal to finish chances and encourage each player to work hard for the minute. This is a demanding physical game but is fun and has a lot of real match carry overs.

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Victory Beyond the Game

Victory Beyond the Game

Is a champion merely a winner that holds some fleeting victory?  In the world of soccer, we use the word to describe athletes who win the league title or a World Cup.

We define them in that moment, memorialized by a trophy. A champion frozen in time but constrained by that date.  Future champions will etch their name beside the current champion, only existing beyond their date as words on the page of time. They are fleeting.

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Preseason Training Resources

Preseason Training Resources

With preseason for most teams just around the corner, we have pulled together a collection of preseason soccer training resources to help you prepare your team to be at their best when the season starts. Resources come from professional, college and youth coaches and include fitness tests, full plans, strength programs and more!

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Technical Training: Building Up Exercises from Beginner to Advanced Level; Dutch & Spanish Method

Technical Training: Building Up Exercises from Beginner to Advanced Level; Dutch & Spanish Method

Of most importance when instructing technical aspects of the game is to remain disciplined in what you are asking as a coach in an organized exercise. Attention to detail including proper body positioning, dribbling technique (laces) and making moves in game type situations.

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The Penalty Shot: Superstars Keep Missing!

The Penalty Shot: Superstars Keep Missing!

“It’s a Battle of the Mind”

“When you miss a chance in open play, people don’t remember. When you miss a chance on a penalty, people remember,” said Alan Shearer, all-time leading goal scorer for Newcastle United of the EPL. Decade’s later people will still talk about a missed penalty shot.

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Train in Chaos...Soccer is Random

Train in Chaos...Soccer is Random

The game of football (soccer) is random. The field and goalposts stay fixed, the lines on the pitch don’t move, and the ball is round — but that’s about it. Other than that, things are pretty chaotic. The ball moves, teammates are all over the place and so are the opposition. Players have to make decisions in milliseconds, and we as coaches and parents expect them to make these decisions correctly and to execute on them successfully.

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Soccer Awareness Elite Academy and Barcelona Double Rondos for 10 Players – Part 1

Soccer Awareness Elite Academy and Barcelona Double Rondos for 10 Players – Part 1

This exercise is what the SAEA and Barcelona thinking model of passing and movement is built on. This is a transition game teaching a mentality to switch from attacking to defending and defending to attacking We build it up to make it work with real pace and accuracy; as again; it speeds up the mind and body in decision making.

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Italian Pressing and Conditioning Play Part 1: Pressing from the Back and Condensing Play

Italian Pressing and Conditioning Play Part 1: Pressing from the Back and Condensing Play

In this drill from Soccer Awareness, our teams are working on Pressing from the Back and Condensing Play. Defenders drop off slower than attackers to allow them to get close and to delay their forward momentum. 

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The Power of Improvisation

The Power of Improvisation

As coaches, we are all trained on the importance of planning and organization. When I first started coaching, I would typically write a training session plan on a Monday night and revise it numerous times between then and Saturday’s training. To deliver a good session, I thought, I simply had to follow this process. 

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Six Ways Playing Angry Birds Space Has Made Me a Better Coach

Six Ways Playing Angry Birds Space Has Made Me a Better Coach

That’s right, playing Angry Birds Space (ABS) on my phone, has made me a better coach---not because of the improved digital dexterity, but for some other reasons that you just might find surprising.  Some lessons were simply reminders; others provided a new perspective of how a video game can translate to other areas of life like coaching. 

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