Ten Qualities of a Good Youth Soccer/Football Coach


 

Time for a pop quiz – would you rather your child played on a team where the coach calls the game or practice for weather if there is thunder audible, or keeps the children playing through rain and nearby lightning strikes? How about a coach who offers equal playing time to all players, even though their win-loss record is abysmal, or a coach who only plays the best and leaves the other children on the bench?

Do you think you can tell the difference between an OK coach and a good coach?

Stage Equipe de France Chris Bonzon

Here are ten qualities you can look for:

1. A good coach demonstrates his knowledge of and commitment to physical health and safety. He is experienced in CPR, has a readily available first aid kit with him at all practices and games, and teaches the players about injury treatment and prevention.

2. He teaches and models, always, respectful behavior, fairness and good sportsmanship. He will not be teaching your child to respond to adversary with tantrums or cursing.

3. He demands and receives appropriate sideline behavior from parents. He ignores taunts and insults from abusive parents, and does not let a parent to berate a player, even his own child.

4. He understands gender differences, especially on a mixed-sex team, but does not adhere to stereotypes and allows each player to play to his or her potential. He is sympathetic to an all-female team, especially young teens who tend to be quite emotional.

5. He is patient and calm, and always positive. He leaves his personal life out of the gam, and does not take a bad mood out on his players.

6. He sets realistic and age-appropriate expectations for the players. He neither promises them too much, nor encourages them too little.

7. He makes both practices and games fun, emphasizing the “fun” quality versus winning. While winning is important, and everyone should strive to do their personal best, it is not the sole reason in playing team sports. Actually, studies have shown that “winning” does not even rank in the top 5 reasons when children are asked why they play team sports.

8. He adjusts his advice to suit the each player, and is sensitive to their needs. A good coach understands that a team is made up of individual players, and that some need a great deal of attention while others do not.

9. He actively seeks out team-building opportunities, and includes every player. Such activities can include team parties, fund-raising events like car washes, and special team-only pre-game and post-game rituals, like the huddle.

A good coach is someone who a parent should feel no hesitation to approach with any questions or concerns. He should be a good listener as well as a good communicator, and should take into consideration any constructive criticism offered by a parent. He should adhere firmly to his convictions, but he should also be flexible enough to consider new ideas. And lastly, he should be an effective motivator of his players, as well as an inspiring leader. His players should look up to him and want to play their best.

Author: Darcey Deeds

International Football Academy Tips: Preparing For British Football


Football AcademyDo you want to attend an international football academy in England? Well, be ready:  you may find yourself in over your head. The English game is very fast and physical as compared to American and European soccer. If you aren’t in peak physical condition, you might not be able to keep up.

However, with proper preparation, you can be head and shoulders above the rest of the players who haven’t taken the time to get ready for the trials they’ll face. Here are a few tips to get you ready for playing English football!

Tip #1: Work on your upper body strength.

British players are much physically stronger than North Americans, and we’ve seen many players struggle to keep up. At some international football academies, the first few weeks are spent doing a lot of fitness training on the track and in the gym, building core stability and conditioning.

Start working on your abdominal and your upper body strength now. Core stability is important for any athlete, and a strong upper body will help you fend off other players. The game in the U.K. can be very fast and furious, so you have to be strong, first.

We’ve seen many football players fail in England because they haven’t got the strength they need to compete there. If you’ve already started building your upper body strength before beginning a football program in the UK, then you won’t be one of them!

Tip #2: Increase your speed and endurance.

As we mentioned earlier, English football matches are both faster and more physical than soccer games elsewhere in the football-playing world. In addition to building your strength, you should also be working on your speed, agility, and endurance.

If you can, train with hurdles, poles, and ladders, in addition to doing sprints and endurance running. The more you practice your physical fitness beforehand, the more ready you’ll be for the fitness program you’ll undergo at a UK-based international football academy.

Tip #3: Regulate your sleep schedule.

One of the major adjustments we see players having to make is adapting to the rigid schedule of an international football academy. When you’re doing a 9-5 program that includes academic and physical discipline through the day, it’s important to get into the routine.

Before you ever set foot on the plane, start getting your body used to the schedule. Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. That way, your body won’t have to go through the same period of adjustment when you’re trying to get used to all the other things that come with attending an international football academy.

Bonus Tip: Here’s what English coaches are looking for.

There are four things that most English coaches ask us about when it comes to players: attitude, athleticism, ability with the football, and commitment. They’re looking for players who aren’t just talented, but who have the right attitude and discipline to make it with a football club.

Players who are consistently late to practice, who do poorly in their academics, and who have disciplinary problems aren’t going to be picked for professional trials, no matter how talented they are. You have to bring more to the table than just talent.

Follow these tips, and you’ll excel not just in English international football academies, but in any international football academy you wish to attend.

Author: Joey Bilotta

Is Men’s Fashion Influenced By Football Stars?


With the commercial appeal of football dominating, if not leading the football game in many ways (the industry in general is dominated by summer tours of countries with lucrative commercial Audiences, player endorsements and corporate sponsorships), football tends to buck most commercial trends. It is no small coincidence that over 60% of Premier League Teams are now foreign-owned by successful wealthy foreign owner who will tell you what you already know – that the game’s global commercial appeal is unquestionable. But how much influence do player yield off the field?

With the game having so much commercial involvement, the players have also enjoyed rocketing salaries, thanks to image rights whenever clubs use their photo or name, commercial endorsements with private sponsors and, the customary media attention that has come with it. With that comes the consumerism that is intrinsic to the proliferation of fashion websites, magazines and the attention surrounding football stars and their lifestyles – including, of course, what they are wearing.

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How much then, if at all, do football stars influence men’s fashion? In the case of the most famous of all sport-related clothes horses, David Beckham, whose footballing success has been at the very least, matched by commercial appeal – quite a lot. Beckham has it seems been one of the few footballers to truly influence fashion in general – let alone men’s fashion.

From his Mohawk in 2002, adopted by millions around the world, to being the first men’s sports star to adorn the cover of leading women’s magazine, Marie Claire – how much of this is down to sporting prowess? How much is down to “just being a footballer?” There are dozens, if not hundreds of famous footballers, after all. Can you honestly say that many of those influence fashion as easily?

However, in general, for footballers with considerably less ability and commercial appeal than the David Beckhams and the Cristiano Ronaldos of this world, their influence on fashion isn’t very clear. Ergo, since not every footballer has the appeal as David Beckham, it can’t surely be said that all footballers in general have a positive influence on men fashion.

 

Author: Shannon Holland

Spanish Football Academies: Preparing for International Football Training


Spanish football academies have a very unique style of training that focuses on technical skills & speed and not sheer strength and endurance.

For smaller football players who have a lot of speed, a Spanish international football academy might be perfect for you. Here’s what to expect from Spanish football training.

Football academy training: speed vs. Strength

For football academies in Spain, precision and speed are a lot more important than power. For technical players whose greatest strengths are their speed and ball control, not their size, Spain football academies are the perfect place to hone their skills.

Unlike British football, which demands a strong upper body and a larger size because it’s so physical, Spanish football is all about speed and precision. (Take a look at the Spanish national team. Many of the players are small, around 74 and 77 kg.)

Spanish football academy focus: team tactics

Training in Spain is very team-oriented and tactical. It’s important for players to be aware of their surroundings and know where teammates are on the field. The Spanish football style focuses more on short, precise passes to your teammates and not long hopeful passes into space down the field.

Being able to control the ball, and pass fast is crucial in Spain. If you don’t have good control and can’t pass well, the opposition will be on top of you every time, and you won’t be able to adapt well.

Spanish football academy focus: technical excellence

Spanish football has a very technical focus: being able to control the ball perfectly, pass perfectly, and to shoot as well as possible. Spanish football academies focus on good control of the ball, and using both feet equally well.

Football Fans

Movements have to be quick, and players have to learn how to move the ball fast. In Spanish football, the ball is your friend. Players learn how to take care of the way that they strike the ball!

The most important thing: love of the game

For players considering a Spanish international football academy, one thing is most important: a love of the game. According to Nacho Mallo,  players with a passion for football are the ones who are going to improve the most.

“All that passion they have, they’ll find a way to express it here,” Mallo said. “We care about all the technical things, so it’s a good place for anyone who’s a more technical player. They will enjoy Spanish football.”

Are you a player who’s all about speed and precision? Then training at a Spanish international football academy could be just right for you.

 

Author: Joey Bilotta