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Preparing for the Upcoming Sports Season

We love preparing for the soccer season. Soccer season prep was a little different this year. I realize that this pandemic has disrupted everyone’s role in life and coaching.  In times like thee, with practices and games canceled, we don’t control the excessive downtime many of us are being forced to have.  But we can control what we do with it! 

Running Practice

Appropriate soccer activities have to be your primary objective when planning and running future practice sessions.  It would help if you remembered that. Players come to practice to Play –SOCCER and not just do drills. 

A flexible practice scheme can fulfill this goal by giving you the luxury to organize Individual (1vs.1 games), Small Group (i.e., 2vs.1; 2vs. 2; etc. games), Large Group (i.e., 5vs. 5; 5vs. 4; 5vs. 3, etc. games) and Team games (scrimmage) into every practice session. For details, click: FUNdamental SOCCER

Clarify your practice session rules and expectations through individual and team discussions. That is, having the team decide what appropriate and inappropriate behavior is. It’s actually fun to have them vote on their own practice session rules. Then it would help if you acted firmly, fairly, consistently, and matter-of-factly when their actions go against their own established rules.

Teach Less

When the players and the ball move toward the opponents’ goal or away from one goal, soccer learning occurs. However, when players and ball stop moving, then soccer learning stops! 

Ask yourself – Does or could it happen in the game?  (Ex: Standing in lines) 

If the answer is YES -then do it in practice. 

If the answer is NO -then don’t do it in practice. 

Remember they come to you to Play Soccer, and the main objective of soccer is to defend one’s own goal while attacking the opponent’s goal:

  1. Individually (Play – 1 vs. 1 games) 
  2. In Groups (Play –  Small-Sided Games) 
  3. As a Team (Play – Scrimmage Games) 

Interest in playing soccer may need to be re-developed. You may be faced with players who are not motivated in playing this season, and you must adjust accordingly. Give appropriate attention to the unmotivated players but not at the expense of the rest of the team. Then, make the practices so competitively FUN that the unmotivated player may want to join. Remember that when you are working with your players, you must be as helpful, understanding, and patient as you are with your players when they are learning other skills in life.

Organize the practice session so that it becomes apparent it is a rehearsal for the game-day routine. This can only be accomplished through a consistent, sequential routine that allows your players to learn what is expected. It is wise to avoid — variety. Suppose they are introduced to something different at each practice session. In that case, this will lead to some confusion, and confusion can lead to disinterest. It is also important to remember that all games must have a goal to Attack and a goal to Defend.

No Lines. No Laps. No Lectures!

They already know ‘how to’ stand in a line. Running around the field may be considered punishment. It is a fact that their attention span is less than a few seconds. It would help if you created a practice environment that minimizes listening/lecture time and maximizes touches with the ball and playing time. In other words, allow them to play soccer, which forces them to make decisions and learn independently. Allow them to experiment and fail their way to success as they Attack the opponents’ goal while Defending their own goal!  Again…

Ask yourself – Does it happen in the game?

If the answer is YES -then do it in practice.

If the answer is NO -then don’t do it in practice.

Self -Discipline

Successful high school coaches focus on teaching the art of self-control because they realized that today’s bickering could be tomorrows’ back-talk.  That today’s pushing and shoving could result in tomorrow’s fight.  That today’s disruptive practice player could become tomorrow’s ‘red-carded’ game player. 

You will find that the secret to good practice session discipline is acting firmly, fairly, consistently, and matter-of-factly when the players’ actions go against your and their own established rules.  

Do not allow your players to dress in their everyday clothes and wear hats while practicing – they need to dress like soccer players ready for inspection.  Do not allow idle chatter once practice started – that is to be taken care of before or after practice.  No longer let them mess around – disruptive behavior should result in the player(s) being red or yellow carded and possibly dismissed from that particular practice.  

Your quest is to correct, mold, and perfect player’s actions and reactions in practices –Today.  Realize that the way a player practices is how they can be expected to play in the game – Tomorrow.  

Your immediate goal may be teaching your players how to behave in your practices -Now.  You must also realize that the long-term results will also prepare your players for future practices.  What an excellent long-term result from using a flexible practice scheme: Having your players at future practices be able to focus strictly on Technical and Tactical Development – Priceless! 

Finally, I believe that…

“The Outcome of Our High School Players

Is Infinitely More Important…

Than the Outcome of any Game

They will Play this Upcoming Season!” Koach Karl


Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien)

Can be reached at: A iSport360, we love working with Koach Karl and get this great thoughts about coaching soccer.

Learn more or request a demo of our youth sports software that is helping teams improve communication, organization and player development.

August 16, 2021

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