Monday, June 24, 2024

Coaches

Coaching Resources

We will put resources on this page to help coaches both learn about the game, as well as put together drills to help with practices.  There are many resources available on the internet, starting with the two governing bodies that are over EBYSA, those being Mass Youth Soccer and US Soccer, and even on YouTube.

The most important thing for coaches to do is to ensure the kids have fun, and they're learning a love for the game.  If the kids are not having fun, they will not want to come back.  At the same time, we do want to ensure are kids are developing as players, and learning the basic techniques and tactics of the game.

Here are some basics to get coaches going down the right path

Pillars of Development

Coaches should ensure that their players are developing their skills in each of the 4 pillars of development;

  1. Physical - the players size, strength, coordination and speed.  Coaches can't help kids grow physically, and at younger ages growing strength isn't critical but you can always help with coordination and speed through effective drills.
  2. Technical - how well can a player control the ball, and make the ball do what they want it to do?  Arguably the pillar which can be easily influenced by coaching at a younger age.
  3. Tactical - teaching tactics just to win at a young age can be dangerous, as development is more important. Ensure players know they play to learn, and they also need to learn (tactics) to play.
  4. Psychological - the mental side of the game.  Ensure players understand you play how you train, and balance drills that challenge your players with those that will build confidence.

Phases of Play

Any game of soccer can be thought of as consisting of 4 phases, constantly happening in a cycle.  A coach must have pland for their teams to both learn these phases, and how to execute in and transition between these phases in game.

  1. Attacking - when in possession of the ball, and all players are in position to assist with advancing the ball and ulitimatley scoring a goal.
  2. Losing the Ball - when a team is losing possession of the ball, and players should be transitioning into a position to defend their goal, regardless of their position on the field.
  3. Defending - when not in possessoin of the ball, and all players are in a position to assist with defending their goal, regardless of their position on the field.
  4. Winning the Ball - when a team is winning possession of the ball, and players should be transitioning into a position to help advance the ball.

Mass Youth Soccer

Mass Youth Soccer has guides on their website to help coaches put together practices, however they are not organized in the most intuitve fashion, so we have organized them here for our coaches by grade level.

Grade Level Link Details
Grades 1-2 https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/8u-1st2nd-grade/ Organized by week
Grades 3-4 https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/10u-3rd4th-grade/ Organzed by skill
Grades 5-6 https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/12u-5th6th-grade/ Organzed by skill
Grades 7-8 https://www.mayouthsoccer.org/14u-7th8th-grade/ Organzed by skill

US Soccer

US Soccer provides formal education for coaches who would like to study the game and eary certificates, and they offer a coaching license pathway that starts with the knowledge necessary to coach kids just learning the game, all the way up to coaching professionals.  Much like Mass Youth Soccer, it is not always the easiest to follow on their website, so we will try to break it down here.

The first step is to register for an account with US Soccer, and then take the Introduction to Grassroots Soccer course.  This course is free, online,and takes about 20 minutes.  After this course, you should then take one of the Grassrouts Soccer courses based on the age you're going to coach, but they organize the courses based on team size;

  • 4v4 - Instructional age players
  • 7v7 - Grades 1 through 4
  • 9v9 - Grades 5 & 6
  • 11v11 - Grades 7 and up

See here for more information.

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