Youth Soccer Coaching: Molding the Future Generations
The American youth game has made some drastic strides in the past two decades.
The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) seems to be committed to building the game from the ground up for the future. While our current system still has many holes (including a closed pyramid professional system, pay to play models, unidentified talent in poverty areas, keeping out true innovative coaches from the top), there has been some very proactive moves from USSF.
The addition of the Academy system to the national scene has been a step in the right direction for US Youth soccer. Most (and I use that term lightly) top players are being identified and put into environments that allow for high level training, for as many as contact hours as possible.
USSF continues to review and assess these academy programs, coaches and players to create a level of accountability not before seen in US youth soccer.
Many US coaches are now seeking to further develop and improve themselves as coaches. If America wants to truly develop world class talent, we can no longer rely on athleticism and coaches with no knowledge of how to develop players appropriately.
The way forward for American coaches is learning to develop players that are intelligent soccer players; Players with a high soccer “IQ,” capable of solving problems on the field. Players able to utilize and create space in all areas of the field. Players with a high technical mastery of the ball, with a focus on how to manipulate the ball effectively. We must create tactically knowledgeable players, that study the game on and how the field.
The key question is this: How do we as coaches help to create and develop these type of players?
I hope this question is one of many that has led you to Football.com. I am very excited to help guide you through your quest for knowledge of the game. The greatest coaches in the world are the ones that are constantly learning, challenging their beliefs and willing to put in the effort.
Over the course of the upcoming weeks, I will be laying out a coaching series from Day 1 of pre-season on how to develop your team appropriately to create intelligent, attack minded players, which are tactically sound.
I will be leading you through different age groups and ability levels, showing some effective philosophies and sessions to match your goals.
I am excited to help lead you on this journey! Let's change the future of American soccer one player at a time.
Look out for our first series this week: Creating a possession based team.