U.S. Soccer coaching curriculum (Great stuff!

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by truthandlife, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. truthandlife

    truthandlife Member

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    I was very skeptical when Claudia Reyna came on but after seeing the introduction of the US soccer coaching curriculum, my skepticism has turned to being very optimistic for US Soccer. The best part of it is the "Style and Principles of Play." This is great guidelines for all of our players and coaches. Just imagine if every kid and coach had to memorize? It would be a "night and day" difference between what we are producing in the US.

    Enjoy and if you are high level professional coach to a youth coach coaching 5 year olds, this material will help us produce players that can compete with the rest of the world. It is not a magic bullet but if we trained kids this way from 5 - 18, we would see a lot more "world class players" come out of the US:

    http://www.ussoccer.com/Coaches/Coaching-Education/Coaching-Home.aspx


  2. InTheSun

    InTheSun Member

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    He is definitely very impressive and the right guy for this monumental job. I skimmed through the document last night and it's light years ahead of the last one. I also watched Claudio's lecture and was very impressed by it.

    The four most important points for coaches:
    Development over winning
    Quality training
    Age appropriateness
    Having fun and inspiring players

    I highly recommend watching the lecture. It should be mandatory for all involved in coaching youth soccer in the US.

    http://www.ussoccer.com/Multimedia/Media-Center.aspx#/id=cb0a4b89-ef73-4198-a6be-931a33681a03
  3. Pörinoki

    Pörinoki New Member

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    OK, we have the curriculum. I looked through it last night, and I agree it will be a useful tool mostly for the grass root coaches, but as long as we all keep an open mind we will be able to take from it. Though, the decades old questions remain:


    Will they mandate it?
    Will USSF enforce it?
    Will they make sure that the right person gets hired in the clubs where the curriculum is being taught?
    Will it be taught?

    . . . because if not, it doesn't matter what's in it.

    There are many great minds among the USSF ex and current national staff. They taught us great stuff, they wrote bigger and better curriculum decades ago, but the Federation never followed through implementing the great ideas of their own staff.
  4. saabrian

    saabrian Member

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    Ultimately, this is the fundamental problem with youth development in this country. The youth setup is so Balkanized and parochial that these guidelines, however correct they absolutely are, are barely worth the paper they're printed on. It can't be mandated or enforced.

    Countries that actually produce top class attacking players have different environments. The Latin American countries produce these players because they plan a ton of street soccer and that's where they truly learn the game. European countries that produce these players have development systems that are much more centralized (think Clairefontaine in France or very well established academies affiliated with big clubs like Barcelona and Ajax) than would ever be permitted in the US.


  5. Pörinoki

    Pörinoki New Member

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    Saabrian,

    You are absolutely spot on! We saw the products of the French and Dutch schools. Those guys were and are amazing and that is why it excites most of us to watch games where they are featuring the line up. Yes, in the less centralized and structured nations street soccer had the biggest influence on a player's development, and that shows in their flamboyant, not the most tactically disciplined style of their play.

    So, what happens with the kids here? It's clear that USSF is not capable and not interested in putting this puzzle in place.
  6. truthandlife

    truthandlife Member

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    Street soccer is "overrated." In every country that is a soccer powerhouse these days they are putting kids in structured environments at 6 - 9 years old and developing them that way. Street soccer was what was talked about 5 - 7 years ago in the US and as we have found out this isn't the panacea.
  7. rca2

    rca2 Member

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    For over 60 years Brazilian futsal has built the ball skills of some amazing players. It works. In the US most people apparently don't consider it soccer or else don't think of it at all.

    Truth is that in the important U-Little period coming from a soccer family (with semi-professional players) is a very important advantage in any country because it is an opportunity for free professional level coaching at an early age.
  8. truthandlife

    truthandlife Member

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    Agreed. I really do wish Futsal would take off in the US. I wish more clubs would play in the off-season.
  9. Mirzam

    Mirzam Member

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    No facilities. Actually, that isn't true, there are plenty of available places, for example, every school gym, every unused tennis court could be made into futsal court, futsal just isn't on the radar. We are very lucky in our town we have a dedicated futsal facility, privately run, which has a youth indoor league every winter and adult futsal throughout the year. I know my son improves by leaps and bounds after the two winter sessions of futsal.
  10. Pörinoki

    Pörinoki New Member

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    Street soccer is not overrated, not at all. It is a very important ingredient in player development. It is just not the only thing. Street soccer alone will not going to bring revelation to us. However, where street soccer exists players are more savvy and independent. Obviously, American players missing this aspect, so of course it does not show up in the characteristics of their make up.

    As to Futsal, I'm a big believer and practitioner of it. Our teams play Futsal over the winter and our coaches play it in the summer. Futsal is organized street soccer.
  11. InTheSun

    InTheSun Member

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    Glad to hear some like minded folks out there. Futsal is big in our household and is an integral part of my kid's team program. Our team is sort of an independent entity however, and seems like a lot of the soccer community here view it with mistrust or dismiss it altogether. I have even heard some say futsal is detrimental to big field skills. :rolleyes: The kids absolutely love it, though and I have personally seen a big improvement in my son's overall skill level and confidence from playing it.

    Anyway, the thought did pop in my head when reading the USS curriculum as to where futsal fits in the player development picture. Maybe it's just beyond the scope of the document or what they are trying to do. The thing is, that in a lot of communities where fields are commodities or as mentioned here when the weather is an obstacle, this would be a great way to bring more kids into the game.

    And as to the question of implementing the curriculum, I share everyone here's concerns. We'll have to wait and see if they have a plan for that.
  12. de Kromme

    de Kromme Member

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    I absolutely agree in the sense that if it could have been mandated, it already would have been and we'd be seeing consistency and, through that, real progress.

    But, fundamentally, why/why not?

    Can we come up with a system that does enforce this, and any club or coach who does not follow through faces the axe?

    Regular on-site visits by the fed to every club? Or would that simply result in a "clean up your workspace, the big boys from 'corporate' are coming by the office today" mentality?

    Regular visits by the fed to the regional heads, who then carry out visits to the next level down? Or would that just be more of the same?

    Mandated regular (monthly?) videotaping of a certain number of practices and games at every age group, by every club, and sent in to the regional/national body? Could there be enough manpower to review all that?

    Take a portion of every club member's annual fee and instead of having 4 taxing, relatively unimportant tournaments every year for every club in the nation, use that money to fund some of the above monitoring ideas?

    Doesn't US Soccer already suggest all the member clubs have too many tournaments anyway, that it's counterproductive to development, possibly physical harmful to the kids and can lead to premature injury? I get that tournaments are a moneymaker and competitive bonding experience, but on a practical, individual skill-centered basis, they do nothing. US Soccer has already said this, but they don't do anything to stop it.

    Maybe we take some of this money normally spent on "excess" tournaments and fund some of the administrative things that would actually enforce and monitor the new standards that Reyna is suggesting. Or, if no one can bear eliminating any tournaments, use the proceeds from the "excess" ones (say, yearly tourneys 3 and 4 for each club) and put that into a fund that provides for mandates and monitoring, i.e. clubs can't pocket that money themselves--they would have to be done (and mandated) for the sole purpose of funding a specific "federal monitoring" coffer.

    I'd love to hear ideas. No reason why conceptually this shouldn't be possible, although again, maybe it's never been pushed to the point of measures like my admittedly random ideas above.
  13. de Kromme

    de Kromme Member

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    We never found out that it wasn't a panacea. It's that no street scene was ever actually created here. That was more hollow talk from the Fed.

    Now, is it possible to create that in the US? Almost certainly not. But on a small scale, at the team level, regular pickup games and futsal, etc...can have a huge impact.

    But it will never happen on a large enough scale to fix our entire program.

    Would it be close to a panacea if we could drop some magic pixie dust and suddenly have every 6 year old start playing pickup soccer in the street (or, more realistically, the park)? I think it would have a huge impact.

    But again, that won't happen when even other sports aren't played that way in this country much anymore.
  14. Pete Bond

    Pete Bond Member

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    de Kromme,

    I've thought about this, analyzed it, and broken it down for a few years now. What, in essence, you are ultimately talking about is reeling in the wild wild west. Youth soccer is out of control. Porinoki is right when he equates it with being controlled by gangsters. Its not that way in every State, but it is in many of them. The game is suffering horribly.

    So, centralized control through the Federation is the only possible solution. You will not reel in the gangsters any other way. Think about it, weigh all the variables.

    The only scenario I see that could possilby work is:

    The State Associations certify/charter clubs to be allowed to work in the State. They, in essence, make them adhere to specific guidlines, certain standards in order to operate (and make tons of dough off the game).

    The State Associations require that each club (as in England, but in this case youth club) include a technical academy element as part of a requried educationally based curriculum. Of course they can allow the clubs a number of years, and a degree of flexability, before strict enforcement measures can be applied (what measures? That's the big question. Just what leverage can USSF and US Youth apply to the clubs but threats to lift the charter and probabtion?).

    USSF absolutely must take a major leadership stance on forcing State DOC's to show some leadership, develop some ba#*s, in being agressive in monitoring what the clubs are doing and actively assuring that clubs are taking steps to adhere to the guidelines. State DOC's are a huge part of the problem in allowing the cowboys and gangsters to run amok. In my state, the conflict of interest is boarderline corruption and in my view, illegal. Gangsters paying off the Police Chief (and giving his wife a cushy job). State DOC's, through constant attention, and leadership, can actually scare clubs into action. ie They can really affect the May/June recruiting game by consistently revealing that certain clubs aren't going with the player development guidlines and can lose their charter in the future if they don't start complying. Strong, American State DOC's who are all on the same page, accountable to US Soccer, and work every day to politicize the destruction of the soccer mafioso families.

    In order for this charter thing to work, the states have to take over running the leagues (which some states have already done). In that case, without a charter, the gangsters would have nowhere locally to run their operation. Parents would eventually gravitate towards the organizations that provide excellent education, security, and integrity.

    Listen, I believe in free market economics. But, in sports, centralized control is a must in order for it to run properly. Youth soccer is a mess in this country and the game is suffering. We are pi$$ing away tons of talent and losing millions of kids from the game. Nothing, I repeat, nothing is going to clean up this mess other than something close to what I propose above. If you don't like me saying it, then be specific and tell me exactly how/why I'm wrong. No PC baloney, no "I hurt your feelings" whining, no trolling off on me. Give us something concrete. How can you fix it? How can you reel in the mobsters?

    Specifics please.

    ps. The only way you are going to be able to implement anything is with applying something like what I've mentioned above. Any curriculum without some conrete political bite is just a *&%$ $#@%* #@%!
    1 person likes this.
  15. de Kromme

    de Kromme Member

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    Fantastic and heartfelt (heart-weary maybe?) response.

    I agree with it all. Wild west and mafia are appropriate contexts.

    Everything comes down to money in this country. So does my idea of money-generation (tournaments, other means) to fund some large slush fund that is predesignated for this purpose sound like a viable idea? Central authority and concrete principles (not just guidelines) are great, but the problem, as I see it, would still come in the enforcement. And that will take more time, people and, therefore, cash.

    Every second we don't fix this, we lose players as you've aptly stated.

    Repped.
    Eph4Life repped this.
  16. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    de Kromme, you're right it does come down to money and some enterpreneurial coach needs to figure out how to monetize developing players for MORE MONEY than coaching fees. The problem is that the club doesn't own the player rights, so they can't be sold when the time comes.

    Since it does come down to money, the model must change. Maybe the "benefactor" model is what is needed. Maybe the new American owners in the EPL will see a couple of million dollar investment per year in an American Academy a worthwhile risk for producing a player for their senior team.

    But that will just give rise to a different set of mobsters. Ones that steer players to certain clubs a la AAU basketball.
    Fanatical Monk repped this.
  17. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator Staff Member

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    Money is the key; and maybe the answer is simply "we need a lot more of it." Awhile ago, in a discussion on the cost of travel soccer, a poster made the observation that "the reason youth soccer is so expensive is because there's no money in it"; in other words, because our development "system" isn't self-funded, but instead relies on fees and dues from players and their families, they are put in a client-service provider relationship. The "client" is the familiy, and the service being provided is the opportunity to play and learn soccer. Instead of a rational system with larger, long-term goals in mind, we have a consumer-driven model in place, where the expectations of parents control the flow of capital.

    How to fix this without professional soccer becoming a lot more popular here, I do not know.
  18. de Kromme

    de Kromme Member

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    It's my feeling that parents (largely "non-soccer" or "soccer-unsophisticated" parents) see college scholarships as the highest goal for their kid, and are willing to pay $2000 a year, stay ignorant about how their child isn't truly (truly!) learning the essence of the sport, because somehow their kid still ends up with a scholarship anyway.

    If soccer parents were more sophisticated about the world game and what it would take to develop American players to succeed at the real highest level (World Cup trophies, spots on lucrative pro teams), and if they valued that pursuit, they would demand more of our coaches and wouldn't throw around their $2000 so willingly for such mediocre results.

    Does that about sum it up?
  19. de Kromme

    de Kromme Member

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    I agree. But unfortunately, didn't Brad Friedel, one of the greatest American players and most successful Americans ever abroad, go bankrupt trying to build and run such an academy in Ohio?

    And isn't the reason because college soccer (and American soccer in general) is so mediocre that no one needed his "high-falutin'" soccer academy to earn the vaunted "college scholarship" that everyone sees as the most important goal of playing the game in this country?

    We're all on the same page with this. But the same thing would happen if Stan Kroehnke started a Arsenal-America Academy, because there still wouldn't be enough American parents who think "professional soccer player for some team named Arsenal in, what is it, Scotland, I think" is an appropriate career path.

    That population just doesn't exist here. Soccer parents and players exist here in huge numbers. But the sub-population of those that "get it" is far too small, and the ones that do never get far enough converting the ones that don't, so they continue to dominate the landscape and the conversation and the decisions.
  20. UofIneedssoccer

    UofIneedssoccer Member

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    Loook at jr hockey they make so much money for the clubs and the club does not own them. Why can that not work in the US? Because you cannot get people to pay to see soccer in the US. I agree the clubs do not own the child is a problem but why do hockey clubs in america do it. The players pay even more money then soccer they go off to jr's if they are lucky they go to the pros if they are unlucky they go to college. The team they play for makes money hand over fist they do not own the players they board the players with families and pay the families. Go up to Green Bay and watch a Gamblers game 12,000 fans at 20 a pop, beer food parking equals payday. They only person who watches a soccer game in america our family members change the culture then maybe you can do something. The MLS clubs are not strong enough we need to go back to corporation clubs like in the 20's
  21. Pörinoki

    Pörinoki New Member

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  22. Pörinoki

    Pörinoki New Member

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    2010 Project

    So, who is responsible for the nosedive of the 2010 Project? In 1995 we were sitting in a license course and the Federation was yippie-hooray brainwashing us with that monologue.
  23. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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    My take on the Friedel thing is that he had too much overhead too soon. He had a great facility before he had students. I think he put the cart before the horses. To pull this off, you can't just merely be rich you need to be wealthy—Stan Kroenke type wealthy, because you need to wait on your products to mature. It's like planting an orchard, it's not like other crops where you wait a few months and harvest. The trees have to mature for years but after that you can keep harvesting into perpetuity.

    None of this stuff happens overnight, as I'm sure you know. I've started multiple businesses and some have failed and some succeed, but all of them have fits and starts in the beginning as you fine tune the process. Most of the time, and I've talked to other entrepreneurs about this, and start ups are underfunded. So you muddle along until you get an infusion of cash that really gets things rolling.

    No, no one needs "this" to get the college scholarship but I feel we're at a unique time in American soccer where the paradigm can shift. Maybe it becomes like a farm system, (not too different than what is in place now?)

    I agree with you. The middle class is probably the wrong group to sell this idea too. Too much to lose. It's asking them to give up basically a sure thing to follow a dream that may end up with nothing. Poor kids don't have as many options, so "Why not?"

    I read this article once where part of the difficulty in containing the spread of AIDS in Africa is that the life expectancy isn't much better without it. Players from lower income groups have less at risk by pursuing this path than the middle class kids. Please don't think I'm trivializing AIDS for soccer. It's merely to point out a mind set.
  24. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator Staff Member

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  25. de Kromme

    de Kromme Member

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    I do not take your last point in the wrong sense at all. I sometimes pull in some pretty strong comparisons that in my mind help explain my position on something. I know that's all you're doing and I think you've done it.

    So, do we sell it to the 20% (?) that get it, or do we try to convert a portion of the other 80%? Do we do both simultaneously?

    I've gotten a bad reputation of trying to "break up our perfect little U11 A team" by suggesting that our club needs more real soccer coaching instead of over-mechanized drivel aimed at building college players. So from my perspective, as much as I continue to fight that fight wherever I can, be it here on BS, or in my blogging, or in the "field", I know that Americans are wary (and in my team's case, flat out afraid, of "real soccer" to the point of getting me in trouble with the club for some unknown crime against their darling 10 year old dd's. Well, the charge isn't exactly unknown. The charge is trying to break up the team by not being satisfied merely with winning like everyone else is. Yes, this really happened, and in the past 7 days.)

    So where do we concentrate our efforts?

    Porinoki, thanks for providing the background on the money situation. I wouldn't have thought we had any money already laying around.

    That just reinforces the whole gangster scenario.

    I'm gonna try and stay upbeat today, nevertheless. :eek:

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