The Eyebrow's Daily Musing

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by Cantona's Eyebrow, May 16, 2019.

  1. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    I was reading over a football blog today and I came across a great quote by Roy Keane. To paraphrase, it was something along the lines of, coaches don't make great football players, it's the love affair between a child and a ball that does.

    That really struck a chord with me. The love affair between a child and a ball. To be great at something you really need to love what you do.

    I think that no matter how great a coach is, if a player has that love for football, he or she will always reach their full potential. A coaches greatness makes little difference to talented players. However, I think a truly bad coach can have a much greater impact on a talented individual. A poor coach can suck the enthusiasm, fun and motivation out of a talented kid. With very talented young players, it's only the really bad coaches that can make any kind of impact; albeit a negative one.

    So, you seasoned soccer parents, as long as Little Johnny doesn't get a clueless, monster of a coach then everything should be just dandy!
     
  2. DaBurg

    DaBurg Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is so true. It's so difficult to get to the higher levels that the child has to love playing to get good. Being forced to do things that they don't want to do is the easiest way to ensure a player will never love the game enough to get better. They have to want to get better because it's everything.

    I was listening to the Peter Crouch podcast and it really stuck out to me how different England and the US are as far as soccer culture goes. In primary school, he reminisced about how they'd get a ball out every chance they could, and the younger kids would be playing perpendicularly to the older kids, all crammed on the same field because they didn't have enough room for all the kids who wanted to play. Here in the US we do that with basketball, sometimes kickball, which is essentially baseball with feet, but I never remember it being that way with soccer. So it's tough to develop that love of the ball like exists elsewhere. The best coaches, in my opinion, try to develop that.
     
  3. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think you conflate criticism of systemic dysfunction with personal attacks on individual coaches.

    As a coach yourself, it's likely that that's natural and understandable. But from my POV that's what you often do.
     
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  4. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I agree with you and Coach Eyebrow, but the problem as I see it is that our system doesn't really facilitate a natural love of the game. You almost need to go outside/around the youth soccer system to develop as a player.

    Our system incentives players to deliver short-term results to the benefit of coaches and clubs.
     
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  5. DaBurg

    DaBurg Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You definitely have to go around the current youth system to get better. It's as much an individual sport as a team. We can't rely on the off chance that we get a coach has the right knowledge and perfect training regimen. Parents are going to have to understand that a foot on the ball is more powerful than anything. The kids aren't going outside to play the sport on their own. That's a problem. Not sure how to fix it.
     
  6. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Around here, LOTS of kids are going outside to play soccer. Just not the ones playing club soccer.

    My son did both--played club AND played pickup in the community. It was with two very distinct group of kids.
     
  7. DaBurg

    DaBurg Member

    Apr 18, 2019
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Sounds wonderful. Is that in a neighborhood, or like pickup games somewhere in town?
     
  8. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, we live in a suburban area with a large immigrant population. Once my son started playing Middle School soccer he got to know kids in the community who played pickup with older brothers, dads, uncles, etc. Even more so through High school soccer. Got to know lot of pickup players in the area--they would meet at local parks, school grounds, any open space they could find. And he would also play indoor "open gym" sessions a lot. Stayed and played after-hours a lot.

    Not saying he got nothing out of club soccer--he likely learned quite a bit about field positioning, basic tactics, etc. through his early years in club.
     
  9. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    There are many opposing opinions surrounding what constitutes success within youth football. I've been pondering the question today and have found it really difficult to prioritise, because I think the answer shifts from kid to kid. But if I was to generalise over what I'd consider a successful season, as a coach, I'd probably go with:

    1. Have the squad developed individually?
    2. Has the individual developed as a team player?
    3. Have they enjoyed the learning progress?

    Based on this criteria, the current season has been a success, but the road has been rocky along the way. More bumps than I'd have liked, but we got to our destination in the end. The boys got there before their parents in most cases, but eventually we all got to the same place: Eyebrow's Stadium of Higher Learning :sneaky:

    I'll miss these lads, but I'm confident that they've all benefited from my wisdom, experience and mercurial philosophies on football. I'm proud to say that I've armed them with the tools to carve out a career in football, so the rest is up to them. :thumbsup:
     
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  10. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    Very much agree.
     
  11. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    #11 Cantona's Eyebrow, May 24, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
    I've been taking more of an interest in women's football with the upcoming WC this summer. Think it'll be great for the women's game and I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing how far the ladies game has developed.

    I was reading an article about different nations' women's squads and was struck by the lack of black players playing in a lot of countries. In the US, it definitely seemed like the go to sport for white, middle-class, American girls.

    I don't know overly much about American politics, but I do know that the US is one of the most ethnically and racially diverse countries in the world. So, what gives? Is women's football not been taken up by black girls or Mexican girls? Is there a problem at grassroots level, or is this just at the pro end of the scale? Is there a degree of racism within, not only women's soccer, but through the core of US soccer?
     

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  12. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    #12 mwulf67, May 24, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2019
    Funny, I wondering the complete opposite while watching the England team last world cup…for such a Lilly-white country (85% white, 4% black, 8% Asian), why is almost half (40%) the national team made up of black players?

    Quickly looking at the USWNT roster, out of a squad of 23, 4 are (clearly) black…which puts the percentage at 17%, just a few ticks over the national data of 13%....so statically speaking, there is no lack of black players on the US women’s team…

    Racism and the perception of racism is an odd thing…

    And just of the record, “we” are generally aware of the social-economic issues (it’s not so much an issue of race, as it is economics) regarding US soccer and have talked about them in the past at length…of course, minus the anti-American baggage….
     
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  13. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Mal Pugh is mixed race so not sure if you counted her and the biggest roster snub, Casey Short, is African American.
     
  14. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Friendly reminder that I try to keep this forum politics-free. :)
     
  15. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Yeah, I am not really sure who I counted…it was just a quick visual check…I only counted the obvious cases; there were a couple of question marks….
     
  16. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    Sorry BigRed, what has my post got to do with politics? I was trying to promote discussion on football team selection.
     
  17. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There were multiple posts in this thread.
     
  18. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    You're quite right. My apologies.
     
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  19. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    I was watching an u8s game the other day that descended into a rout. A real thrashing.

    The coach on the losing side was ready to blow a gasket, parents were wringing their fingers and shaking their heads at the opposing coach like he'd done something wrong. A couple of the duds were crying and wanting to come off. "This is u8's football" the parents shouted, as they tutted at every hard tackle or shoulder challenge that put the losers on their backside. They looked over at the successful coach, pleading, begging, that he put on some weaker players or remove a player to even things up.

    I chuckled.

    You see, let me break it down for you. Why should a team of winners be made to feel bad or take their foot off the gas against players who are less talented, probably less committed, or motivated to work hard. Would Peter Poindexter deliberately get a few answers wrong in his maths test to make the class numbskulls feel better about been unable to count to ten. No. He wouldn't. So, why should hardworking athletic kids ever take their foot off the gas when they're excelling.

    Elite football has to be nurtured and encouraged from a young age, even if it's at the expense of others' tears and boo-boos. You may think that is harsh, but what is harsher is telling a talented, hardworking athlete that they are being released because they don't have the correct mentality.

    In case you haven't guessed, the coach at the u8s' game was me. My little lions ran in 36-1 at half time. I was delighted. However, my team talk consisted of two words: Bury them :sneaky:
     
  20. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I don’t get your delight…there was no competition, no challenge, nothing to celebrate…it wasn’t a game; just a waste of everyone’s time…

    Personally, I think at some point, sportsmanship demands taking the foot off the gas, at any age, at any level…and clearly 36-1 at half for u8’s is well past that point…
     
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  21. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    lol, and you kept count of the score?
     
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  22. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    #22 sam_gordon, Jun 5, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
    So are you truly interested in development of these kids or do you just delight in the pain and suffering of others (which comes out in other threads)?

    Yes, there is plenty a coach can and should do IMO to avoid a 36-1 score at half...
    1) Pull starters (give kids who don't get much opportunity to play more playing time).
    2) Play kids out of their normal positions. Kids should learn more than one position, no?
    3) Put scoring restrictions on (only shoot w/non-dominant foot, make 'x' number of passes before shooting, only score with headers or volleys, etc).
    4) Play a man down.

    ETA: If you've done all of the above and still run up the score, so be it. 2nd (& 3rd) string players should have the opportunity to go 100%.

    Putting a beat down on a team helps no one. Not your team and not the other. You worry about obese kids dropping out of soccer, what about the kids on the other team who decides to give up soccer because he's so bad, he's on a team that gave up 36 goals?
     
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  23. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    What a waste of time for your "elite" players and the other team. Nothing gained for any of those kids.

    I am assuming there are division levels where you play. If so someone is not in the right division. If you are playing down and enjoy this, then shame on you. If the other team is wrongfully playing up then please explain too me the point of this "thrashing"?

    What did your team gain winning 36-1?

    What did the other team gain?
     
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  24. upper left

    upper left Member

    Crystal Palace
    Uruguay
    Jan 27, 2018
    Well done! I had ten quid on the Little Lions but had to give 20.5 goals. It is nice to go into the second half knowing the bet has already been won. Don't listen to the haters here. Keep it up.
     
  25. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    No game this weekend :thumbsdown:

    Instead the weekend was focused on additional training. I took three age groups u8s, followed back u10 in the morning. In the afternoon, I took our u14s.

    The u8s and u10s were dynamite. Great tactical knowledge considering their years. Tremendous growth mindset and desire to win. Working as a single unit with individual flourishes. Beautiful to watch.

    It was shaping up to be a great day.

    Then we had the older lads. Flat, unmotivated, but worst of all a real lack of technique and basic football knowledge. For me the kind of squad you end up with if you focus on flicks and tricks over the basic fundamentals of the game. A team of prancing show ponies who have no understanding of team shape, supporting play, or principles of defence and attack. These are boys, some of which, have been training within a professional club structure for 5 years. It's disgraceful and shows the lack of care and professionalism shown by football coaches. Probably closer to say its a misjudgement of priorities in many case.

    By the age of 13, kids need to know how to play football if they want to progress in the game. For me, individual coaching, skills coaching, and pro blah blah blah programs are all just ploys to separate parents from their cash and for kids to emulate their football heroes who they watch on tv. I watch a lot of grass roots football. An awful lot, and to say that many kids are not being taught the basics is a gross understatement. I lose sleep at night. Why can this be allowed to happen.

    I understand at a lower level, you have your "have a go hero" dads coaching poor technique and game awareness. It's forgivable as often they are clueless, but still trying to plug a gap. But at elite level it's unforgivable.

    Any ideas? Short of cloning myself, I don't know what the answer is.
     

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