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"No lines, No laps, No Lectures" - Karl Dewazien

 Great Articles by Len Marks MD


Len Marks had put together a collection of articles that are informative and educational.

COACH’S SURVIVAL MANUAL -By Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach                     

Coaching is a blast.  In the ideal world you will show up to practice 5 to 10 minutes early to greet the future soccer stars of America as they come to play.  The kids will all show up on time, listen to every word you utter, immediately grasp the theme of the practice, excel in the cooperative and competitive portions of the practice, have fun, be picked up on time enthusiastic about returning to practice in two days.  You will go home to your wife, have a delightful gourmet meal with your family, then sit on your porch swing with your wife basking in the glow of a full moon.  Yeah, right! Read More

COACHING ON THE FIELD by Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach

So many times during a game I wanted to go on the field to instruct my players.  I understand your desires and frustrations.  As coaches we want our kids to learn; we want them to play the game the way the game is intended to be played.  If we could only be in their minds; telepathy would be wonderful.  Then they would learn positions, overlaps, and tactics. Read More

CHILDREN AS 1st ATTACKERS & DEFENDERS by Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach

Obviously this is correct which is why we teach primarily first attacker and first defender until kids are much older. Unfortunately, on my high school teams I have several players who are still children. I think I am going to incorporate this into all my future coaching. Read More

At least two or three times a year in my meandering as a coach, referee, or fan I am called to help a child who is absolutely petrified that she (since this occurs more commonly in females than males, I will use the female pronoun) cannot breathe. Read More

CAN MY CHILD PLAY SOCCER WITH A COLD? By Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach

Common question asked of Pediatricians are:   When can my child return to school?  Can my child play sports (in this case soccer)?The answer to this question is:  “Yes.” Seriously, there are two criteria:  First, the child should not be contagious; and secondly, he/she should be able to function at a near to normal level with a minimum amount of discomfort. Read More


MEDICINE MAN  By Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach

The medicine man does not live in the village.  His area is a couple of miles downriver where it is quieter permitting him to meditate.  He lives in a thatched roofed hut (approx 18’ X 40’) with partial walls, electricity or plumbing.  It is made out of natural materials. The Amazon basin supplies their needs.  As we left, one of his sons brought in a garroted caymen which would supply the family’s dinner.  Part of the Kapawi experience is an hour or so with an Achuar elder and in our case our guide opted for the wizened medicine man. Find out how Len introduced this village to soccer coaching. Read More


NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER! By Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach

Platitudes, platitudes, platitudes!!!!!!!!!!   Winning is not important!  What’s important is how you play the game!  It’s your attitude!!!   Hogwash.  Winning, in today’s society is important.  For some bizarre reason, consistent with my personality when I think of a platitude I have always had a mental picture of Daffy Duck (you know how he spits when he talks) flying around on a circular platter spitting platitudes on those below him, soaking them in the process.  Well, brother coach, whose 9 year old gets teased for losing, I am not going to toss out placating platitudes.  Winning is important!!!!!!!  But what is winning?  Read More


PERFORMING IN THE GAME By Leonard J. Marks, MD, FAAP and USSF “C” Licensed Coach

Why do some players love the sport with its active skills and challenges yet not perform in the games/contests.  In order to give an adequate response, I have some questions that need to be answered:   How does your daughter perform in a friendly scrimmage in which you divide your team up into two sides and play?  This has to be in a situation in which the players know that the coaches and parents say nothing.  It is one half of your team vs the other half in which “vs” means “verbally silent” – no coaching, no comments.  How does she do in a similar situation against another team in which there is zero emphasis on winning? Read More



A problem commonly dealt with for those of use who run or have run soccer leagues is:  When do we cancel games if it is raining? While we know rain can be harmful to the fields, is it harmful to children?  Does rain, wet, cold cause pneumonia?  Can wet weather cause colds?  The answer is NO!  Rain and wet weather do not cause colds, viruses do.  Rain and wet weather do not run one’s immune system down.   There is excellent data from the 1960s and 1970s in which groups of individuals were exposed to very adverse conditions – dampness, rain, cool temperatures, etc.  Their infection rates were identical to those individuals kept warm and dry.  Read More