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

 Great Articles by Alan Maher

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Author:Jeannette DewazienCreated:7/2/2007
Alan Mahers articles read like stories that will inspire you to be the best person,coach and parent that you can be.

On Long Island the team has a coach of record. He or she goes to the games with the team. Normally that person is a volunteer. Then the team hires a professional coach. Perhaps the English coach. Then there is a personal trainer for many of the players. Finally, there is a tournament coach who takes the team to regional tournaments. Suppose that the team does not do well. Then the parents ask, “what do we do now?”

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By the way, This is the only country that has paid coaches, paid by parents, in the world. We have three levels. First we have the team coach, then the personal trainer and finally the special trainer. The special trainer does the hop, skip and jump stuff, or the dragging of players. Some give out special mini parachutes. Remember that the coach is paid. (I trained kids for nothing. Stupid me.)

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When teachers in a given school are all forced to teach the same way, this is called the Procrustes’ Bed of education. This is not considered a good thing. One size fits all? Really?  I feel the same way about training soccer players and coaches. Is there really only one way? That seems a little tight considering the variety of players and coaches. And experience and physical stature for the players.

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We seem to spend too much time on the wrong thing in this country. We need more on creativity on the field of play.

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This was an interesting season for me as the team was very different from previous teams. The players had good footwork but lacked ability and knowledge of teamwork. So I spent the season developing that area of soccer. It was hard work and needed constant repetitions of what had been learned. It was all new to them.

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Have you ever watched the best players in the world and wondered: how did they do that? They perform a brilliant pass, finding a player in the open while being under extreme pressure. Or they score a brilliant goal and it seemed as if the player knew where everything and everyone was and then made the right decision under pressure. It may be a quick dribble into a space that didn’t even seem to be there but suddenly appeared.

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This same article could be written every summer following pre-season training. I could just change the title and some dates and mail it in every year. Same thing, same problem. This is the last week of July and various teams are being trained before the season begins, which is August. So I have gone to the park on four different days. This is what I have seen...

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In an interview, Connor English explained that that off season he shot 200 times a day. During the season he shoots 50 to 100 times after practice. You read that right. He shoots 50 to 100 times after every practice.  Now, all you players who play soccer, how many shoot 200 times a day off season and 50 to 100 times after each practice?
 

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The experienced referees are replaced by the less experienced. They are  being driven out by coaches, players and parents.  I have  told you my attitude. I pretend that soccer is played in a glass tank containing  twenty two players and one referee. The linesmen are off the
playing field and  signal the referee with a flag. They do not yell; they signal. No one else is  allowed on the field and nobody can enter without the permission of the ref. I  speak to a ref before the game and after the game.  Period. I do not yell during the game. It is in a glass tank. Remember that.
 

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Why should all soccer be high level competition? Why cannot kids just have fun? I do not even like the thought that an adult needs to be at the game. I played basketball and football without ever seeing an adult. How about that? Club stuff between kids.

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