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

 Koach Karl's Suggested Reading

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Author:adminCreated:5/28/2007
Fundamental Soccer Coaching-Koach Karl Dewazien is a United States Soccer Federation “A” Licensed coach. He has dedicated his life to teaching coaches the most efficient way to teach our children. His techniques are both simple and effective and they get results.

Building specific skills and caring about kids is fundamental to coaching. But it’s also easy for youth coaches to lose sight of these goals if adults are too focused on winning or producing the next Michael Phelps or Candace Parker.  Coaching kids, which most people do as volunteers, is one of the hardest jobs out there–and these studies highlight the tremendous importance of the role.

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One of the biggest mistakes youth coaches can make is to force a passing game on children too early. Discouraging dribbling in the early years is like telling toddlers to shut up when they're learning to speak. Young players should dribble as much as possible -- because dribbling is the first step to mastering all ball skills.
 

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When watching a game, quite often, parents want to shout instructions to their player in order to help them play better or avoid making mistakes.  However, this often works against what we as coaches are trying to do.  As a coach, you want your players taking chances and making mistakes as this is the best way for the players to learn and become better players.

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A lot of what this question is rooted in is what I like to call, "Positional Anxiety", and coaches need to work to manage this type of anxiety in a whole host of creative ways. Positional anxiety occurs when kids and parents put undue pressure on themselves to serve a particular role on the team. They work themselves into a fevered frenzy over what they think their role ought to be or should be based on less than objective self evaluation. As a coach, and educator of my own kids, I find that parents, coaches and kids miss the greater good of being involved with sports when they allow positional anxiety to rule their thinking. As kids get older, they have a greater desire to contribute more to their team. The games get more competitive, and kids start looking into training for sport-specific skills. Naturally, everyone wants their child to work hard to achieve a starting position. Parents and coaches should take these factors into account:

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Positive Coaching asked some valuable questions and Parent/Coach Rudy Waluch got the answer JUST RIGHT!  This is Youth sports.  Shwo a kid how to simply play a game, and he becomes good at the game only. Show a kid how to win in life, and he becomes a productive memeber of society.  This is what we should be seeking as coaches.  I truly believe that next to a parent, a teache, and a child's spiritual leader, a coach can have a truly amazing and positive impact on the life of a child.  We need to build coahes by equipping them for today's honest challenges.  Youth sports leagues across the country are grossly lacking in this area, and that is truly sad. We often times vote to spend money on the new equipment and the cool looking new jerseys, when a 2-hour session on the Psychology of youth sports might be needed for all the coaches in our leagues. This is why I love the Positive Coaching Alliance. I believe in the principals and practices and hope that more leagues adopt them.

 

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In street football, every child in the neighbourhood was involved. You might have the embarrassment of being the last to be picked but at least you played, and if the game was too one-sided and lost its fun, ‘Billy the dribbling wizard’ swapped with ‘two left feet Larry’ to make it even. Children also learnt to play in different positions. You might be in goal one day and playing as a striker the next. One thing for certain was that you got a complete football education.You also played against older kids, and if you couldn’t match them physically, you had to use new technical skills and insight in order to compete. Children learned from each other. Today’s children learn from the grown-ups. Without the freedom of the streets, their early experiences of football are organised, supervised and coached. They have no real say in what happens, and they don’t have time to develop and learn. Just as there isn’t time any more for families to make a proper meal and sit around the dining table together, there’s no time for coaches to waste developing children at football.  Development is long term and takes years of patience, but in today’s ‘win at all costs’ society coaches need success now, so they pick the biggest kids and get a giant to whack the ball up field as hard as possible to an even bigger giant who wallops the ball in the back of the net. 10-0, we are the business and the other team is c**p!

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As the game proceeded, I couldn't help but wonder when parents decided it's appropriate for even well-intentioned adults to treat pre-teen athletes like pros. That answer came a bit quicker than expected when two mothers told the coach he needed to yell at their kids. God help us!
C'mon coaches -- consider your charges -- we're talking about 9-year-old boys here! These games are about them, not you. Are you so afraid of losing you can't give children the room to learn from their mistakes? Are you so frightened by the specter of your own youthful deficiencies you can't put off thrusting children into the cutthroat competitive throes of adulthood just a little bit longer? 
I will play to have fun." What's so hard about that? 

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Having been involved in soccer in the US since 1967 I have had the pleasure of seeing it grow beyond anyone’s expectations. The shear numbers of players, estimated at somewhere between 13 and 17 million is staggering to say the least. Watching US players in Europe playing at the highestlevels is exciting and impressive.Unlike most other cultures throughout the world, the game of soccer in the US has not been, until recently a primary sport. Not to mention the religious like stature it receives in many cultures such as South America, Africa and Europe. Yet we live in one of the most competitive, affluent and technically advanced cultures ever. Our youth are well educated, well nourished, and more physically fit then most youth players from these other cultures. Our soccer facilities for youth players are vast and growing. So the question begs itself why we don’t and if we will ever produce one of the world’s best field players.

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This articles shows that Koach Karl has been correct in teaching his 9 Step Routine ...it states that an argument can be made that a coach will end up using a great deal more energy if they don’t help athletes develop great routines. As the John Dryden quote suggests, an initial investment of energy in developing good habits will create a great return down the road. I see this all the time in sports, and I’ll never forget what a great coach once said to me. “Why are all these coaches screaming from the sideline? If they had done their job in practice they wouldn’t have to say anything during a game.” If a coach develops great routines, and the athletes develop great habits, then the habits make them great players.

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The California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) coaching course curriculum has been and will continue to evolve according to the development level of our coaches and players. Suffice it to say that our current ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ curriculum is receiving many compliments from throughout the state, region, country and even other countries. Some kudos for the development of this modern youth training methodology should go to our innovative and creative state teaching staff. But, the major credit for our ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ development must go to the coaches who have attended, applied and evaluated our CYSA certification courses in the past!

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There are 3 million to 3.5 million youth coaches in American, with two-thirds of those coaches being volunteers. "There in itself is a dilemma," Rausch said. "We have a demand for these folks who are giving up their time in the name of their son or daughter, or for giving back to the community. Can we ask them to take a workshop or take some courses so they have a little bit of a background in terms of child development and youth sports in general?"

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Two weeks ago, our soccer league had its end of year tournament. As the previous game ended, my daughter's coach strode to the far side of the field to set up the bench for the girls. The coach -- and the parents -- of our opponents surprisingly followed suit, setting up camp directly next to our team. After politely asking the other team's coach and parents to go to the other side of the field and receiving the reply, "No, we'd like to stay right here," my daughter's coach shrugged his shoulders and sighed -- and hoped for the best. What was that? That the parents on the other team would respect the game and not scream and shout at the players, as we had just seen occur in the prior game.

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A coach of a new team has many skills to teach, but which ones come first? As a general statement, self-control of each player should be the objective. But where does one begin? It begins with a league charter that states that the number one objective of the league is to develop skillful players. If there is no charter in place, there should be one. Each coach and manager of youth soccer, like any other teacher, must understand that the overall objective of their job is not to win championships, but to develop players with a strong sense of skill. Winning should be secondary. This is not an easy task to accomplish by any league.

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