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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.

The news of parents losing control at youth sporting events seems to never end. In Bethesda, Md., officials of a soccer league have banished all the parents from one team from the sidelines of the first two games. The reason? Some parents apparently harassed a referee over a call at a match between 13-year-old girls last season. The parents have to watch – some with binoculars — from no closer than 100 yards away.

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The glamour, prestige and friendships that come from being in team sports bring a valued avenue of accomplishment and acceptance for children. Our sports culture is robbing sports of many ways to have wholesome fun. What is wrong?  An overemphasis on winning!
  

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The trouble began when a parent from the Springfield Youth Club's Xplosion working as an assistant referee raised a flag in the air and called an offside violation on a Bethesda player, according to the minutes of the disciplinary hearing. After the game, a Bethesda parent approached the referee and accused him of making the wrong call, the report says. The parent "started to raise his voice," according to the report. More sniping occurred, and "the tone and behavior of the parents was aggressive." Then another Bethesda parent allegedly yelled at the referee's daughter, "Your father should be fired!"
The league's disciplinary committee ruled that the Bethesda parents had violated the league's code of conduct -- which asks parents to refrain from questioning referees' calls -- through "egregious" behavior that "has no place in youth sports." They ruled that the parents could not be on the sidelines for the first two games of this season.

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The presence of your coaching philosophy eliminates any surprises throughout the season. Explaining your soccer philosophy to the parents before the season commences eliminates any unnecessary headaches and provides answers to most questions that might arise during the season.

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When coaching young players the problem most new coach’s face is finding the best way to organize training sessions. How to incorporate and organize conditioning and the technical aspects of the game. Sound familiar?  Coaching youth soccer has a fine line which over the years has slowly faded and nearly disappeared. Does anyone know what this line is?  The line if drawn on the field would separate the coaching aspect of training and the other side would represent the education of the player. If you only take one lesson from this post it’s this: 

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Across from my spacious cubicle at our offices in Marshfield sits Brian Nanos, a young man who serves as our Scituate reporter.  Last week, he found himself with a case of the Green Death. Or perhaps Green Death Defenders.  The big news in Scituate was the ill-advised letter written by a youth soccer coach to his players’ parents, a letter that had a tone some found inappropriate.  So Brian got plenty of calls from people defending the coach. And people posting comments on Wicked Local Scituate, mostly favorable towards the coach.

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The number of young athletes with injuries from overuse is on the rise.  One doctor sees overworked pitchers ushered into her waiting room at age eight. Overly competitive parents and coaches are a major reason for such injuries. It's not all our fault. There is no shortage of cultural cues to disable a parent's normally good sense. The pressure to compete, to win, to stay even with the family next door recedes at times, but it is the rare family that banishes it altogether. Sports psychologist Richard Ginsburg likens it to a river's current that, once waded into, requires great effort to escape. "Once the flow grabs you and takes you, it's hard to step back," he says.

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Mark Hyman's book "Until it Hurts" examines how sports went from something spontaeous and fun to something organized and grueling. Of course this entails figuring out how we parents got so overinvolved and he shares some shocking stats, too, like the fact that in 2003 alone, 3.5 million children under age 15 required medical treatment for sports injuries.

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My son came running around the corner of the house. It was just as I had hoped. I gave a wild, primitive yell as I sprang out at him. He hit the ground quickly, trying to avoid my grasp. I reached down and tagged him easily, and the burden of being “it” was transferred once again.As I searched for a new hiding place in front of the house, my wife called from the front door. “Mark, it’s eight o’clock, the kids have to come in!” I was a bit dumbfounded. We’d been playing tag for two hours.

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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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