With just a month away from the 2018 World Cup, its time to make our predictions. Let's have some fun! Click here to compete in the Parents United World Cup 2018 Bracket Challenge (Click Here).
One thing I love about youth soccer is that it provides an opportunity for me to share valuable life lessons with my son. This post was inspired by one such conversation while riding home from his practice. This is the musings of a soccer dad, I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
Does this scenario sound familiar? Your child has the ball in his/her defensive third and three defenders are approaching quickly. You see a teammate wide open so you scream PASS at the top of your lungs. In response, (if you are lucky) your child passes the ball. No harm no foul right? Wrong. Yelling pass, during a game, may make parents feel good, but is not developmentally helpful for the player and more importantly, it adds additional stress to a player who is supposed to be having fun. In this blog post, I will offer a better approach.
This month Sporty Slaps we will be sponsoring a fundraising sale to support the Tucancitos Soccer Club. Tucancitos is a non-profit youth soccer club serving children throughout the Triangle Area. The money generated will be used to support team activities, general expenses and tuition assistance for players.
I grew up on a farm in a small town called Clover South Carolina. Despite working a full-time job, my dad raised over 50 head of black Angus cows, ran a lawn care business and grew almost every vegetable known in North America. It wasn't a glamorous lifestyle, but it put food on the table and sent my brothers and me to college.
As kids, there was never a morning where something didn't need to be planted, picked, gathered, fed, built, chopped, moved or fixed. Even my friends were afraid to come over out of fear of being trapped into forced labor by my dad! For better or worst, life is a lot different for children these days. My children think that food comes from a magical Walmart app on my phone. Therefore, I am choosing to use educational excellence and sport as a means to instill some those values that my parents instilled in me.
LEARNING TO DRIBBLE WITH EVERY STEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL IN YOUTH SOCCER.
Parents and coaches should implement training sessions with a rule that forces players to dribble with every step. When confronted by defenders, you want the player to instinctively use light touches keeping (and shielding) the ball close to his/her body. In open space, the player can still move with pace (without chasing the ball) and dribble with every step. This requires a combination of longer strides, pushing the ball further and light touches. Setting up drills instructing players to travel as quickly as they can while also dribbling with every step is much more effective than simply telling a player "not to chase the ball".