Wednesday, June 9, 2010

British Coaches set up a blog for parents/coaches

Coach Ben & Matt wanted to set up a blog to offer more tips and help to Cardston... Check back often for more tips from the professionals.


  1. Mya was so excited when we pulled up for soccer on Monday saying "There's 2 Coach Chickens" ;) Thanks for all you two do - Mya's now so excited for soccer!!

  2. Welcome Matt! You two are the best.

  3. Excellent session again today! Saw amazing improvement in my JR H teams' passing! So appreciate the what we are being taught!

  4. Hey everyone!

    Thanks from both of us for being so welcoming since we arrived in town. We really appreciate your hospitality!

    We wanted a place where we could explain why we do what we do, and give everybody else the chance to ask questions that maybe they didn't want to ask during our sessions or that might have come to them afterwards.

    Feel free to comment on this blog with your thoughts or if you want to speak to us privately on our email addresses:

    Ben/Coach Chicken:

    Thanks, and look forward to hearing from you all!

    GO CARDSTON!!!!!!

  5. Coaching Tips!

    1. GRIDS - You may have noticed that regardless of the activities we're doing or the age groups we're working with, we nearly always set out a grid at the start of the session. This is useful for a number of reasons. Firstly, it indicates to the players when they arrive which area they will be working in. Secondly, it teaches players to play within boundaries, just like in a real soccer game. Having the players in a grid will also give the session structure, as players will all be working in the same area rather than having balls flying all over the place!

    2. PARENTAL/COACHING INVOLVEMENT - At every age level, we need the support of parents and especially the coaches of the individual teams. During demonstrations, we need your help to ensure the children are paying attention, but we also need the coaches to pay attention as they will need to perform the drill themselves afterwards! Some demonstrations might be complex, especially for the younger players, so we might ask for parents/coaches for the demonstration so the kids have a visual idea of what they are trying to achieve.

    Please do not be worried about your level of ability or making a fool of yourself (we do this on a regular basis), the children love to see you guys taking part and no one is judging! After all, without you there would be no team for us to coach!

    3. PITCH SIZE/NUMBER OF PLAYERS PER TEAM - This is aimed specifically at the younger age groups. After viewing sessions for the last couple of weeks, its become obvious that some of the pitch sizes are just too big for the younger teams, and this problem is only highlighted more when teams are playing 15-a-side (we're exaggerating, but you get the idea). We recommend for the 3 year old age group up to Grades 1 and 2, that the teams play half field games at the elementary school. We realise that the goals are heavy, and although neither of us is the incredible hulk we will certainly be able to help! The kids might even give you a hand, which can be a great team-building exercise!

    We would also recommend playing no more than 6-a-side including the goalie. We realise that some coaches have very big rosters, and this will result in a lot of players having to start as subs. However, the game will have better structure and the players that are actually on the field will have more touches on the ball. More touches on the ball means faster improvement, and consequently better players. FACT.

    Thankyou Cardston, and goodnight!

    Coaches Ben and Spike

  6. USA 1 - ENGLAND 1 WOW!!! Great GAME... almost 1950 all over again!

  7. Hey everyone!

    So here's a couple more coaching tips from Ben and Spike......

    4. PLAYERS KIT - After being here a couple of weeks we've noticed that some children are coming to soccer practice in kit that's not really appropriate for training in. It would be awesome if we could see everyone wearing their team colors, shorts/ running trousers, soccer socks, shin guards and soccer boots. Jeans are not really appropriate for soccer as it restricts your movement and you can't play to your best ability.

    5. POSITIONS - We've been surprised by how many players think that when they play a certain position, they are only allowed in a particular area of the field (for example, several defenders think they are not allowed past the halfway line). Players need to be educated that if they play a position on the field, they are responsible for that area but not restricted to it.

    On the other side of the coin, there are players (especially forwards) who spend their entire game out of position. If a player is a forward, they should not be trying to clear the ball off of their goal line, they should be further up the field ready to counter-attack if the defense win the ball.

    There is an attitude with nearly every age group that if you dont have the ball or aren't near the action, that you aren't doing a good job. We need to try and change this. Even if a player makes a run on the other side of the field but never gets the ball, they might take a defender with them, which will create a gap for other attackers to expose. Soccer is a team sport, not an individual one, and if every player can do the little things right it will make a huge difference to team success.

    6. KICK-OFFS - We know that we have mentioned this before with the older age groups, but some teams have gone back to their old ways regarding kick-offs. Starting with the ball is an advantage, so rather than kicking the ball away from a kick-off, we should be working to keep possession. Usually 2 players work together to take a kick-off, and one will make a short forward pass to the other. After that, normal play can take place.

    Coaches Ben and Spike

  8. We have learned a lot of very useful skills,techniques and practice drills - thanks! Most of us never played soccer growing up and don't really know what is expected or needed during a game. The info you gave on positions was very helpful. If possible could we set up a game situation at soccer this week and learn some more about actual play? Even rules like when is it a corner kick or a throw in or a goal kick are a bit fuzzy to many of us! Thanks again for all your help and positive attitude with our kids!

  9. No worries - we're having an adult game on tuesday evening, and theres no better way to learn something than by taking part! Dont worry you dont need to be a good standard, its just a bit of fun!