The Steps to a Perfect Demonstration for Any Activity

The art of carrying out the perfect demonstration is an underrated skill, often neglected by coaches in the quest to get the activity going as quickly as possible. What coaches often don't realize is that by not demonstrating, and by not demonstrating properly, they are wasting time as players are thrust into an activity without having a clue as to what they are supposed to do. The demonstration is probably the most critical component to any activity or game in a practice session, yet many forget about the necessity of the demonstration or neglect to realize a) how important it is to raising understanding and painting the picture for the players and b) how many crucial steps there are to an effective demonstration. As a result, in this article, I will break down every element to a perfect demonstration in helping coaches better paint pictures for their players.

Why You Shouldn’t Punish Your Players

In Canada, there has recently been a move toward the terms "old school" and "new school" to describe a shift in coaching behaviours. The terms have developed as a result of the abandonment of "old school" methods like yelling at kids, focusing on a select few talented players rather than all, and punishments like push-ups, laps or "benching" players. But still, everywhere I go, I still see coaches looking for ways to punish their players. And so today, I write this piece, with the bold statement that you should never punish your players. I am usually one to avoid saying the word "never", especially in respect to coaching. I may want to tell coaches that I mentor and develop to never do elimination games or to never limit a player's number of touches. But there may be a time and a place where it could be beneficial or logical. But when it comes to punishments, unless someone has something really compelling to say and wants to try to convince me otherwise, I believe you should never punish your players. Here are three reasons why!

How To Keep Your Players Engaged During COVID-19

Over the past couple of weeks, much of youth sports around the world have been postponed due to COVID-19 and the ongoing spread of the virus. For both coaches and athletes this presents a unique challenge, as self-isolation and social distancing makes practicing a team sport particularly difficult. That said, it's not as though nothing can be done in this time of self-isolation or as though players must spend all day on their phones. Here are some ways to keep your players engaged during this time.

5 Common Mistakes Coaches Make

Recently I had the privilege of helping teach a coaching course at my university institution to eighty students, most of which had never coached before. Not only was it (hopefully) a valuable learning experience for the students, it was also a great learning experience for me and my development as a coach. Across the course, the students adapted well to the teaching methods of the course. However, a few common mistakes could be found in nearly every single session that the students delivered. As a result, I have developed this list of the most common mistakes coaches (not just beginners) often make. This list should be a helpful reminder to all coaches on how to be better in their roles and ensure participants get the most out of their experience.

5 Things I Learned From Teaching a Coaching Course

This winter, I had the privilege of helping to teach a coaching course at my university institution. The experience was absolutely amazing and better than I could have ever hoped for before beginning the course. Here are five things I learned from the teaching experience.

Restricted vs. Conditioned Games – Coaching Soccer

Many coaches often add restrictions to games. Restrictions like needing to complete three passes before the team can score or players being locked into different zones on the field can be valuable to teaching certain topics to young players. But restrictions need to be used wisely. Instead of restricting behaviours, coaches should look to encourage behaviours and do so more carefully through encouraging something to happen, rather than restricting it. In this article I will outline why restricted games should be more scarcely used, and why the term 'conditioned game' should possibly have a change of meaning to urge coaches to encourage the behaviours of their players in games without restricting their players.

Maurizio Sarri – Juventus – Tactical Analysis

Maurizio Sarri's career at Chelsea never quite got off to the way the Italian manager might have planned. But that didn't stop the former Napoli man from landing a job at the top club in Serie A - Juventus. Maurizio Sarri's Juventus have been at the top of the table throughout 2019-20 just as you'd expect them to be, and as far as their status as one of Europe's elite clubs, they have continued on exactly where Massimo Allegri left off. However, The Old Lady have been a completely different side under Maurizio Sarri this season, deploying tactics that make Juve a unique outfit anywhere in the footballing world today. This is a Tactical Analysis of Maurizio Sarri's newly revamped Juventus.

Pressing in the 2-4-2 Formation (9v9)

Even at the younger ages when a retreat line is in place, pressing from the front is still a crucial aspect to stopping the other team from playing out from the back. This article will explore pressing from the front in the 2-4-2 formation. STARTING POSITIONS In this example, the opposition is playing a 2-1-4-1 … Continue reading Pressing in the 2-4-2 Formation (9v9)

Communication in Youth Soccer

Communication is one of the most important skills for young players learning their trade in the beautiful game to develop. Communication is not just all about players shouting at each other and calling for the ball. It goes far beyond that to non-verbal communication, body language, and even knowing when not to communicate. Here are some of the key words and phrases that young players can communicate to their teammates during games.

Managing Different Personalities on a Sports Team

Every athlete is different. Every athlete has a unique set of characteristics, behaviours, dispositions and traits that make them who they are and can directly affect their ability to perform. Managing these different personalities can be a daunting task for any sport manager, coach or leader, particularly in a team setting where twelve to eighteen conflicting personalities may require managing.

La Pausa – Tactical Analysis

La Pausa - Spanish for 'The Pause' is a fantastically useful skill for players looking to fool their opponents. La Pausa is a skill whereby players in possession pause on the ball, drawing in defenders and enticing them to make a movement toward the ball. After the defender makes a movement toward them, the player in possession will often quickly speed up play or then make their pass or movement in a direction that exploits the fact that the defender has approached them.

Counter Attacking and the Death of Tiki-Taka Football

For a while, tiki taka, highlighted by the intricate triangles created in Spain's Xavi-Iniesta years, prevailed as the dominating tactic of the beautiful game. However, with Spain's struggles in recent tournaments and the much talked about "possession without purpose" that has haunted many teams in recent modern day matches, I pronounce the death of tiki taka.