This is one of my number one coaching philosophies, and want I always teach to other coaches: games-based learning is the best training design to support long-term athlete development.
Tag: Youth Soccer
Structuring session plans: GAG methodology vs. linear progression
Like many reading this, I grew up around some great player-centered coaches, but always around ones who prioritized technical skill development over game awareness and tactical IQ. Instead of playing game-realistic activities, we spent a significant amount of time developing isolated technical skills without any link to how those skills could apply to the game itself. Around the time that I started to coach the sport, the likes of the CSA and US Soccer began to make changes that would better facilitate skill development in the context of the game. One of those introductions included what Canada Soccer calls the 'GAG' methodology (game-activity-game), with the pretext of 'let the game be the teacher'.
Coaching 9v9 Soccer – Ebook (2nd Ed.)
9v9 is one of the most exciting stages in the development of young players and can often be the first time they are truly able to understand positioning, formations and how to play to the strengths of their teammates. This Ebook gives coaches an opportunity to learn all the in's and out's of coaching 9v9, including tactics, formations, and game management.
How I coached an unbeaten team
In the summer of 2021, I took a youth team to an unbeaten campaign, in their first ever season playing together. While winning is never the most important part of youth soccer, I share some of the key tips and tricks that allowed me to achieve success with my team and instill a positive culture where each and every player wanted to return. In the first half of the episode, I also discuss the exciting opportunities coming up on TheMastermindSite.com. Follow the show and my body of work @mastermindsite and @desmondrhys!
Finding the balance between being fun and assertive in coaching (+ more Q&A)
In this special edition Spin The Ball Q&A, Rhys Desmond talks about how to find the balance between being fun and assertive in coaching, how to be more enthusiastic for your players, and gives his thoughts on the CONCACAF Champions League and Man City vs. Tottenham this weekend. Be sure to check out @mastermindsite on social media and everything we have going on at themastermindsite.com to never miss an update.
A set-piece routine that will guarantee goals
Set-pieces are vitally important to the modern game, with a high percentage of goals being scored from set-pieces in the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A this season. However, we are a firm believer in giving players creative autonomy and freedom to make choices in football matches. Allowing them to have a voice in attacking set-pieces is the perfect spot to allow them such creative input, as set-pieces can often be so different to everything else the team puts together in their formation, style of play and game model. With that said, we want to help your team score more goals from set-pieces, especially if you're going through our game model examples, only to see that we don't focus all that much on set-pieces. So with that, here is my favourite corner kick routine, which can easily be used at both the senior and professional level.
Sam Holmshaw – Why everything in coaching needs to fit your context
There's a beautiful thing in the coaching community, where we all strive to share resources. But this inherently creates a problem. What works in one context, doesn't always work in another. Sam and I are both content creators who always get asked to come up with solutions to various coaching problems and share our thoughts on how coaches can accelerate their teams to new levels. While we love creating content and educating coaches, it must be said that everything we put out always needs to be adapted to the context of the individual coach, team, players and environment. The same could be said for taking things from the professional game, where very few lessons can actually be applied at the youth level.
Constructing my dream soccer club
. Think of how many kids quit before they even get to high school, because it's just no longer fun. Once you think about that, then come back to me with your complaints
Coaching During a Pandemic
COVID-19 has presented unique challenges for coaches across the globe. A year after joining an MLS-affiliated organization at the start of a pandemic, Trevor McGahan gives Rhys Desmond and TheMastermindSite.com an exclusive interview about the challenges he has faced and the experiences he's had after breaking into the coaching scene. Trevor and Rhys also discuss some of the differences between coaching in the United States to Canada, and the exciting future of young Canadian players progressing into the professional game.
Creating a Game Model – with Sam Holmshaw – TMS Podcast
You might have heard some buzz recently in the coaching world about something called "game models". But what exactly is a game model and why is it so important to coaches across the globe? Sam Holmshaw joins the podcast to discuss his insight into creating game models, and shares his experiences working in the UK coaching and football scene.
Creating Unstructured Sporting Environments – TMS Podcast
COVID-19 has presented a unique opportunity for community sports organizations and their coaches to rethink their practices and work toward greater inclusivity. In Canada, few opportunities exist in the community for youth to practice on their own through unstructured play and unstructured learning environments. This episode explores how we can create these unstructured sporting environments in Canada, using programs like Kicks in the UK as an example. We also explore how to inspire youth to achieve greater individual involvement in the sport, both in terms of participation and individual involvement within games.