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Nation’s Top Coaching Minds Get Together at US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop

The 2010 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop, held Feb. 25-27 in Fort Worth, Tex., consisted of over 3,000 soccer coaches, administrators, referees and enthusiasts. The largest event of its kind for youth sports in North America, the event features more than 90 educational workshops and demonstrations.

This year’s US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop featured numerous sessions for anyone involved in youth soccer, including field demonstrations for coaches. In addition to the educational opportunities, the convention also had an exhibit hall with over 200 exhibitors demonstrating the latest soccer equipment, technology, apparel, fundraising ideas and more.

In addition to learning from some of the leading clinicians in the areas of coaching and player development, the event also highlighted some key administrator topics, from the challenges and realities of international travel, risk management, to organizing and financing field development.

Workshops on the latest in marketing techniques and tactics, sports medicine, developing and retaining youth referees, and additional areas of interest regarding recreational, elite and disabled players, were also available.

I feel it is important to continually search for further knowledge and I have summarized the three workshops that I thought would be of interest to our coaching members. Enjoy!


1 – Preventing common soccer injuries – The FIFA 11+

The 11+ - a complete warm up to prevent injuries

Warming up prior to playing and training is a matter of routine for any serious player. A smart warm-up not only improves your performance, but also helps you to prevent injuries. "The 11+", the new injury prevention program from FIFA's Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC), provides a complete, soccer-specific warm-up and can easily be integrated into a daily training routine.

The 11+ is divided into three parts:

  1. Running exercises (part I)
  2. Six exercises with three levels of increasing difficulty to improve strength, balance, muscle control and core stability (part II)
  3. Further running exercises (part III)

The different levels of difficulty increase the program's effectiveness and allow coaches and players to individually adapt the program. The 11+ takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and replaces the usual warm-up before training. Prior to playing a match, only the running exercises are performed, for about 10 minutes.

The 11+ has proven to cut injuries by up to half — if performed correctly and regularly. When it is adopted together with the values of fair play, it enables you, as a player or coach, to protect yourself, your team and your opponents and thus increase everyone's enjoyment of the game.

The FIFA 11+ program will be available for viewing on Washington Youth Soccer’s website in the “Technical Zone," under "injury prevention.


2- The role of play in player development

This presentation focused on the below aspects:

  1. Play is the work of the child, creating the environment
    • Voluntary, enjoyable, purposeful and spontaneous
    • Creativity expanded using problem-solving skills, social skills, language skills and physical skills
    • Helps expand on new ideas
    • Helps the child to adapt socially
    • Helps to thwart emotional problems
  2. Why Play Equals Learning
    • Play is a central ingredient in learning
    • Play allows children to imitate adult behaviors, practice motor skills, process emotional events, and learn much about their world
    • Play is not frivolous
    • Research confirms that “play is the work of childhood”
    • Both free play and guided play are essential for the development of academic skills
  3. The Power of Play
    • “Over the past two decades, children have lost 12 hours of free time a week, including eight hours of unstructured play and outdoor activities.”
    • “… the amount of time children spend in organized sports has doubled and the number of minutes children devote to passive spectator leisure, not counting television but including sports viewing, has increased fivefold, from 30 minutes to over three hours.”
    • “… the surgeon general also suggests that two-thirds of the children in this country suffer at least one health problem. Thirteen percent of our children are obese.”
    • “… children in the 21st (century) have been transformed from net producers of their own toy-and-play culture to net consumers of play culture imposed by adults.”
    • “Some children are born active, some children become active, and some have activity thrust upon them. The majority of children, however, fall into the category of those who learn to be active.”
  4. Basis of Player Development: Passion Equals Love of the Game

3- Teaching the principles of group defending

Principles of Defense

  • Immediate chase — individual and group
  • Delay & pressure — timing/predictability
  • Depth & cover — organization/positions
  • Balance — positioning away from the ball or central area
  • Concentration — compactness both laterally, and front-to-back

Team Shape — Offside Tactics

  • Control & Restraint –individually and as a group, recovery runs, positioning

Tracking Down

  • Role of the goalkeeper

Considerations in Group Defending

  • Safety vs. risk
  • Defending numbers, both up and down
  • Defensive team posture
  • Forcing play central or wide, variations of zonal matchups and combinations
  • Roles and functions within lines of the framework
  • Team tactics — pressing, low pressure, pressure pockets
  • The referee, Laws of the Game
  • Restarts

Want more coaching tips, or to learn about coaching clinics and license classes in your area of the state? Visit the Washington Youth Soccer website and click on the “Technical Zone” for the latest information exclusively for coaches of Washington Youth Soccer!

Washington Youth Soccer

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1-877-424-4318 (Toll Free) • (253) 4-SOCCER (476-2237)

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