It’s the Symptom Not the Disease!

15 05 2014

I know that to some extent this topic has been beat to death, but I feel like there is still a massive misunderstanding at all levels in understanding the winning vs development argument.  Most recently it popped up after seeing this criticism from Jason Devos over an independent website publishing standings for the U13 bracket of Ontario’s newly created OPDL.  The villainization of winning, the desire to win, and standings is once again a case of the soccer community in this country removing a symptom, but not actually killing the disease. Read the rest of this entry »

Preparing for the NPSL!!

31 03 2014

First, I will apologize for missing a post in February. I truly do want to make sure to get at least a post a month, but have faced some writer’s block.  I hope to provide something a little bit different to what other bloggers post and have struggled to come up with anything relevant that other’s haven’t adequately covered.

I have accepted a position as Vice President and Head Coach of a new NPSL team, Corinthians FC SA (in addition to my duties running my club NEYSO Liberty SC, my high school team, and assisting with the Men’s and Women’s Program at Our Lady of the Lake University).  Perhaps 1 too many fires burning, however, the experience I am getting working at nearly every level in the soccer pyramid is proving invaluable as developing season plans, training sessions, and conveying information is completely different for each.

My intention with this post is to give you a glimpse into the process I have been going through to get the team off the ground.

Read the rest of this entry »

NSCAA Convention Day 3 and 4

19 01 2014

Sorry missed everyone last night, but I had a very late night and didn’t get a chance to summarize day 3.  Overall, I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by much of what I have seen.  Some of it has been shockingly awful, but there have been a few very bright spots.

Miguel Cardoso was one of them.  He is originally from Portugal and is, currently, the Academy Technical Coordinator and U21 Head coach for Champions League club, Shaktar Donetsk.  Yesterday, he ran a great session on defensive organization followed by a lecture in which he shared video of him running the same session with his U21 squad.  Today he ran a session on transition, which was equally as good.  Like the Chelsea women’s coach, everything he does is based on his game model/style of play.  From there he breaks it down into components and smaller components and chooses/designs exercises that replicate a certain component multiple times throughout the session.  The energy and enthusiasm he showed was fantastic as was the level of detail and specificity in his sessions.  What has made him and every other session that I enjoyed successful was that he had a very clear, detailed and specific vision of how he saw the game and then trained those components in game-like, positionally functional situations.  Simple, yes, but it’s all in the details!

I also attended an interesting lecture by USA Futsal and FC Barcelona’s U16 futsal coach.  The content wasn’t exactly what I expected based on the title of the lecture, but it was interesting none the less.  I, absolutely, feel clubs need to be taking better advantage of gyms and courts to implement a futsal program.  At Liberty we will be implementing a program soon.

I missed both of Dick Bates’ sessions, which I was disappointed and heard good things about, but other than that there is really little to write about.  Much of it was mundane and as said earlier some of it was criminally bad.  But the time spent catching up with colleagues, networking etc was well worth it.

I’ll catch 2 sessions tomorrow on goalkeeping and then head home in the evening.  Looking forward to getting home!

NSCAA Convention Day 2

17 01 2014

Day 2 got off to a late start.  I somehow mis-programmed my alarm and woke up late missing the first session of the day.  I was hoping to see the Croatian Technical Director deliver the first of his 2 part series on functional technical training, which I received mixed reviews on.  For the second session, I attended a lecture given by Sebastian Dremmler, the coordinator of Bayern Munich’s youth program.  It was a decent lecture and provided some basic insight into how they run things, but did not really delve into any detail of their philosophy or methodology which was to be expected but still disappointing.  By no means a waste of time, but I was hopeful to get more insight than was given.

After this session, I attended Emma Hayes lecture on Periodization.  For those that read Day 1, you will know that I felt her session was the best of the evening and her lecture was just as good.  A very thorough lecture on the subject that illuminated a few areas for me that I had some questions on.  I managed to get her to agree to send me her presentation, which I will be happy to share.

The big event of the day, though, was the MLS Super Draft.  I stopped by briefly to catch up with my old agent from my playing days.  Otherwise, it was an incredibly boring affair and took every ounce of me not to yell something derogatory at Taylor Twellman.

I attended 2 more lectures to finish the day. The first discussing implementing a club curriculum.  The second was a lecture on developing grassroots/recreational programs.  The second I found interesting and took away several ideas I will hope to implement.

Overall, it was a bit of a slow day for me.  I heard from several colleagues that there were some very good sessions/lectures that I did not attend.  There’s so much going on during each time slot that you’re forced to choose between several good options.  Either way, these things (as with the licenses) are usually most beneficial due to the people you come in contact with.  It was great to catch up with some old friends, meet new ones and discuss ideas.

Looking forward to day 3 tomorrow and most importantly the 4v4 tournament Saturday night.  Spent both yesterday and today recruiting talent for my team!

NSCAA Convention Day 1

16 01 2014

So I have had significant writer’s block since my commitment to make sure I post at least once per month.  Nothing has particularly jumped at me enough to feel motivated to post, so I have decided to chronicle my time here at the NSCAA Convention.

This is my second time attending (the first was in Baltimore in 2011), and I can say I was looking forward to the event. I managed to get in early and hit the sites (spent the day touring Liberty Hall) which was enjoyable before attending the first session of the convention, led by NSCAA Director of Coaching, Ian Barker, on Speed of Play.  Bored to tears is about the closest description I can think of.  No personality whatsoever, and I’m positive the players were as bored as everyone in the audience.  The information presented was average at best, while the session itself lacked flow and specificity.

The next session I watched was led by Sam Snow.  A very typical Sam Snow session who is the master of coaching without actually coaching.  Great for the recreation level, but not for much more.

Thankfully, the evening was salvaged by a presentation on Periodization by the Chelsea women’s coach.  While she struggled with the clinic type environment, the session itself was actually very good.  A very functional session built on developing wing play using the principles of periodization.  Everything was based on positional roles and responsibilities within their playing style and was very enjoyable to watch.

There are several sessions I am very much looking forward to tomorrow and the rest of the weekend, and am hopeful they live up to my expectations.  At the very least, it’s a good opportunity to network and meet up with old friends!

Eric Wynalda visits Liberty SC

8 10 2013

It feels good to finally be back on here.  It has been a busy start to the fall season and things are finally settled enough to get some time to myself to post again.  Hopefully, I can begin to post on a more regular schedule as I truly do enjoy this outlet.  Many (ok well perhaps a few) have asked for more details on my time spent with Eric Wynalda as he spent a few days last week with my club and my staff.  I can say it was an absolutely enlightening experience and one I hope to have again soon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Setting the Bar…Day 1 of Coaching Education Seminar

1 08 2013

One of the first things I set out to do when I took over as Director with NEYSO Liberty SC was to design a coaching education program that would continue to align our staff to a singular philosophy, methodology, and style of play as well as continue to educate ourselves as coaches.

We took the first step in that endeavor as we just completed day 1 of our 3 day coaching education seminar!! Read the rest of this entry »

Developing a Club Curriculum Part 3

19 06 2013

Out of all of the parts in this series, this is perhaps the most difficult and therefore, also the most important.

Having a curriculum is fantastic.  Developing that curriculum appropriately with clear definitions as to style of play and what and how things should be taught is great as well.  There are many clubs that have a fantastic curriculum.  Many clubs have even distributed a copy to each of their coaches.  All of this is great.  Unfortunately, it’s not enough as the USSF is, currently, experiencing.  Claudio Reyna and Dr. Javier Perez released the USSF Curriculum a little over 2 years ago.  But what efforts has their been, outside of the Developmental Academy which has been minimal as it is, to effectively implement it?   Read the rest of this entry »

Developing a Club Curriculum Part 2

13 06 2013

In part 1, we discussed the necessity for club’s to develop a comprehensive, unified, and progressive club curriculum that is strictly followed and implemented. Unfortunately, few clubs have done so creating an environment where coaches are left to wing it on their own only for players to move on to a new coach with a different idea of the game.

In part 2, I want to discuss the necessary steps to developing a club curriculum, but before we get into that I’m going to officially become public with who I am and the club I am now running. Read the rest of this entry »

Developing a Club Curriculum Part 1

6 06 2013

Some of you may know, I have left my position at my former club and become the Director of Soccer Operations for another local club.  It is definitely a project and will take some time before we make any kind of mark on the state, regional, or national soccer scene.  With this in mind, I knew there had to be something to set us apart from our competitors, and so immediately set to work on developing a comprehensive curriculum, style of play, and methodology that would define how our soccer would be played, taught, and implemented.

So what? Doesn’t every a club have a curriculum some of you might ask?  The shocking and equally appalling answer…is no! Read the rest of this entry »