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#67053 - 03/26/10 09:08 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
Jo King Offline

Registered: 02/09/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Kansas City

Now that the Legends club is considered a lower level division 4 premier club has the philosophy changed?

#67055 - 03/26/10 09:16 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: Jo King]
raiderdude Offline

Registered: 05/11/07
Posts: 579
Loc: God's Country - North of the R...
Lets get back to Obama bashing, much more interesting than Andy's fanatic coaching philosophy.

#67058 - 03/26/10 11:43 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
coach12345 Offline

Registered: 06/12/07
Posts: 118
You've still got it wrong, ALL coaches include aspects of development. You can't create a winning team without ANY development.

MOST coaches focus primarily on development. Only a VERY FEW are focused first and foremost on winning.

I understand that presenting a negative view of the Kansas City coaching community is one of your primary marketing tools but people see through it eventually.

If you want some PR advice, focus on promoting what your coaches do well without comparing them to coaches from other clubs. I think you'll get just as many players and the other coaches in the community will respect you more because of it.

#67078 - 03/26/10 05:05 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: coach12345]
Relegators Offline

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 64
What can a Stanford psychologist in her 60’s tell us about soccer training?

- It appears, quite a lot.
- Always remember, "The 1st 100% is in your head".

This is from Stanford Magazine and written by Marina Krakovsky:

[The Effort Effect

According to a Stanford psychologist, you’ll reach new heights if you learn to embrace the occasional tumble.


ONE DAY LAST NOVEMBER, psychology professor Carol Dweck welcomed a pair of visitors from the Blackburn Rovers, a soccer team in the United Kingdom’s Premier League. The Rovers’ training academy is ranked in England’s top three, yet performance director Tony Faulkner had long suspected that many promising players weren’t reaching their potential. Ignoring the team’s century-old motto—arte et labore, or “skill and hard work”—the most talented individuals disdained serious training.

On some level, Faulkner knew the source of the trouble: British soccer culture held that star players are born, not made. If you buy into that view, and are told you’ve got immense talent, what’s the point of practice? If anything, training hard would tell you and others that you’re merely good, not great. Faulkner had identified the problem; but to fix it, he needed Dweck’s help.

A 60-year-old academic psychologist might seem an unlikely sports motivation guru. But Dweck’s expertise—and her recent book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success—bear directly on the sort of problem facing the Rovers. Through more than three decades of systematic research, she has been figuring out answers to why some people achieve their potential while equally talented others don’t—why some become Muhammad Ali and others Mike Tyson. The key, she found, isn’t ability; it’s whether you look at ability as something inherent that needs to be demonstrated or as something that can be developed.

What’s more, Dweck has shown that people can learn to adopt the latter belief and make dramatic strides in performance. These days, she’s sought out wherever motivation and achievement matter, from education and parenting to business management and personal development.

AS A GRADUATE STUDENT AT YALE, Dweck started off studying animal motivation. In the late 1960s, a hot topic in animal research was “learned helplessness”: lab animals sometimes didn’t do what they were capable of because they’d given up from repeat failures. Dweck wondered how humans coped with that. “I asked, ‘What makes a really capable child give up in the face of failure, where other children may be motivated by the failure?’” she recalls.

At the time, the suggested cure for learned helplessness was a long string of successes. Dweck posited that the difference between the helpless response and its opposite—the determination to master new things and surmount challenges—lay in people’s beliefs about why they had failed. People who attributed their failures to lack of ability, Dweck thought, would become discouraged even in areas where they were capable. Those who thought they simply hadn’t tried hard enough, on the other hand, would be fueled by setbacks. This became the topic of her PhD dissertation.

Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process.
Dweck and her assistants ran an experiment on elementary school children whom school personnel had identified as helpless. These kids fit the definition perfectly: if they came across a few math problems they couldn’t solve, for example, they no longer could do problems they had solved before—and some didn’t recover that ability for days.

Through a series of exercises, the experimenters trained half the students to chalk up their errors to insufficient effort, and encouraged them to keep going. Those children learned to persist in the face of failure—and to succeed. The control group showed no improvement at all, continuing to fall apart quickly and to recover slowly. These findings, says Dweck, “really supported the idea that the attributions were a key ingredient driving the helpless and mastery-oriented patterns.” Her 1975 article on the topic has become one of the most widely cited in contemporary psychology.

Attribution theory, concerned with people’s judgments about the causes of events and behavior, already was an active area of psychological research. But the focus at the time was on how we make attributions, explains Stanford psychology professor Lee Ross, who coined the term “fundamental attribution error” for our tendency to explain other people’s actions by their character traits, overlooking the power of circumstances. Dweck, he says, helped “shift the emphasis from attributional errors and biases to the consequences of attributions—why it matters what attributions people make.” Dweck had put attribution theory to practical use.

She continued to do so as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, collaborating with then-graduate student Carol Diener to have children “think out loud” as they faced problem-solving tasks, some too difficult for them. The big surprise: some of the children who put forth lots of effort didn’t make attributions at all. These children didn’t think they were failing. Diener puts it this way: “Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, I’m a problem solver, and I’ll try something else.’” During one unforgettable moment, one boy—something of a poster child for the mastery-oriented type—faced his first stumper by pulling up his chair, rubbing his hands together, smacking his lips and announcing, “I love a challenge.”

Such zest for challenge helped explain why other capable students thought they lacked ability just because they’d hit a setback. Common sense suggests that ability inspires self-confidence. And it does for a while—so long as the going is easy. But setbacks change everything. Dweck realized—and, with colleague Elaine Elliott soon demonstrated—that the difference lay in the kids’ goals. “The mastery-oriented children are really hell-bent on learning something,” Dweck says, and “learning goals” inspire a different chain of thoughts and behaviors than “performance goals.”

Students for whom performance is paramount want to look smart even if it means not learning a thing in the process. For them, each task is a challenge to their self-image, and each setback becomes a personal threat. So they pursue only activities at which they’re sure to shine—and avoid the sorts of experiences necessary to grow and flourish in any endeavor. Students with learning goals, on the other hand, take necessary risks and don’t worry about failure because each mistake becomes a chance to learn. Dweck’s insight launched a new field of educational psychology—achievement goal theory.

Dweck’s next question: what makes students focus on different goals in the first place? During a sabbatical at Harvard, she was discussing this with doctoral student Mary Bandura (daughter of legendary Stanford psychologist Albert Bandura), and the answer hit them: if some students want to show off their ability, while others want to increase their ability, “ability” means different things to the two groups. “If you want to demonstrate something over and over, it feels like something static that lives inside of you—whereas if you want to increase your ability, it feels dynamic and malleable,” Dweck explains. People with performance goals, she reasoned, think intelligence is fixed from birth. People with learning goals have a growth mind-set about intelligence, believing it can be developed. (Among themselves, psychologists call the growth mind-set an “incremental theory,” and use the term “entity theory” for the fixed mind-set.) The model was nearly complete (see diagram).

GROWING UP IN BROOKLYN in the ’50s, Dweck did well in elementary school, earning a spot in a sixth-grade class of other high achievers. Not just any spot, it turned out. Their teacher, Mrs. Wilson, seated the students in IQ order and even used IQ scores to dole out classroom responsibilities. Whether Mrs. Wilson meant to or not, she was conveying her belief in fixed intelligence. Dweck, who was in row 1, seat 1, believes Mrs. Wilson’s intentions were good. The experience didn’t scar her—Dweck says she already had some of the growth mind-set—but she has shown that many students pegged as bright, especially girls, don’t fare as well.

Tests, Dweck notes, are notoriously poor at measuring potential. Take a group of adults and ask them to draw a self-portrait. Most Americans think of drawing as a gift they don’t have, and their portraits look no better than a child’s scribbles. But put them in a well-designed class—as Betty Edwards, the author of Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, has—and the resulting portraits look so skilled it’s hard to believe they’re the work of the same “talentless” individuals. The belief that you can’t improve stunts achievement.

Culture can play a large role in shaping our beliefs, Dweck says. A college physics teacher recently wrote to Dweck that in India, where she was educated, there was no notion that you had to be a genius or even particularly smart to learn physics. “The assumption was that everyone could do it, and, for the most part, they did.” But what if you’re raised with a fixed mind-set about physics—or foreign languages or music? Not to worry: Dweck has shown that you can change the mind-set itself.

The most dramatic proof comes from a recent study by Dweck and Lisa Sorich Blackwell of low-achieving seventh graders. All students participated in sessions on study skills, the brain and the like; in addition, one group attended a neutral session on memory while the other learned that intelligence, like a muscle, grows stronger through exercise. Training students to adopt a growth mind-set about intelligence had a catalytic effect on motivation and math grades; students in the control group showed no improvement despite all the other interventions.

“Study skills and learning skills are inert until they’re powered by an active ingredient,” Dweck explains. Students may know how to study, but won’t want to if they believe their efforts are futile. “If you target that belief, you can see more benefit than you have any reason to hope for.”

‘What makes a really capable child give up in the face of failure, where other children may be motivated by the failure?’
The classroom workshop isn’t feasible on a large scale; for one thing, it’s too costly. So Dweck and Blackwell have designed a computer-based training module to simulate the live intervention. Their hip multimedia software, called Brainology, is still in development, but thanks to early buzz from a Time magazine article and Dweck’s recent book, teachers have begun clamoring for it, one even asking to become a distributor.

Unlike much that passes for wisdom about education and performance, Dweck’s conclusions are grounded in solid research. She’s no rah-rah motivational coach proclaiming the sky’s the limit and attitude is everything; that’s too facile. But the evidence shows that if we hold a fixed mind-set, we’re bound not to reach as high as we might.

ALTHOUGH MUCH OF DWECK’S RESEARCH on mind-sets has taken place in school settings, it’s applicable to sports, business, interpersonal relationships and so on. “Lots and lots of people are interested in her work; it touches on so many different areas of psychology and areas outside of psychology,” says Stanford psychology professor Mark Lepper, ’66, who as department chair in 2004 lured Dweck away from Columbia, where she’d been for 15 years. “The social psychologists like to say she’s a social psychologist; the personality psychologists say she’s a personality psychologist; and the developmental psychologists say she’s a developmental psychologist,” Lepper adds.

By all rights, her appeal should transcend academia, says New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, who is well known for making psychological research accessible to the general public. “One of the most popular pieces I ever did relied very heavily on work done by Carol Dweck,” he said in a December interview in the Journal of Management Inquiry. “Carol Dweck deserves a big audience. It is criminal if she does not get that audience.” Perhaps Mindset will help; it was written for lay readers.

It certainly cemented Tony Faulkner’s belief that Dweck could help the Blackburn Rovers soccer team. Unlike the disadvantaged kids in Dweck’s middle-school study, the Rovers didn’t think they lacked what it took to succeed. Quite the opposite: they thought their talent should take them all the way. Yet both groups’ fixed mind-set about ability explains their aversion to effort.

But aren’t there plenty of people who believe in innate ability and in the notion that nothing comes without effort? Logically, the two ideas are compatible. But psychologically, explains Dweck, many people who believe in fixed intelligence also think you shouldn’t need hard work to do well. This belief isn’t entirely irrational, she says. A student who finishes a problem set in 10 minutes is indeed better at math than someone who takes four hours to solve the problems. And a soccer player who scores effortlessly probably is more talented than someone who’s always practicing. “The fallacy comes when people generalize it to the belief that effort on any task, even very hard ones, implies low ability,” Dweck says.

Her advice for the Rovers rings true for anyone stuck in a fixed mind-set. “Changing mind-sets is not like surgery,” she says. “You can’t simply remove the fixed mind-set and replace it with the growth mind-set.” The Rovers are starting their workshops with recent recruits—their youngest, most malleable players. (Faulkner realizes that players who’ve already earned millions from being “naturals” have little incentive to reshape their brains.) The team’s talent scouts will be asking about new players’ views on talent and training—not to screen out those with a fixed mind-set, but to target them for special training.

In his 2002 essay that relied on Dweck’s work, Gladwell cited one of her best-known experiments to argue that Enron may have collapsed precisely because of the company’s talent-obsessed culture, not despite it. Dweck’s study showed that praising children for intelligence, rather than for effort, sapped their motivation (see sidebar). But more disturbingly, 40 percent of those whose intelligence was praised overstated their scores to peers. “We took ordinary children and made them into liars,” Dweck says. Similarly, Enron executives who’d been celebrated for their innate talent would sooner lie than fess up to problems and work to fix them.

Business School professor Jeffrey Pfeffer says Dweck’s research has implications for the more workaday problem of performance management. He faults businesses for spending too much time in rank-and-yank mode, grading and evaluating people instead of developing their skills. “It’s like the Santa Claus theory of management: who’s naughty and who’s nice.”

Leaders, too, can benefit from Dweck’s work, says Robert Sternberg, PhD ’75, Tufts University’s dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. Sternberg, a past president of the American Psychological Association, says that excessive concern with looking smart keeps you from making bold, visionary moves. “If you’re afraid of making mistakes, you’ll never learn on the job, and your whole approach becomes defensive: ‘I have to make sure I don’t screw up.’”

Social psychologist Peter Salovey, ’80, MA ’80, dean of Yale College and a pioneer in the field of emotional intelligence, says Dweck’s ideas have helped him think through a controversy in his field. Echoing an older debate about the malleability of general intelligence, some scholars say emotional intelligence is largely inborn, while others, like Salovey, see it as a set of skills that can be taught and learned. “People say to me all the time, ‘I’m not a people person,’ or ‘I’m not good at managing my emotions,’” unaware that they’re expressing a fixed mind-set, Salovey says.

‘Carol Dweck deserves a big audience. It is criminal if she does not get that audience.’

Courtesy Carol Dweck

Stanford psychology professor James Gross has begun extending Dweck’s work to emotions. In a recent study, Gross and his colleagues followed a group of Stanford undergrads as they made the transition to college life. Those with a fixed mind-set about emotions were less able to manage theirs, and by the end of freshman year, they’d shown poorer social and emotional adjustment than their growth-minded counterparts.

AS SHE APPROACHES THE END of her third year at Stanford, Dweck has embraced the challenge of cross-country culture shock in a manner consistent with the growth mind-set. Nearby San Francisco provides her with the benefits of a great city, she says, including a dining scene that rivals New York’s; and the University supplies a more cozy sense of community. She’s also brought a bit of the New York theater scene with her in the form of her husband, critic and director David Goldman. He founded and directs the National Center for New Plays at Stanford.

At the Association for Psychological Science convention in May, Dweck will give the keynote address. The topic: “Can Personality Be Changed?” Her short answer, of course, is yes. Moreover, holding a growth mind-set bodes well for one’s relationships. In a recent study, Dweck found that people who believe personality can change were more likely than others to bring up concerns and deal with problems in a constructive way. Dweck thinks a fixed mind-set fosters a categorical, all-or-nothing view of people’s qualities; this view tends to make you ignore festering problems or, at the other extreme, give up on a relationship at the first sign of trouble. (The growth mind-set, though, can be taken too far if someone stays in an abusive relationship hoping her partner will change; as always, the person has to want to change.)

These days, Dweck is applying her model to kids’ moral development. Young children may not always have beliefs about ability, but they do have ideas about goodness. Many kids believe they’re invariably good or bad; other kids think they can get better at being good. Dweck has already found that preschoolers with this growth mind-set feel okay about themselves after they’ve messed up and are less judgmental of others; they’re also more likely than kids with a fixed view of goodness to try to set things right and to learn from their mistakes. They understand that spilling juice or throwing toys, for example, doesn’t damn a kid as bad, so long as the child cleans up and resolves to do better next time. Now Dweck and graduate student Allison Master are running experiments at Bing Nursery School to see if teaching kids the growth mind-set improves their coping skills. They’ve designed a storybook with the message that preschoolers can go from “bad” one year to better the next. Can hearing such stories help a 4-year-old handle a sandbox setback?

Dweck’s students from over the years describe her as a generous, nurturing mentor. She’d surely attribute these traits not to an innate gift, but to a highly developed mind-set. “Just being aware of the growth mind-set, and studying it and writing about it, I feel compelled to live it and to benefit from it,” says Dweck, who took up piano as an adult and learned to speak Italian in her 50s. “These are things that adults are not supposed to be good at learning.”]


"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."


#67144 - 03/31/10 06:08 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: Relegators]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785

This is great!! Please keep researching and making interesting contributions. I can't tell you how much of a positive impact your research and insight is having on my thoughts and writing!!


smile Andy

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
Eleanor Roosevelt

#67145 - 03/31/10 06:17 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785
Change for Range – The switch to a better coaching method that guarantees ignition, ongoing motivation, incredible skill, intuitive tactical speed, bravery, creativity and ultimately…leadership!

The Legends “trust based” coaching method motivates children at the heart of learning where deep character and self-motivation is enhanced. Monty Roberts author of “The Man Who Listens to Horses” & “Horse Sense for People” says, “The groundwork put into developing trust is always worth it, because once trust is established the learning process speeds up noticeably.” Monty Roberts calls this phenomenon, “Slow is Fast”. Traditional soccer coaching methods fail to establish this trust because they are results oriented. Instead of being process oriented they focus on the cold, hard outcome plus the feel good emotion people derive from winning while proving their superiority over an opponent on the scorecard. The traditional win oriented coach is recognized by intelligent parents as someone who, to a certain degree, is prepared to put the importance of the statistical win over each child’s individual growth. Unfortunately, because it is “use and outcome” based, any focus on achieving the short-term team win at the cost of long-term individual development will eat away at the core of self-concept and the individual learning process, thereby slowing it down. Traditional methods are therefore “Fast is Slow” ones. This is where the focus on the immediate statistical gratification destroys trust and the brave, creative, self-motivated leadership focus essential for the optimization of a child’s personal potential. In the long run this limits growth and fulfillment.

The Legends learning process speeds up development for life with a simple, logical and proven educational theory. The degree that individual skill, intelligence and character is developed is directly proportionate to a child’s ability to be successful in life. Most youth soccer programs favor a more tactical approach and limit creative skill training. Most coaches retard skill, intelligence and character development by working on passing patterns and set plays. In doing so they limit the creative alternatives players are permitted to attempt. Most coaches encourage their players to play simple soccer rather than encourage the brave, creative leadership inherent within a gutsy deceptive dribble and brave, but low percentage, shot. Legends coaches encourage players to play difficult soccer where, as an essential part of the learning process, they attempt the hard deceptive dribble and have the guts to go for the low percentage shot. Most coaches play the game with a statistical win focus that restricts the use of the very deceptive dribbling and shooting skills that are essential to the development of a star player with a great self-concept.

Monty Roberts says, “If the average speed of learning is quantified with a miles per hour number, then theoretically you might say that the average learning speed in the United States is fifty-five miles per hour. Suppose someone says that the learning speed could be raised to 100 mph, why would we accept a far slower rate? We have to ask how we can change to encourage students to learn at this higher rate and why it is that the majority of people learn at a speed that appears to be below their optimum.”

Change has a considerable impact on the mind. To the scared it is threatening because it suggests that things may get worse. To the optimistic it is motivating because things may get better. To the leader it is inspiring because it is a personal opportunity to make things better.

The revolutionary Legends method of accelerated learning challenges every child’s ability to permanently absorb information at speeds that push accepted limits and far exceed normal expectations. Optimum conditions are those in which the student can learn at the greatest speed known to exist. In the Legends club we sincerely believe that we have significantly improved the soccer learning experience for children. We have devised a method that combines optimum conditions for learning to excel at soccer with simultaneous development of incredible character for life. We have raised the learning for soccer speed and ultimate character for life benefit to the maximum possible degree by developing a philosophy that combines ignition, ongoing motivation, incredible skill, intuitive tactical speed, bravery, creativity and ultimately…leadership!

smile Andy

#67195 - 04/01/10 12:12 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785
It is really perverse but in countries where the age cut off for regional and national team play is Dec 31st an incredible percentage of players have birthdays near the start of the year.

In countries where the age cut off for regional and national team play is July 31st an incredible percentage of players have birthdays near the end of the year.

I chose the decade of the 90's for the research. Here are the links:

1999 U17 World Cup





You might also want to read Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers

smile Andy

Edited by AndyBarney (04/01/10 12:13 PM)

#67200 - 04/01/10 01:22 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: AndyBarney]
mude Offline

Registered: 10/29/09
Posts: 387
The Canadian Hocket example from Outliers (Gladwell) is certainly interesting and point possibilities of doing things differently if one really wanted to leverage an overall talent pool.

I have not looked at your stats, but it would not be shocking to see similar results as Gladwell predicts.

#67225 - 04/01/10 04:10 PM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: mude]
Relegators Offline

Registered: 01/27/09
Posts: 64
It’s the accumulative advantage of differential exposure to training & coaching.

That’s why individual players really need to train and practice on their own in addition to team practices (so they don’t fall victim to getting behind those with early birth-dates getting selected for special team training activities due to the birth-date advantage). If you are lucky enough to play for a club that offers a daily academy, team practices, 1 v 1s, 2 v 2s, in addition to scheduled games then consider yourself very lucky and take advantage of those opportunities. If not then you can always workout on your own (moves, 1v1 or 2v2 SSG, wall-ball, juggling, etc.).

All training time should be optimized so that each player is actively engaged with a ball. My simplistic definition of actively engaged with the ball is you either have the ball and are using it in a gainful activity (more soccer -like and less soccer-strange) or you are actively trying to win it back from the person who does (it’s kind of hard to do that if your sitting on the bench, watching others play, listening to the coach give a 20 minute speech, or have too high a ratio of formal matches to training sessions).

All training time is not created equal. We recently left the park after a training session of moves, shooting, and 1 v 1. We noticed 4 players with one ball leisurely practicing corner-kicks to a large goal. Although, I am sure they were having a great deal of fun, a month of similar activity would not provide those 4 players anywhere near the benefit of the single 1.5 hour training session we had just completed. You can train in a productive manner and still have fun; they are not mutually exclusive activities. A certain portion of each training session has to be conducted at match-speed so that the player can adapt over time to playing at a higher level of speed. Soccer is a series of all-out efforts with jogging and moderate rest periods in between while waiting for the next opportunity to strike; it’s really not a slow marathon and you should not train that way. The mind and body will adapt to the higher/faster level of play incrementally over time but only if a reasonable portion of training is conducted at match speed.

600 moves, 200 shots, SSG (1v1 or 2v2), and juggling each day with a certain portion conducted at match speed may not make a noticeable difference the next day, the next week, or the next month; but over a longer period of 5 – 10 years the accumulative effects will make a dramatic difference in the skill level of any player.

#67235 - 04/02/10 10:38 AM Re: Soccer as a Vehicle for Learning Life Lessons [Re: Relegators]
AndyBarney Offline

Registered: 06/14/06
Posts: 1785
It should be glaringly obvious by now that Legends coaches and administrators are encouraged to see and carefully evaluate all feedback...even the most negative!

In the spirit of seeking to understand the opinions of parents within our club we recently conducted a club wide survey of parents. We asked for their opinions of a wide range of key subjects and received some wonderful feedback.

In order to shed light on the challenges inherent within even the most child centered and progressive child development system the following contains some of the philosophical questions, observations and feedback resulting from the survey.

smile Andy

Parent questions/observations:

1. We are fully supportive of the Legends approach to teaching moves-but feel that there are too many aspects of the game that are not being covered by this coach.

2. I would like to see a focus on building the fundamentals of soccer like passing, communication, transition between defense and offense, shooting, ball control, using space, etc. Why so much on moves like "pull back", "step over", "scissors"??? These skills can be useful, but they do not help build an all around good soccer player.

3. This team is starting to learn to pass. I see some good passes, but some very poor. I think they need to practice the 10 - 15 yd passes in front of the attacker. Too many passes made with heads down to spaces where there are not any of our players, just giving up the ball.

4. We need a broader range of skills taught to the boys.

On behalf of the Legends coaching staff here are my answers:

To truly understand the whole Legends method one has to read my book, "Training Soccer Legends", cover to cover. For a free PDF copy please email me at andy@kclegendssoccer.com

The following is a very brief justification for the incredible Legends focus on deceptive dribbling and shooting followed by intense 1 v 1 and 2 v 2 tactics.

The Legends coaching program focuses on the most influential skills and tactics in a way that accelerates learning for soccer and life to an incredible degree when compared to other, more traditional, coaching methods. Because we focus intensely on deceptive dribbling and goal scoring the Legends curriculum is also more enjoyable and motivational than traditional methods. Anson Dorrance, formerly U.S. National team coach, and the most successful NCAA DI coach in the history of all college sports, defines our curriculum as teaching “the margin of soccer greatness”. In order to give our players more learning and develop greater talent in the same time available to other teams and clubs, we have refined the soccer learning process to core elements that contain all of the most important physical and mental skills and tactics. These “core elements” are taught in unique ways that simultaneously develop great technique, tactics, physiology and psychology for soccer and life. The Legends approach is a “Less is More” philosophy where the end result of developing expertise in the team leading skills (beating players in the 1 v1 & 2 v 2 and scoring goals) carries over into great passing, receiving, defending and all round team play. The difference between traditional programs and the Legends approach is seen when in high school Legends trained players can easily fulfill their team role but can also make the “Big Play” that decides the game.

According to Sir Alex Ferguson, coach of Manchester United, there are currently 115 Brazilian players in the Champions league and only 15 British. Why is this? The truth is that talented young Brazilians can perform most deceptive dribbling moves before they leave pre-school. It is their creative skill with the ball that enables great tactical speed in highly pressured receiving, passing and finishing situations because the talented dribbler can master the ball by feel leaving his eyes free to see the field for tactical decision making. One of the glaring contradictions of soccer, where sharing the ball is ultimately very important, is that great team players are first great dribblers, (Ball hogs or hot dogs!).

Only when we truly know that each player is able to beat their opponent or dribble deceptively out of pressure will we teach the team game. Even though it is very difficult to be patient in this impatient world, we must be willing to teach and encourage individual brilliance before focusing on the "team" game. Incredible teams are made up of incredible individuals. Developing an incredible individual takes years of teaching, encouraging and rewarding high risk, creative behavior. If we are patient and supportive of the process necessary to build incredible deceptive dribbling and finishing skill our children will reap the lifelong character benefit that goes with brave, creative leadership. They will also be fantastic soccer players!!

smile Andy

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