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#84539 - 02/02/12 05:10 PM Re: Evaluations [Re: Proff]
oldfatdude Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/05/10
Posts: 922
Loc: Kansas
Im no coach but I really think you have to wait until puberty to see what kind of player a kid is going to be. I think at age 6 or 7 they may already display the mind set of a striker or defender, but their athleticism may change after Puberty. In my oldest daughters case, at 6 or 7 she was happy to just trot along side the herd of players kicking the ball. At around 6th or 7th grade a light went off and she became very aggressive and quite a good player. There are exceptions to every rule though, that is just my expeirence.

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#84546 - 02/02/12 06:48 PM Re: Evaluations [Re: oldfatdude]
Juggler Offline
addict

Registered: 05/09/08
Posts: 634
I have not read many psych books but I have coached many 4 to 8 year olds. What I got out of brazilfan's post, he was being very general. I will have to agree with him, most of the time you CAN pick out the athletes at 1st grade. As ofd said a small % will change from a passive to an aggresive ahtlete.
What I did not get out of his post was the long suffering of women, thanks for reminding us. You've come along way baby.

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#84549 - 02/03/12 06:49 AM Re: Evaluations [Re: Juggler]
paul12 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 2810
Loc: Northern Virginia
In terms of spotting positional attributes by age 6, I'm not disagreeing with Brazil, but I haven't noticed that. Maybe the tendency indicators are too subtle for someone who doesn't work with U-7s all the time to see. I do think I can spot them a year or two later. In my mind, the difference between a U-7 and U-8 is pretty big, and again we see a huge difference the next year up.

So, yeah, by U-9 you can easily tell the attackers from the middies from the defenders, based on personality. If you have three eight-year-olds trying to learn how to do wheelies on their bikes, the middie will be the one who got the others into the activity, the defender will be the one who doggedly tries over and over again until he gets it right in his mind, and the attacker will be the one who suddenly wonders what it would be like to ride the wheelie into a tree.

More subtle distinctions like which middies would thrive in a 4-4-2 versus which middies would thrive as DMs in a 4-2-3-1... that's beyond my observation skills as well. Again, maybe someone who coaches and works as a teacher has that kind of perspective.

But that said, I strongly disagree with pigeon-holing kids at younger ages. They should play everywhere, if only to benefit from the perspective gained. Plus, you always have to allow the kid to surprise you (as in, you can be wrong). And none of this is written in stone. To give an extreme example, I'll bet very few youth coaches saw Beckenbauer as a defender. And you could argue he really wasn't, despite demanding to play sweeper, as he just wanted to experiment with defenders playing a more active role in attack phase.

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#84550 - 02/03/12 07:04 AM Re: Evaluations [Re: paul12]
paul12 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/10/09
Posts: 2810
Loc: Northern Virginia
That said, I do agree with Prof that this psychology stuff is an area in which a lot can be improved. I have no idea how - really beyond my depth.

At mass levels, things get watered down to levels everyone can handle. Things like 3-1 positive comments over negative, and design practices that go from low intensity, slow and methodical skills toward higher intensity application of skills - these are basically psychological tips for non-psych major coaches.

Every licensing course from D up talks about player psychology. Actually, every course does, but D is the first time I remember the word psychology being used. But it's generalized, so a bunch of idiot coaches can apply it. It's like telling car owners they need to change oil regularly. They may not fully understand why. Most certainly don't know how their car works as well as a mechanic does. But they can grasp the simple message - every 3k miles, change the oil.

The challenge with psychology is how to apply more specialized nuances at mass levels. Like I said, that's beyond me.

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#84572 - 02/04/12 03:27 PM Re: Evaluations [Re: Proff]
brazilfan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1410
Loc: Citizen of the World
Originally Posted By: Proff
Here is my "long reply":

So, what about women? 40 years ago they said all women were "powderpuff players". Coaches the world over laid on the floor laughing at the image of women playing with the aggression or passion of the men. Impossible! I doubt many would take that stance today, and only at their peril.

Women's "inability" to play sports was cultural, not genetic. Why not accept that may be the case for some other traits? Mindset and environmental reinforcement have a huge impact on physical ability.



"So, what about women?"
Don't want to go there. I'll just get myself into trouble!
blush




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#84573 - 02/04/12 03:44 PM Re: Evaluations [Re: paul12]
brazilfan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1410
Loc: Citizen of the World
Originally Posted By: paul12
But that said, I strongly disagree with pigeon-holing kids at younger ages. They should play everywhere, if only to benefit from the perspective gained. Plus, you always have to allow the kid to surprise you (as in, you can be wrong). And none of this is written in stone. To give an extreme example, I'll bet very few youth coaches saw Beckenbauer as a defender. And you could argue he really wasn't, despite demanding to play sweeper, as he just wanted to experiment with defenders playing a more active role in attack phase.


I agree. We shouldn't pigeon-hole them into a specific position but they do show tendencies and mind-set early on.

Natural strikers show that early on. They could care less about defence, they are just waiting for the ball and get into open positions naturally; it's like an instinct. I have also done the opposite: try to teach a player who is not a natural striker to get into open positions or to attack the defence, etc... They can eventually do it but it is not a natural instinct with them.

Likewise with defenders. Some are natural defenders and they are darn good at it. They intuitively know how to shepherd, how to fight for the ball, when to challenge.

Yes, we shouldn't pigeon-hole and we should let them experience different positions. I have no argument about that. They need that global experience to understand what the other players on the team have to do, what their jobs are, and how each part fits into the entire team concept.

But there's also instinct. If the kid is good at being a middie, for example, if he has that natural tendency to control the ball, distribute it, we need to develop that. To not do it, is to waste all that potential. That's all I'm saying.
grin

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#84585 - 02/06/12 09:24 AM Re: Evaluations [Re: brazilfan]
Proff Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/13/11
Posts: 285
BF - As I said...at their peril ;-P

This string is interesting to me. I continue to see a greater diversification of formations from top teams, and this isn't really possible without using players in multiple positions.

I wonder if this is a shift in youth soccer?

What I saw in the ECNL and upper MRL for example...are teams altering their formations much more than in the past. A very fast player might play D-wing in one set, and offensive mid in another. Or - a very tall, physical player who I see one match at striker, I might see the next match at center mid playing a very physical disruptive game instead.

Depending on the match ups, I am seeing coaches utilitze players in different locations on the field. SOME girls appear to be more well rounded on these upper teams...just great athletes that can fit in multiple positions, and they are playmakers no matter where they are.

Is this unique to the girls game?

I don't notice this as much on the boys side, but they mature a bit later...I will start looking for it this spring in the O17s.

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#84594 - 02/07/12 07:16 AM Re: Evaluations [Re: Proff]
KC Soccer Dad Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 04/05/05
Posts: 306
Originally Posted By: Proff
I don't notice this as much on the boys side, but they mature a bit later...I will start looking for it this spring in the O17s.



Sapong - late bloomer
_________________________
Yes, there was a time when I had more posts than Coach B.

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#84647 - 02/11/12 01:02 PM Re: Evaluations [Re: Proff]
brazilfan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 1410
Loc: Citizen of the World
Originally Posted By: Proff
BF - I continue to see a greater diversification of formations from top teams, and this isn't really possible without using players in multiple positions.


May be true.
I have also seen many teams utilize same formation.

WC 2010
4-2-3-1 [2 defensive mids]
Brazil: Felipe Melo & Gilberto Silva (got to the Quarter-Finals)
Germany: Schweinsteiger & Khedira (got to the Semi-Finals)
Dutch: De Jong & Van Bommel (went to the Finals)

WC 2006
4-2-3-1 [2 defensive mids]
France: Vieira & Makelele (went to the Finals)


just an observation...

wink

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#84666 - 02/13/12 03:05 PM Re: Evaluations [Re: brazilfan]
Proff Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 06/13/11
Posts: 285
I was just thinking about top youth teams, as I noted, MRL/ECNL.

My thought is that in the youth clubs, there are still a few players per team who are just...one step above their peers. So perhaps the coaches at that level are moving their formations around more, to better use those key playmakers in different ways?

It interests me as a referee, because I'm frequently dealing with those few players. They used to be more predictable.

Lately we have noticed, it is more difficult to get a pre-game report from whoever reffed them last. They often aren't in the same positions, and may actually be playing an entirely different tactical mindset than the last game.

We aren't complaining, it makes the games more fun to referee...it is just something new.

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