1 – ENVIRONMENT SETTING
As players it will be up to you to decide what conditions you want to abide to and
the punishments if any, for breaking these. It is important that you feel a degree of
ownership and responsibility for your development and as such this will require being
involved in the creation of your own environment conditions.
All players will be asked to contribute suggestions that they wish to see implemented
to create an enjoyable, inclusive and fun environment but one that will also be
challenging, learning and encourages all the players to push themselves.
The rules will be agreed upon in one of the first sessions of the season and will be
voted in by the players who will then be responsible for upholding and maintaining
their chosen environmental settings.
2 – GOAL SETTING
Basic goal setting is a powerful tool that can provide great structure and clarity in
our performances and our habits on and off the pitch (Leith, 2003). Players will be
given an opportunity to create their own goals based around the 4 corner model and
around the ‘process‘ more than the outcome, in the opening few sessions of the season.
Over the season, players will work with the coach to monitor their progression and
evaluate the stature of the goals. Any required adjusted action will then be drawn up
into an action plan for the player to carry out.
Goal setting will be done both individually and as a collective. By being objective
and stating our intentions from the beginning we will be able to walk a clear path
and be able to clearly see which areas of our game need more attention.
3 – TECHNICAL REPETITION
No matter what age and stage a player is at with their development the need to repeat the
technical fundamentals is imperative as this builds crucial myelin that allows actions to be taken
effortlessly (Coyle, 2010).
Technical fundamentals can be broken into ball mastery, passing and receiving, 1v1 attack
and defence, speed with the ball and finishing. These areas can be developed at will with
little equipment or space required. More often than not just a ball will suffice! Guidance for
devising a technical home program can be provided where needed.
All players will be encouraged to own a size 1 soccer ball and increase the amount of touches
that they have over the course of a week. Training sessions and matches will be a crucial
component of your development but the number of touches that can be gained away from
these hours is not to be underestimated.
4 – POSITIONAL DIVERSIFICATION
It is important to understand that in the modern game, the dynamic nature and increasing
demand for attacking output from all areas of the pitch requires that all players are
comfortable across the pitch at all times before attempting to specialize in a specific role
(Memmert, Baker, & Bertsch, 2010).
To be a complete player the ability to perform with maximum effort in multiple positions will
provide not only a great learning experience but a great asset for the team. Doing so also
increases game understanding and provides the player with different ‘pictures’ that they may
not have seen before in new areas of the pitch.
Over the course of the season, players will be moved on a fortnightly block basis to get a
sense of what is required in different roles and to ultimately make them a more versatile and
durable player. Guidance and goal setting will be carefully used to help players adapt and
5 – TRAIN HOW WE PLAY
The privilege to train and to play should be treated with the same respect if we are
to have the performances and results that we desire. Doing so will allow us to
develop our cognitive, physical, and skill levels (Broad, Elizabeth M., et al. 1996).
That is why it is important that we as players are giving maximum effort and
competing in our training sessions as we would do on game day within game like
Conditions to replicate our game day will be discussed by the players and
incorporated into training sessions within the first few sessions to give players a sense
of being in an environment that feels like it is significant yet conducive to learning
6 – USE OF MUSIC
The power of music both pre play and within play can play a significant role in relaxing,
motivating and controlling emotions as players for their performance (Eliakim et al., 2007;
Yamamoto et al., 2003).
By using music carefully we are able to build the habit of mentally preparing ourselves for our
performances and getting into a ‘flow state’ in which (Laukka, 2013). The players will
therefore be given the opportunity to create a team playlist. This will be made up of the
players’ favourite songs (clean please!) that they turn to in order to feel either relaxed,
motivated or stimulated in preparation for their performance. This is something that was
successfully used by the USNWT no less!
This playlist will be used whilst the players’ take part in their warm up exercises in both training
and game days and will be led by the player who’s song is playing at the time of shuffle!
7 – MIND-SET MONITORING
As we approach the midpoint of our teenage years a lot of external factors can end up
having a greater impact on us than we would like. Pressure can build up easily and our
enjoyment and focus can easily be lost when playing.
However we do not perhaps realize the amount of power that we actually yield. No matter
what the external circumstance is we will always have the choice of what we choose to think,
and therefore choose to feel. This then controls our actions allowing us to have our desired
strong performances (Johnson, et al. 2004).
That is why we will be taking a proactive approach in trying to address how we can control
what we think about negative, inconvenient events and try to harness our powers towards
good. Players will work with the coach to monitor their thoughts around training and games
and to create positive mantras that they can turn to and stay mindful of when things could
perceived to be better!
8 – RISK REWARD SYSTEM
Even though we are moving towards being more focussed on our performances we
will still very much encourage players to play out of their comfort zone and take risks
across the pitch no matter what their position and what the game state.
To continue our development we need to make sure that we are dealing with the
pressure of the XI a side game and its conditions in a positive and proactive manner
that will help us become stronger.
Over the course of the season, any players’ attempts at executing moves, making
penetrative runs and attempting to be brave on the ball will be rewarded with
points. These points will be collated and the player with the most points will win a
prize at the end of the season.
9 – USE OF PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS
Now we are in the developmental phase of our soccer careers, we begin to build on those
fundamental phase years and fine tune our game. As a result we will need to begin to attempt
to be more aware of our performances. Using video and data we can do this in an
constructive way (Carling, Williams, Reilly, 2005).
The use of video for both training and matches in combination with some basic notational
analysis will be introduced. This will allow us to be objective throughout the season and
measure our progression as we attempt to meet our individual and collective goals.
Videos will be uploaded into a dropbox folder for our reference over the season. These will
contain clips from both training (discussions and practices) as well as matches (individual and
10 – HOMEWORK
Weekly homework tasks will be assigned for you to complete based around the 4
corner objectives that we have worked on in sessions. Tasks will vary from individual
to collective over the season.
Our dropbox folder will contain details of the homework tasks required for
completion. Deadlines will vary dependent on the size and nature of the tasks.
Homework tasks are designed to reinforce your learning, create deeper connections
with your teammates, and for you to see real life examples of what we have been
working on in training from the real world.
11 – TEAM ELECTED CAPTAIN
Players will be given the chance to elect the team’s captain for the season within the
first few sessions. Every player will be required to give their vote for one of the
players. Players cannot vote for themselves! Reasons why will be shared by all and
the votes will be counted. Our captain will then be handed the arm band.
The captain’s role will be to lead by example on and off the field and be a model
player to represent both the team and the club. The captain will work closely with the
coach to work on their leadership qualities over the season.
A vice captain will also be elected with the person who came second taking up the
role. This player will fill in as captain when our first choice captain will not be
available to play.
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