- Do they replicate the author’s?
- What do you think are the pros and cons of a whole part whole approach in comparison to a more traditional simple to complex one?
We keep learning and learning along the month of November and our focus in Coaching the Micro Division (U6-U8). In this opportunity we invite you to read the following article from acclaimed psychologist Carl Pickhardt, posted on The Rush e-Learning Center.
Carl Pickhardt, a psychologist and author of 15 parenting books, says on his article ’18 Things to Raise a More Confident Child’ that a kid who lacks confidence will be reluctant to try new or challenging things because they’re scared of failing or disappointing others. This can end up holding them back later in life and prevent them from having a successful career.
This article invites all coaches to self-reflect on:
Share your thoughts! And don’t forget to visit The Rush e-Learning Center for top quality content on Coach Education.
Aubrey Watts, Coaching Education Coordinator at the United States Olympic Committee, joined Chris P., Rush’s Developmental Director, on an amazing Webinar in which she explained how to help our players improve by this method.
As we move forward on our Monthly Campaign, Coaching The Micro Division U6-U8, we focus on our webinar with Aubrey Watts, who works in the Coaching Education Department of the United States Olympic Committee, in which she explains viewers ideas on how to help players improve quicker by using cues.
In this amazing presentation, Aubrey starts by walking us through the difference between Performance & Learning, understanding the first as a temporary and measurable change in a skill, while the second relates to relatively permanent changes.
From there, the presenter deepens the analysis towards responding to the following questions:
Through this process, we invite you to not only reflect of the questions posted above but also practice and adapt to the Micro Division U6-U8 context.
Haven’t seen the Webinar yet? Want to Rewatch it? Enjoy!
This article is based on a podcast interview recorded for The Rush Podcast Network, in which Pablo Toledo, Coach Development Director, speaks to Arian Hoxha, Hawaii Rush Technical Director, National Technical Director, and one of the best known, experienced, and most appreciated coaches within Rush Soccer.
Born in Albania, Arian Hoxha grew up his love for the beautiful game like many others do in foreign countries: playing restlessly on the streets with his childhood friends. His youth career got interrupted by the sociopolitical conflicts the country went through at the time. He immigrated to the US in the 90’s, where he studied a not so common at the time Master’s in Coaching. Once a rival of the club, he joined Colorado Rush years before Rush Soccer was actually founded. Life, destiny, luck (or a bit of all of these) took him to Hawaii Rush fourteen years ago and since then, he managed to build a fantastic and ever growing club: “In 2006, when I moved here, the club was having a tough time, they went from 350 players to 190. Last year’s number was somewhere around 760 here in Hawaii, and that doesn’t include the other islands, which would add up to over a thousand”.
Today, Hawaii Rush is recognized as one of Rush’s top clubs in producing high performing players. Sunshine Fontes (U17 USWNT) or Shandon Hopeau (Seattle Sounders) are just two of the club’s many top level alumni.
– What is your coaching philosophy or the cornerstones of your coaching approach?
“I don’t know if I can talk about a philosophy, but I can mention important aspects.
One of them is that I believe that the way that we communicate and demonstrate our understanding of the game is key. You need to be consistent along their development, so the player reaches a U16 or U17 division and when the coach explains a topic he/she is familiar with it already, he/she has heard that for years now.
Another important aspect to me is the attention to details. Details matter and as a coach you need to know these. This is important because for a kid to perform a skill, you can’t just ask them to do it and expect them to do it right and ultimately prevail in a game. You have to provide those details, that environment. If their pass is not good enough, or their body shape is wrong, it needs to be brought up”, explained Arian.
“I also think the way we deliver feedback is instrumental. You can’t get in front of players and talk general, especially when negative: ‘you didn’t play well’ or ‘you didn’t try hard’… That’s not feedback, that’s just you reinforcing that they failed. You’re not helping them. It just separates you as a leader from them, so down the road they’ll start not wanting to hear your feedback anymore but being afraid of it. You are damaging the relationship” – he added – “And I’ll relate it back to the way we teach and explain a concept during training. If your coaching was rich in details and consistent, they will feel less pressure and mental anxiety in moments like half time or before the game starts, and you’ll be able to help them by talking specifically about what’s working and what’s not, and they’ll relate to it”.
– Arian, Hawaii Rush has a well deserved reputation for producing players. What’s the secret?
“On the developing part, I think it comes down to experience and to years of consistency. We created a curriculum. We put some expectations for our players during the years. It’s a moving target, we don’t say ‘here’s the book, follow it’, but it serves as a guide. This and the fact that we hire people that really buy in to what we are doing. If you look at the turnover in our club, is really low, and even when somebody leaves, we still have a strong core so we are able to sustain the structure and the approach. That’s very important.
The other factor is about mentality. When you play on an island like us and you are at the top, who do you compete against? Our mentality is to compete against yourself. It means that you are your best opponent. The players do not compare themselves with other clubs. With that mentality, many of them end up being very strong in regards training, competitions, how ambitions get built up. It becomes this healthy environment where everyone looks for each other. I have to give a lot of credit to the local kids in that sense, because they come to the club with that desire, that push.”
– If you took a new club tomorrow or give advice to somebody that’s starting a club, what would be the first thing you would recommend?
“Bringing the staff under the same philosophy, standards and expectations about how to execute the plan. Then the plan would be whether is grow or quality or both. I feel comfortable with both. They go hand in hand. If you do one well, the other will follow. Then, obviously you have to take into consideration where you are, the demographics, the capabilities, the numbers, how much room for growth, what kind of growth. In any circumstance, there is room enough to achieve a situation where your club is ran smoothly, and creates a good environment for learning.
Again, your staff is key. Like we spoke before, when I started I felt the need to be consistent for many years, so I tried to make sure that those people that participated for the grow of the club were in for the long term. I always make sure that the staff makes decision together, it’s always a discussion. The planning and the discussing of issues has always been a staff approach. Whatever we are doing, we are all doing it”
– What would you advise young aspiring coaches that are trying to further their careers?
“My advice would be don’t cut corners. Don’t for a moment think that just because you played or know the game, you can just fit in for everything and go on with it. So, as a young coach, you are going to find yourself not coaching at the highest level, unless you are lucky. Sometimes young coaches lose sight of the fact that there are steps, there is experience, time, sacrificing, a lot of hours of work. They just want to get to the top quickly and be recognized. The moment that a young coach understands that, then I think they have a chance. With patience and sacrifice, I think they can make it. There’s nothing to stop them.
In terms of learning, some aspects of the game can be taught by watching TV or by reading a book, but at the end of the day, it’s not the material that you are reading or watching what helps you to become a better coach, it is your ability to break that down and assimilate it and then later implement it. Quantify it too, so that now you are not only teaching it, but you are also able to give feedback based on the standard you set up.
– What does Rush Soccer mean in your life?
“Loyalty on the game is a key, so just the fact that all these years that I spent in this club, made it very special to me. I can’t see myself outside to Rush. This is my home, the place I feel comfortable and that will never change”.
Thank you Arian!
In this is remarkable study, Carol Dweck and her team researched for over a decade the effects of praise on students, reaching some amazingly revealing results of the effects of praising by ability vs effort. This study involved a series of experiments on over 400 5th graders from all over the country.
Carol S. Dweck (born October 17, 1946) is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Dweck is known for her work on the mindset psychological trait. She taught at Columbia University, Harvard University, and the University of Illinois before joining the Stanford University faculty in 2004.
Hope you enjoy it coach.
Pablo Toledo is Rush Soccer’s Coaching Education Coordinator and lead on the Rush Soccer Blog.
Now, the question that arises and what led me to write this article is: “How do you design a soccer warm up? What are the things that we should take into account?” As I always say, soccer — and every sport for that matter — is a science, as well as an art, so I’ll share with you some of the key aspects that science suggests, and I’ll leave the artwork for you.
Step #0 — Warm ups are organized in two phases: a global one (warming up the body as a whole to prepare for any type of physical effort) and a specific one (directly related to the sport or discipline).
Step #1 — To start with, you have to think about the team you train in terms of their current condition, age, agenda, etc. This is the base of a principle referred as “specificity and proportionality.” What’s worth clarifying here is that the less trained your players are, the more important warming up is.
Step #2 — The second thing you have to consider is that an effective warm up follows a principle of “progression.” This means that the intensity and complexity of what you do always starts at the basic level and increases along with the warm up. Therefore, if you started your warm up with repeating sprints, that was your first mistake and could lead to injuries.
Step #3 — The length of your warm up has to be 15 to 30 minutes. More than that would cause excessive fatigue, less would not be enough. Also, the break between the warm up and the start of the game should not be longer than 15 minutes because your players would “cool down.” If it’s cold outside, you want this break to be even shorter.
Therefore, a good way to plan your warm up is to time it 45 minutes before the game, finish 15 before the initial whistle, and place your team talk in those final 15 minutes — always remember to instruct your players to drink water or an isotonic beverage during this period.
Step #4 — Warm ups are important in terms of injury prevention, so you should add exercises towards this. In my opinion, considering that hamstring strains are the most common injury in the sport, adding Nordic hamstring exercises is a must. I also think proprioceptive and eccentric exercises are great to prevent ankle and knee injuries. A good way of facing this subject is to follow the FIFA 11+ program. This is a warm up designed for injury prevention and it has been broadly verified in its effectiveness.
Step #5 — You definitely want to have some stretching during your warm up. The thing about this point is to use the right method at the right time. Use dynamic exercises at the beginning, follow with static exercises when you finish the global part of the warm up, and by the end of the second part, use some ballistic exercises. Ballistics ALWAYS at the end of the warm up.
Step #6 — When you start working on the specific part of the warm up, even if it’s not the most original exercise, rondos are very positive, as they promote concentration, motivation, are specific towards the game and include components of explosive strength and agility.
Another good idea is to use an exercise about the subject you have been working on in training during the week or the one you want to reinforce during the game. That is always a good way of “reviewing” what we have learnt during the week right before the game. Make sure your drill implies multiple repetitions, as you definitely want to “warm up your cleats.”
Step #7 — Talk to your team during the warm up, start phrasing what you expect during the game — cheer, motivate, don’t just stand there like you’re at the movies.
Hope this helps, coach. Good luck!
“Come on Pablo! you can’t touch that speech! it’s glorious, have some respect!”
I know, I know… we all love it. I do too. In fact it still gives me the goosebumps every time I see it. Moreover, I’m sure many decided to start coaching because of that speech, because of that amazing capacity to inspire that a coach can have, to get the best of every player… BUT… it has mistakes… I’m sorry! and I wouldn’t care about them if it wasn’t because its major mistake is one of the most common coaching mistakes I happen to see every day, and that mistake comes from not understanding the difference between emotional activation and motivation.
This reminds me of another real life situation. Back in 2008, the rugby world cup was played in France, and the opening game was Argentina vs France. Argentina was the underdog. So suddenly, right before the starting whistle, they start playing Argy’s national anthem and the camera shows the team, all of them united on a big hug, singing their lungs out, and many of these pretty intimidating big boys start crying out of emotion. Argentina, at the end, won the match, making it an unforgettable feat, and those players were praised all over the world for their passion and spirit. Everybody kept saying “that’s how it is man, why the underdog won, cause those guys were willing to die that day”. Beautiful, once again absolutely gorgeous, BUT… for the same reason as before, it might be wrong.
Motivation, on the other hand, refers to a psychological component that guides, orientates, determines a person’s behavior. Motivation is something relatively stable, and is divided in internal and external. External motivation refers to the cases in which you guide your actions towards an external reward. Let’s imagine that I tell a player “if you play really well this tournament I’ll buy you a TV”, that would be external motivation, as the TV is an external object that’s causing the incentive. Internal, on the other hand, refers to the desire that comes from within the person. I don’t coach for the money, but for soccer is my whole life passion. That passion comes from within, its an internal motivation, and as a good coach, you can find ways to explode that passion.
Internal motivation is a way more powerful tool than external motivation, as among other advantages, is more stable over time, but unfortunately, as most great things in life, is harder to accomplish, because it implies knowing the player at a deeper personal level. To make it happen, you will need to understand how to set expectations, goals, and how to recognize personality patterns, and that’s not easy (I’ll write about that some time in the near future).
Now, why can this ’emotional activation’ be a problem? Because it blinds you when it is excessive. Always remember this: no matter the sport you coach, the most important muscle is YOUR BRAIN! (Johann Cruyff said that) The difference between top players and good players is mostly not technical, or tactical, or physical, but mental. The best players are the best because they make the right decision more often than the others. Then, if you are overexcited, you are probably not thinking clearly, and that will probably lead to a lot of bad decisions, and bad decisions lose games. Sad, but real.
In fact, let me tell you a couple stories I read about this. After a couple games from that initial win that Argentina had beating France, one of the Argentine players got a yellow card at the very beginning of a game, and a few minutes later the coach took him out of the field. When he was asked why, he responded “I thought he was too accelerated”.
Another case. I read in one of the million books about Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona team, that once, to motivate (motivate…bad start…) the team before a game, he had someone prepare a video footage with images from the movie Gladiator and others of the players along the season, and even greetings from their families, etc. So the players go out to the field, some of them crying or notoriously moved, and everything looks great until… until they had a horrible first half… so Pep looks at an assistant coach and says “it was too much”, and had to calm the players down during half time. He realized he made a mistake with that video, right there.
Now, all of this does not mean, by any means, that you should not emotionally activate your players. FAR FROM IT. It means that you have to avoid the over-excitement that will blind their judgement. Bill Beswick, a British sports-psychologist that worked for a large number of Premier League teams, has a book named “Focused for Soccer” in which he describes the optimal level of “motivation” pre match, the “goal” in terms of the mental state to reach before jumping on the pitch. He says that you have to lead your players to a mental state in which they feel capable of winning the match (always focus on short term goals), BUT ONLY if they play at 100% of their potential. That’s why I recall this in my head as “Beswick’s 99% not enough rule”. This is a great rule of thumb because you are telling your players that they are capable of achieving a victory, but they need to give it all, to stay focused. You see, this is a good mental state: You can make it-Don’t Relax-Stay Focus. Encouraging but not blinding. So when you are home and play Any Given Sunday to get ideas on what to say on your inspiring speech next game, make sure you’re not thinking of the movies but planning your words to lead your players to the right mental state.
You know, Phil Jackson, in his book “Sacred Hoops”, says that he had the Chicago Bulls practicing zen meditation. Why? because it helps the person focus on what’s happening on the field and not get distracted by the surroundings or by the emotions. He says that its practice helps a person administrate the inflow of thoughts.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Well then, anyway, you know what? Sorry Al! You still killed it in that performance!
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