One of our readers from Ohio truly believes his U14 son has a great coach who can develop players. He is Coach Everett Palache, from Cleveland United Soccer Club, and with his permission I’m sharing an email he sent to his team.
Pay close attention to the soccer philosophy …
Here is the roster for the CASA tournament this weekend.
This weekend we will be looking to build on our success from the US Club State Cup. This means we want to continue to show our growth technically, tactically, physically, and mentally as individual players. Your goals as individuals are to play the ball on the ground with short passing to create opportunities to get behind the defense using our outside backs or diagonal run from our attacking players. We want to use short passing to maintain possession and establish a psychological advantage over the other team to demonstrate we can possess to defend. In order to possess to defend we must utilize our technique (far foot turn, inside & outside of foot turns, shielding, etc) to put us in good positions to look forward first and be able to change direction if the play we saw is no longer available. As an individual you have to be committed to finding open space to help your teammates find angles to execute a short pass that may lead to a long pass to release another teammate. Lastly, our decision making with and without the ball is very important (mental). Once we make a decision with the ball we have to play it quick and if we find we have made a bad decision and we have lost the ball we have to work extremely hard to win it back.
As a team we have to be committed to communicating what we see at all times to aid each other in our decision making process. Soccer is a lot about processing multiple variables of information and responding based on what YOU see. The team must be committed to keeping shape defensively, if you see a right or left back not returning to the line on a goal kick, punt from other team’s keeper, or set play; we must hold them accountable. They should either communicate to the defensive midfielders to cover for them or the center backs should communicate to the defensive mids to cover. But the responsibility if first on the backs to get into position and if too tired must communicate. It is the team’s responsibility to encourage the attacking players to continue to move and off the ball so we can possess as a unit (team) and create opportunities for the team to get forward and score. If we find, while playing, runs are being made after the ball is being played, tell the attacking players to move early so the ball can be played quicker. We are all too often at fault of making runs after the fact and not anticipating the play. Those that participate and anticipate are showing signs of being engaged into the game, not spectating and reacting. Lastly, as a team we play together, we fight together, we defend together, we attack together, we score together, we get scored on together, and we win & lose together (Just to mention a few)!
I am taking the whole roster to this event because the tournament is a test on the material learned throughout the fall season. I have written a small cheat sheet above of a few things that should be thought about before playing this weekend. I will coach each game based on performance and TEAM NEED based on situations in the game. I look forward to a good weekend of hard fought soccer!
Here are some clips I want all to watch…
In the link listed above the player shielding and dribbling the ball at 2:06 – 2:08 is a former Cleveland United player now playing for New York Red Bulls first team. He came to speak to the club last winter at PSA.
One of my favorite links on possession! This is beautiful! Please notice the technique and movement off the ball
One this one watch a few times and listen to the announcer each time as you watch the players. This is what we strive to have happen as a unit before we turn 18 years of age. But this requires great technique and patience (maturity).
Hope you all enjoy!
yours in Soccer,
Force Indoor Sports
Director of Soccer Programing
Director Academy of Excellence
Head Coach, Cleveland United Soccer Club
Now, obviously there are many tools a coach must possess in order to truly develop a player and a team. But I will say that the philosophy evidenced by Coach Everett’s email is on the mark. And one’s philosophy is the starting point – get that right, and there’s hope.
What do you guys think? Does your coach communicate like this? How does your team’s philosophy compare?