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My Child did Not Make the Top Team--What Now?

Sep 14, 2022
Sometimes today's "NO" is just the beginning of the "YES".
 
When a player doesn't make the top team, most parents ask, "where is the problem?"
 
I believe there is no problem, there is just the technical and physical selection (and/or projection) of athletes. And this happens naturally every year during youth club, high school and professional MLS academy tryouts.
 
The process is selective by nature in order to form the teams with the top prospects who will complement each other; and mostly it only depends on the athlete.
 
Not being picked to the first team should not be the end for a player, it should be the start of a new journey that will take them to the right place-- where they will be able to play, perform and develop. 
 
The higher level you go in soccer, the more competitive the process, and not everyone will make the shortlist. You have to work hard, and keep trying--always. Lift up your head and go after your goals. The secret is:...
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Your technique is a MUST– Not an Advantage

Jul 14, 2022

To get a shot at a higher and more competitive level, your technique has got to be solid. 

Can size and physicality help you get on a competitive team for a moment? Yes, but technique will always dominate a player’s impact. 

It’s valuable–to both you and your team–and can make you a strategic asset on the field. 

Your technique will help you to solve problems when under pressure or playing with bigger sized players. And no matter what your goals are with soccer, the better you are technically, the more fun you’ll have with the game.

Being technical means to master the ball COMPLETELY:

  • Manipulate the ball with ALL parts of the foot, using both feet
  • Complete short and long passes on the ground and air, with both feet and with different surfaces of your feet  
  • Consistently receive the ball tightly and in direction to space with different parts of the body (1st Touch)
  • Shoot, dribble  and apply skills with both feet 
  • Head...
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Why Players Receive Pre-Offers Before Tryouts

May 11, 2022

At soccer tryouts, coaches are looking for the strongest players to make up the best team possible. 

In most cases for the top/most competitive teams, coaches already know who they want to define their core team. With that in mind, they approach the types of players they believe will be a good fit before tryout day to make sure they can count on them in the coming season.

The type of player who usually receives a pre-offer is the one who has a strong foundation on their Technique, Conditioning, Attitude, Agility and Dedication. These are attributes that will help the team to better compete, challenge other players to grow in every training session and increase the club quality overall. 

If your child has received a pre-offer before tryouts, CONGRATULATIONS! 

That shows that he/she is a dedicated player who stays consistent throughout the year, keeps putting in the work every training session-- with and away from his/her team-- and does not get comfortable. Most...

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Taking Ownership of Your Success

Mar 10, 2022

Today we’re talking about that one thing that can make or break almost any situation you come across: EFFORT. 

Those who are dependent on others to drive their success will not go as far as those who take control of their own destiny. 

As a soccer player, it’s on you to...

  • Get up on time in the morning 
  • Show up to practice on time
  • Make sure you’ve got all your equipment/uniform ready
  • Bring your teammates up to your level of commitment 
  • Know your game and practice schedules
  • Manage your diet and exercise to stay in top shape for the game 

Even seemingly minor things like making sure your uniform is clean and ready to go makes a difference. Your headspace will be clear going into the game because you won’t be rushed or scattered beforehand. And your teammates will know they’ll be able to rely on you because you’re calm and collected.

A coach’s job is to guide players and show them ways to improve their game on all...

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The BEST and the REST. What separates them?

Feb 14, 2022

Each season we find ourselves answering this question for several of our footballers: What makes those stand-out players so great?

The answer may sound simple when we say: desire and commitment.

 Every footballer says they want to be the best version of themselves, whether their goals are to play for their club’s top team, play more minutes, start more often, make a good college program or become a professional soccer player. 

 These goals are wonderful to have. Without goals, what are you chasing? I believe that with real desire and commitment, a youth footballer will improve the foundations of confidence and technique; and, with that–most importantly–they will enjoy the game A LOT more. After that, everything will seem to happen more naturally. 

 To become the very best you can, it takes sacrifice. However sacrifice doesn’t mean missing your best friend’s birthday party, prom, or friend’s get-together to go train...

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Why Competition Helps

Dec 22, 2021

Soccer is a very competitive sport. And only the best will be able to keep moving up the ladder as the level of competition rises.

 If you are fortunate enough to be chasing a dream, don’t waste your time--Get to work. You will beat 50% of your competition simply by showing up. Then, the other 40% you will beat by improving your technique and craft. However, the last 10% is just a straight up fight!

 No matter what level you’re currently playing in or what dreams you’re currently working toward, there will always be someone who wants the same thing. 

 In soccer, you will face 3 types of competition: 

  1. Inside competition: This one is against your teammates for a place on the rosters, playing time and starting position. 

 

  1. Outside competition: Competing against players from other teams who can potentially take your spot on that better team, college or professional team that you’re aiming to play for.

 

  1. Yourself!...
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Why Youth Players Lose the Passion?

Oct 08, 2021

 

Today on the blog, we’re talking about burnout. 

Unfortunately, it’s common to hear of talented youth players getting burnt out from playing at the competitive level. And sometimes they just stop playing the game all together.

So it’s understandable why some parents hesitate to get their kids involved in competitive soccer or extra training too soon to avoid such an outcome.

But if managed properly, the player will be better off--playing the game they love at the level that is challenging and exciting for them.

Let’s look at two of the main questions to consider in these situations. The first being: What’s the right time to engage a child in a competitive level or extra training? 

The truth is, there’s no right or wrong time as far as being ready to be in such an environment--competitive or extra training. Each child is different. So consider the child’s desire, commitment level and, most importantly, if the child is taking...

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Will Cross Country Running Help us Perform Better in Soccer?

Aug 30, 2021

I get this question a lot:

Training in cross country will help us perform better in soccer—Right?

On the surface, it sounds like a good idea. It’s necessary for soccer players to run on the field. So, training cross country will help a player perform better.

But, when you dig into the mechanics of each sport, it doesn’t work as well. The principle of Specificity says that you’ve got to train your muscles and your energy in the sport that you’re going to play. That’s the best way to get the performance results you’re looking for.

So, cross country training will benefit you for a long-distance run. But soccer-specific training will benefit your soccer performance. Soccer and cross country are two different sports.

Given this principle, it’s possible to say that running is part of soccer and should be included in training—but in shorter durations and higher intensities than those performed by athletes who aim to run 5km, 10km,...

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Most Common Mistake From Youth Players

Nov 11, 2020

 
I believe that the biggest mistake youth players can make is to think he/she is good enough and to get comfortable. I think we have all made that mistake at one point in our lives, unfortunately, but being aware of the risk of settling is a first step in progress.
 
Look at the Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi for example. They can stay on top for a long time because they don’t get comfortable. Their mindsets are programmed to always look for growth. Some youth players, on the other hand, may make a top team or start for their high school team as freshmen and think that they have already reached the top and are already big time players. Then later on they wonder why they stop developing and are not as good as they used to be. 
 
They got comfortable.
 
It is very important for youth players to program their mindset to be one of constant growth.
 
Remember this famous phrase from Ronaldo: ''If you think you are perfect, then you will never be.”...

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How To Find Your Best Playing Position

Sep 13, 2020

Every young footballer gets moved around to play in different positions when they first start playing the game. This helps with a player’s development so he/she can get used to seeing the field from different angles, being in different situations and gaining experience and confidence in each
of the positions. 

However, at one point, players need to find that position that best suits them. The older they get, they must be realistic with themselves and have a primary position where they can comfortably play and make an impact for their team. 
 

Here are a few tips to find the position that best fits you:

  • Strengths – Players must be honest with themselves and know their strengths. Write out your qualities and then match them with the positions that most require
    those qualities. 
  • Experience – Think about the positions you have played so far and ask yourself if you really enjoyed them and if your performance was high.
  • Be realistic – You have to...
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