Benefits of Using A Practice Routine 

Routines Eliminate Power Struggles because you don’t need to boss your players around these “9” activities…

Start Practice (Introduce Theme)

Warm-up (Figure 8 Stretch Routine)

1+1 (Cooperative Play)

1vs.1 (Competitive Play)

Break (Relax/Hydrate & Discussion)

Small-Sided Games (Cooperative & Competitive)

Scrimmage (Cooperative & Competitive)

Cool-Down (Physical & Mental)

End Practice (Compliment –Review –Assign Home/Play)

This is just what we do in this sequence and at this time of every practice!  You stop being the bossy guy and misunderstandings are greatly reduced. 

Routines Help Players Cooperate by reducing stress and anxiety for everyone. We all know what comes next.  Everyone gets fair warning for transition through the use of these ‘buzz’ words: “Practice Starts Now!” “Warm-up” “1+1” “1vs.1”  “Break”  “Small-Sided Games”  “Scrimmage”  “Cool-Down”  “Practice Ends Now!” and no one will feel like they are being pushed-around. 

Routines Help Players Learn to Take Charge of the Practice.  Over time and with persistent patience players can be taught to: Behave/Concentrate; Warm-up; Lay-out cones/discs/flags; Choose teams; Start play; Cool-down; etc. without constant reminders. Players love being in charge of themselves.  This feeling increases their sense of mastery and competence.  Note:  Players who feel like they are independent and in charge of themselves have less need to complain and be oppositional. 

Players Learn the Concept of "Looking Forward" to things they enjoy, which is an important part of making a happy accommodation with the demands of a practice.  They may want to only ‘scrimmage’, but they must learn that we always end each practice with a ‘scrimmage’, and they can ‘Look Forward’ to it.

Regular Routines Help Players Get on a Schedule, so that they can go from…

Starting Practice to Individual (Warm-up); to Pair (1+1 and 1vs.1); to Group (Small Sided Games); to Team (Scrimmage); to Cool-down and End Practice activities more easily at each practice.

Routines Help You Build in Those Precious Connection MomentsWe all know we need to connect with our players at every practice. If you build little connection rituals into your routine they will eventually become a habit. Try a “secret-team hand-shake” when you first see them coming to practice.  Or, a "recognition" ritual when making points-of-refinement like: "Love your shiny red shoes and if you ‘hop’ on one the other can bring the ball under better control”. Rituals like these slow you down and connect you with your players, and if you do them as just "part of the routine" they build security as well as connection and cooperation.

Routines Help You Maintain Consistency in Expectations. If everything is a fight, you end up settling for running more laps, giving more lectures, skipping warming-up, forgetting technique development, ignoring cooling-down, etc. 

With A Routine you will eventually stick to healthy expectations for everyone on the team because that's just the way we do things in our practices. 

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien), District 7 Recreation Administrator ,State Director of Coaching - California Youth Soccer Association (1979-2012). Author of the Internationally Published FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series. Producer of the highly acclaimed ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ DVD. Website: At:

Editor’s Note:  The D-7 Instructional Staff is prepared to teach YOU how to run a successful ‘9-Step Routine Practice’..!   For details write to:


By Karl Dewazien

It is difficult to put a challenge on paper.  I would rather look you straight in the eye and say, “I Dare You To Play (Soccer) Each And Every Day”!  In my mind that is exactly what I am doing.  I am on one side of the touchline.  You are on the other.  I am looking across and saying, “I Dare You To Play (Soccer) Each And Every Day”!

Notice that I did not say ‘Practice’ every day.  What I want you to do is PLAY every day!  To be more specific:
“I Dare You To PLAY --  1 vs. 1 Games Every Day”

With a friend find an open area, preferably with grass, to play on. . No, you don’t need an ‘official’ field with touch and goal lines.  All you really need is an area that is safe!  You should avoid any area that has holes, sprinklers, or other things that could cause an injury.  Also, remove glass, rocks and other potentially harmful objects! 

Then, agree on what you will use to make your goals…Yes, any object like a shoe, shirt, bag, cup can be used to make a goal.  Making two small goals is very easy:

With feet together hold ‘an object’ in each out-stretched hand.  
Move the right foot as far as you can.  
Place the marker outside of the right foot.
Bring feet back together.
Do the same thing on the left side.
There is your perfect goal for the 1 vs. 1 game.
No, you do not need cones or an ‘official’ goal to PLAY 1 vs. 1.  
As a matter of fact milk containers filled with water or sand work very well! 

Have a coin toss or some other way to decide who ‘serves’ the ball to start the game. 
Starting the game with ‘a serve’ is the fairest way to begin the game.  
Here are some other Rules you can try: 
-No out of bounds
-With out of bounds
-First to 11 goals - wins
-The one with the most goals at end of a time limit – wins
-You can score from either side of the goal
-You can only score from a certain distance
-The ball must ‘roll’ between the markers for a score
-The ball can ‘bounce’ between the markers for a score
-You can score by making a terrific tackle
-You can score by beating the opponent with a great fake
-You can only score by dribbling the ball through the markers
-Make up your own rules!!!

It is a great idea to keep a ‘Record Chart’ of your 1 vs. 1 games.  Include the Time, Date, Opponent and Score on this Chart.  Put your chart on the refrigerator or some other ‘special’ place in your house.  Then, post the scores of the ‘daily’ game results. Finally, agree on a reward to be given to the winner at the end of a week, couple of weeks or the end of each month.  

Hey, you and your friends could organize a 1vs. 1 ‘Neighborhood World Cup’ tournament!  Keep a ‘Neighborhood Chart’.  Ask a local store owner to put the chart in a ‘special’ place in the store.  Again, post the scores of the ‘daily’ game results.  Finally, ask the owner to provide a reward to be given to the winner at the end of each month.  

In time these 1 vs. 1 games will instill in you the two most important habits that will make you the best soccer player you can be.  First, you will develop the habit of ‘Attacking’ when you have the ball.  And, second, you will develop the habit of ‘Defending’ when you do not have the ball.   

I Dare You To Play (1 vs. 1 Soccer) Every Day…So that you can ‘Attack & Defend’ - either way!

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien), District 7 Recreation Administrator
State Director of Coaching - California Youth Soccer Association (1979-2012),Author of the Internationally Published FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series. Producer of the highly acclaimed ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ DVD. Website: 

Editor’s Note:
Please send your comments on this subject to:

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Oh, the weather outside is becoming delightful...  
And getting ready for the soccer season can be a little frightful. 
Since it is possible for you to make some time to play...  
Here are some ideas on preparing your child for the season starting today 

Parents, surely you realize that you are your child’s first and most influential teacher/coach.  The stimulation and support you provide can instill a desire for your child to want to improve. So, it is important that you make learning experiences as much FUN as possible in the hopes that your child will eventually become self-motivated to want to self-improve. 

Foremost, you must find out if your child is actually interested in improving during the off-season. Make a conscientious effort to listen to your child by making all conversation ‘two-way’.  Be sure to talk about which areas of the game your child would like to improve. 

Then, find out from your child’s coach what areas your child needs to improve so that you can work on those strengths & weakness by:

Reading About Soccer -Together.  This can and will show your child the value of reading and maybe even improve their reading.  Second, you will be showing your child affection and providing comfort.  Third, you will show your child that you are interested in developing and sharing in his/her interest.  Finally, through the reading material you may stimulate your child’s interest and establish that soccer is serious FUN and not serious work. Note: I recommend my TOTALLY book as a “Must Read”  

Watching Soccer Games -Together.  As you are watching games decide what you will focus on:  A specific player; A specific technique; A specific running pattern, etc.; Ask your child to imagine themselves being part of the action on the field.  Discuss the action on the field and find out if your child is really observing the game as a participant.  But, remember the younger the child, the shorter the attention span!

Watching Training Clips -Together.  Select only ONE technique per viewing.  Plan to repeat each segment several times so that the subconscious can record the action.  Look for different aspect of the movement such as: head movement, body movement, foot movement as separate focal points.  Have your child explain to you what each movement would be if they were performing the movement.

Practicing Soccer -Together.  Find out what your child’s coach expects of your child so that you can reinforce those expectations at home. Or, have your child put into action what you read about or observed.  When trying to show your child how the technique looks, be sure to laugh at your own mistakes.  Your practice sessions should be short in duration unless your child shows great interest in continuing. 

Practice Together Today and every day!  Since this will be your child’s only childhood and they are available right now –Start playing right now.  Delaying practice until tomorrow is always too late so practice Together Today because sometimes tomorrow never comes!

Some Do’s you need to be aware of when playing with your child:
• Do allow them as many touches with the ball as possible.  
• Do give them encouragement.  
• Do have lots of FUN together 

Some Don’ts you need to be aware of when playing with your child:
• Don’t hog the ball; your child needs to touch the ball as often as possible.
• Don’t’ make fun of your child’s mistakes; allow them to experiment without comments.  
• Don’t make your child look foolish or silly, they need to be successful or they may not want to play again!

Finally, when learning soccer Together, be as helpful, understanding and patient as you are/were when your child is/was learning other skills in life.  

Koach Karl (Karl Dewazien), District 7 Recreation Administrator, State Director of Coaching - California Youth Soccer Association (1979-2012), Author of the Internationally Published FUNdamental SOCCER Books Series, Producer of the highly acclaimed ‘9-Step Practice Routine’ DVD. Website: 

Editor’s Note:
Please send your comments on this subject to:

Coaching Corner

CYSA “F” License Has Been Replaced by USSF “F” 

The United States Soccer Federation (USSF) is delivering its “F” by an online platform. This is not done through a league; instead the coach merely logs onto the Digital Coaching Center ( and takes the online course.  

In addition to the USSF requirements, CYSA/Cal-N adds a field requirement. The field session can be scheduled through his/her league or even another league. I should be getting more detailed information soon on the field aspect. 

One approach to licensing is to consider the following: Starting in June 1 (subject to further updates) the USSF “F” (not our old F) will be a prerequisite to the USSF “E” license.

Note: There will be NO waiting period, so in a sense the new USSF “F” is basically another homework assignment to the other 5-6 assignments currently required for the USSF “E”. 

As stated above, CYSA/Cal North is requiring a coaching candidate to complete a field component in order for CYSA/Cal-N to recognize the USSF “F” (for our purposes only not USSF) unless (and here is the kicker) the coach takes the online USSF “F” and completes the USSF “E” course; in which case the coach is set for almost all age groups and levels of coaching in District 7.  

Cal-N CAN NOT mandate that a coach take the Cal-N field component for the USSF “F” prior to taking the USSF E.  However if they don't take and complete the USSF “E”, CYSA/Cal-N made the determination not to recognize that particular coaches’ USSF “F” without the field component for purposes only of CYSA/Cal-N.

If you need any further details contact me at: 

Finally, Please send all coaching issues/request for courses directly to the D7 office and not to Cal-N/CYSA office. 

Sal Blanco, Cal-N D7 Coaching Director, USSF “C”. NSCAA National Diploma. 
NSCAA Advance GK Diploma

Referee Corner

Using Advantage to Your Advantage By Pat Ferre 

One of the greatest powers given to a soccer referee is the advantage clause.
Law 5 states:  “allows play to continue when the team against which an offense has been committed will benefit from such an advantage and penalizes the original offense if the anticipated advantage does not ensue at that time.”

The clause gives the referee the ability to do what is right for the game, the players and the flow of the game. 

The decision to apply advantage becomes a juggling act between game control and game flow.  For the referee, the use of advantage is both a privilege and a responsibility.

Referees have the power to apply advantage (using hand gestures and a verbal call of “Play on! Advantage!”) upon seeing a foul or misconduct committed if, at that moment, the terms of the advantage clause were met.  The referee may return to penalize the original foul if the advantage situation does not materialize as expected within a short (2 to 3 seconds) period of time.  Another foul committed by the offending team must not be overlooked while the referee allows advantage.

Regardless of the outcome of the advantage, the referee must deal appropriately with any misconduct at the next stoppage and BEFORE allowing play to be restarted.

Advantage can only be applied to infringements of Law 12 (Fouls and Misconduct) and the referee is not required to give advantage in all situations to which it applies.  The referee may and should stop play if the benefits of continuing to play are outweighed by game control or the severity of the foul/misconduct may lead to possible retaliation.

That is what the advantage clause of Law 5 says but when and where is the best time and location to make the decision to allow advantage?
Some key considerations are: which third of the field is the play in at the moment, the skill level of the players, the flow of the game, the time and score of the game, and the restart.

Some say you should never allow advantage in the defensive third of the field.  That may be a good idea for younger, inexperienced players; however, skilled experienced players may gain a significant advantage if they have a quick counterattack and they have the numbers for the attack.  In this case they should be allowed to continue playing.

The constant action and movement is what makes soccer a wonderful sport to watch when it is allowed to flow and there are few interruptions.  Players and spectators prefer it that way.  A game that is allowed to flow well will be easier to referee and more enjoyable to watch.  Referees should allow as much flow to the game as the players are willing to allow them to give.

Another consideration is the context in which the foul occurred.  When did the foul occur?  Where did it occur?  Will the player who got fouled “accept “ been fouled or plan retaliation?  What will the restart be?  Are you trying to set the tone for the match or are things under control?

Advantage only applies to Law 12 and cannot be applied if the ball goes out of play or the referee has blown the whistle.

The raising of both arms, straight forward in a sweeping motion, up to chest/shoulder level and calling out, “Play on!” while moving in the direction of play is the proper indication of an advantage.

It is important to only use that signal for indicating when advantage is being applied.  It is NOT appropriate for indicating “no foul” such as when the ball hits the hand and it is not a handling situation or when a player falls of his/her own accord.  Saying things like: “keep going!” or “continue” are good ways to let players know that you have seen it but NEVER say: “Play on!”

Pat Ferre, USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus, USSF Referee Instructor, USSF Referee Assessor
USSF Referee Assignor, District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)
Editor’s Note: 
Please send your comments on this & other referee matters to:




Exclusive District-7 Discounts on Team & Coaches Kit


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See our 2015 catalog


As a special offer to members of District-7 we’re giving you 70% off coaching gear. We’re confident once you’ve tried Admiral you’ll love our quality, service and price. See some of our kit packages and special CYSA offers enclosed.


I'd like to speak with you about our new range, custom kit builder and how you can make money from the online store that we provide. Please email me on or call me on (305) 924 8282.

I look forward to hearing from you.  All the best

Paul Hamburger

Chief Executive Officer
Mobile: +1 305 924 8282 
Toll Free: 888-646-6822 Ext. 105, Email: Web:


East Fresno Spring Classic Tournament –June 6 & June 7, 2015

For Boys and Girls U-8 and U-10

Tournament fee: $200   

Contact:  Albert Rangel (559-304-1483)

Did You Know???

...That at the MLS Technical Committee Presentation last August, a group of athletic directors and Division I college coaches proposed a 2016-17 schedule module in which there would be 15 games in the fall semester and 10 in the spring.

There would be a limitation on "mid-week" games, and a minimum break of three nights between games.

"The benefit to that is seen in the substance of weekly training sessions and how you periodize those with games," Army men's soccer coach Russell Payne said. "You focus more time on training and development ... so you can perform at a peak level."
Editor’s Note: A Minimum Break of Three Nights Between Games.  If this is good enough for World Cup, MLS professional and NSCAA college players … I wonder if it would be good enough for youth players?   Please send your comments on this subject to:

Smiles - just for Laughs

College Soccer Program Recruits Youngest Player Ever 

by Steve D'Elia and Will Newman

With the college recruitment game getting more competitive every year, it’s no surprise that a school has started dedicating serious financial resources to pregnancy scouting. The investment has already paid off this week when North Canyon State College was able to make an offer to a promising soccer recruit before he even stepped foot on the field—or into the world.

Angela Smith of Glenpool, Oklahoma was walking in the supermarket when a man in a NCSC hat approached her.  “He said that I looked pretty athletic and wondered if I had ever played sports,” Smith said. “I told him I was an all-conference soccer play in high school and his eyes lit up.” 

The man turned out to be Justin Kiddings, head coach of the NCSC Ostriches. Last year he led the Ostriches to their first ever conference title. Now he’s looking to build on that success.

“Last year was great, but you’ve always have to be looking to the future,” Kiddings said. “When I saw that big-footed pregnant woman in the grocery store I knew I might have something special.” 

Universities are still in the process of developing techniques to scout talented embryos; but for soccer, the testing methods are relatively straightforward.

“He asked if he could put his hand on my belly and he felt him kick,” said Smith. It wasn’t the first time somebody had asked to feel her baby kick. “Usually I hate when random people in the grocery store feel entitled to touch my stomach, but this time, with a scholarship on the line, I had no complaints.”

Kiddings was more than impressed.  “I’ve never felt a baby kick like that before," Kiddings said. "I knew right then and there that he was going to be a star. I took out a pen and paper and asked Mrs. Smith to sign immediately, between the artichoke and chard in the produce section.”

We won't know who to cheer for until the Smith decide on a name for their little prodigy.  "Prodigy…that's actually a nice sounding name," Smith said.  

Only time will tell if Angela Smith’s baby lives up to expectations on the field. We’ll have to wait for this little Ostrich to take his first steps to find out. 

The outcome of our children in infinitely more important than the outcome of any Game they will ever play!