Effective vs. Ineffective Coaching

It has been scientifically proven that we (humans) have a very difficult time doing Two Things at the same time.  For example:  Concentrating on the Ebb and Flow of the Game … Listening for instructions … Hearing the instruction … Understanding the instruction … Applying the instruction … Ooops! That’s already more than Two Things taking place which is why…

Ineffective coaches actually need to give play/by/play instructions during the game because of their inability to run proper training sessions. They are ‘drill masters’ with no theme and are satisfied with just keeping the players active.  They justify their title ‘coach’ by making a comment after every single mistake made in practice.  They…

  • Control the Practice by being Verbally Active giving Constant Advice.
  • &
  • Control the Game by being Verbally Active giving Constant Instructions.

Effective coaches, on the other hand, have no need to give play/by/play instructions during the game because they run proper training sessions.  They are ‘game masters’ with a THEME and are not satisfied unless their players are learning something that can be applied in the next game.  They justify their title ‘coach’ by studying and applying rules and regulations during the 1vs1, Small-Sided Games and Scrimmage which force players to learn the THEME.

They …

  • Teach during Practice by being Verbally Active during (+) games.
  • Test during Practice by being Verbally Silent during (vs.) games.
  • &
  • Realize that every Game with opponents is a (vs.) game.

Are Verbally Silent, observe and take notes on progress of the THEME.

To see more tips, ideas & information for Coaches, Referees, and Parents, visit

Serious Fun!

By Mario Salinas – President, Parlier Youth Soccer League

The Pre-F course was very productive and successful. It was FUN, insightful, motivational and very tiring for us out of shape coaches 🙂

As coaches, we experienced firsthand how exhausting and difficult playing the game really is.  The games you had us participate in brought a better understanding and perspective of what our kids go through at practices and games. It was a real eye-opener for our veterans and lots of fun for our ‘newbies’.

Coaches who ran players excessively in the past, realized that just by playing practice games properly will get their players soccer fit. Believe me, none of us realized how long one-minute of soccer running would take out of us 🙂

We learned that we need to build a good technical foundation for our young players and that is accomplished in the ‘FUNdamental Square”.

Mario Salinas & Koach Karl

We also learned:

  • To make children responsible at practice, have the players set up the field and clean up the field after practice.
  • Stoop down or take a knee when talking to younger players;
  • Use a whistle only when it is appropriate.
  • And so, so, so much more
  • But, most importantly we learned that, “The outcome of our children is infinitely more important than the outcome of any game they’ll ever play!”

All the coaches that attended and I have now incorporated the Nine-Step Practice Routine’ into our practices; which focuses more on ball touches rather than just having the kids run laps without a ball.

We will definitely bring you back in the future & ‘encourage’ all leagues in D-7 to offer the Pre-F course to their “newbie” coaches and even more so to their veteran coaches 🙂


Improving the ball control skills of our players, future superstars; when new soccer players join us we often see a similar issue, not enough players understand that the bottom of the foot is a valuable part of ball control. I will say that futsal players understand this as its part of the skills used in futsal, but too many young soccer players do not. We see players primarily using the inside and outside of the foot, every touch resulting in a ball that is moving away from them, a ball that they must get back to with another touch.

When players use the bottom of the foot the ball is securely stopped under their foot. Opponents do not know which way the ball will move next and it allows for many options. In our program we have players who compete in the high level “street soccer” events and competitions. The bottom of the foot is main surface of the foot used. However, the gap between what is taught to young soccer players and the advanced skills used by experienced “street soccer” professionals are too wide. Our younger players must be taught to effectively use the bottom of their feet.

Street soccer professionals???  Did you know that some of the best travel to Prague every year to compete, some are sponsored by the likes of Adidas, and some can be found in commercials you may have seen. Although an example involving freestyle and trick shots, who remembers the 2014 World Cup Commercial where young Ciaran Duffy, aka “Mini Messi” was flown out from Ireland to Brazil to shoot the commercial seen here:

Young Ciaran has represented SISM over the years and currently plays for Manchester United’s academy program.

There is much to be done to help our upcoming soccer stars reach their full potential. SISM is working away every month and reaching out to more and more players! We hope to see your young players at the next club event!

If you’d like to bring a street soccer day to your club, academy, contact us at info@soccerinslowmotion.com. And if you’re looking to join in an upcoming day of exciting street soccer we have another opportunity coming up next month. You’ll find us with the City of San Jose ‘Family Fun Day’ on October12th at Lake Cunningham Park.

Until next time!


Parents want the best for their kids, which is great – of course. However, one thing to remember is that this doesn’t mean you need to be overprotective or overbearing – a sunflower won’t grow without space and you’ll likely do more damage than good in the long term. You can (and should) still offer criticism. But just try to make it constructive and offer suggestions on how to improve – also it’s important to time it wisely.

A huge mistake parents make is that they try to talk about the game with their child in the car on the way home. This is generally not a good time be offering your thoughts – especially if they’ve had a rough time. Trust me, your son or daughter will know how they performed and they likely need the time to quietly reflect on the game for themselves.

When you think they’re ready, try to ask questions instead of telling them what they did wrong or what they should next time. I.e. “What did you learn?” instead of “Don’t do this next time.” or “You were terrible at X, Y and Z.”.

Another thing worth mentioning is how you act during a game. There’s nothing more embarrassing to a kid than having a parent shouting at them from the sideline. It also adds so much more pressure when you have those parents who stand eagle-eyed waiting to shout to their kid. Don’t be one of those parents, regardless of intention – it’s perfectly fine to just watch the game and be supportive. Your child will thank you for it.

Graham’s Guidance

The defensive triangle of two central backs supported by a keeper can become a wall of defense.

Much of their work is done off the ball, as much of it is coaching each other to be in the right place at the right time, to complete their defensive duties. Verbal homework is of the highest quality is demanded of each player. Silence is an enemy for back players but yelling and screaming is not the answer either. The best players are calm but firm with verbal praise behind the effort.

One of the common errors often seen by youth players and even in the World Cup when fatigue creeps into their play is responding to each other constantly throughout a game.


That should be your maxim throughout a game.  Otherwise gaps will appear between the lines of the team and that spells trouble. I would recommend watching the Arrigo Sacchi DVD on U-Tube for more ideas on back play and defending.

Teams need to practice on a regular basis and correct each other to build a strong defense.  This is especially true with the ‘keeper & central backs as a strong defense is the basis of a good team.


Graham Ramsay

Executive Director – The Soccer School


GAINING and STAYING in CONTROL of a Match (Part 1)

Successful referees dedicate themselves to protecting and enforcing the spirit as well as the letter of the Laws of The Game.

During a match the referee must constantly determine if the actions of the players are within or stepping beyond the boundaries of the spirit and letter of the Laws.  This constant activity guides the official in establishing his or her control of the match.

Games will start and continue to be entertaining as well as relatively incident-free if officials consider the use of some basic ideas:

  • Referees are under the spotlight from the moment they arrive at the game site until they leave after the final whistle.
  • Pregame duties must be completed early enough to make sure the game starts on time.
  • Long explanations during the pregame and late starts are some of the first demonstrations of an official’s preparedness and professionalism, or lack thereof.

Stay Informed with Safe Sport Policy

Cal North and District-7 is committed to maintaining an environment for players and participants that is free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, abuse and intimidation.

Stay informed, become an ally to our mission and read the latest version of our Athlete and Participant Safety Policy handout.


More Than a Number

Former Sunbirds discuss the historic significance of wearing #10, while forward Fellipe Souza talks about making the switch.

Fellipe Souza came to FPU in 2017 after spending two years at West Hills, and the Juiz de Fora, Brazil native made an immediate impact with the Blue and Orange. Souza was credited with game-winning goals against Dominican and Chaminade, both in PacWest Conference action, and he received the league’s Player of the Week award on two occasions. He also recorded a hat trick and added an assist in FPU’s 5-1 victory over Academy of Art in the same season. After finishing the season with 26 points and a team-best 11 goals, Souza was selected as the PacWest Newcomer of the Year in 2017.

He medically redshirted last fall but was still chosen as a Preseason All-PacWest forward ahead of the 2019 campaign.

An Aspiration

See a strong, solid oak tree as the aspiration. To get to this aspiration, you must plant an acorn. The acorn takes nutrients from the rich soil and takes nurturing from the environmental conditions such as rain and sunshine. Under the correct circumstances, the acorn will grow into the oak tree.

The youth athlete takes on a sport with their aspiration, be it for the social, physical and mental aspects or to become an elite or professional player.

The coaching the youth receives can be seen as the soil to the acorn. It will provide technical, tactical and physical principles to develop growth. The better the coaching; the better the soil.

The parents’ involvement can be seen as the environmental conditions. Too much or too little of a certain element may inhibit the growth of the youth athlete. With the correct balance, the athlete will be encouraged to grow towards their aspirations.

The moral here is, as much as youth players need to take on knowledge and ideologies from their coaches to reach their ambitions, they need appropriate nurturing from their parents to grow towards their goals. I feel the parents’ role is crucial in influencing the growth and development of a youth athlete.

And I feel that …

“The outcome of our children is infinitely more important
Than the outcome of any game they will ever play!”
– Koach Karl Dewazien –