Revolution Needed in D-7

Cony Konstin  FIFA Coaching Instructor

You need a soccer Revolution in District-7. You need futsal courts in every community so kids can play ‘King of the Court’, 24/7/365, for free and no adult interference. You need a Rucker’s Park soccer environment.

You need to create Courts of Dreams. You build them. They will come..!


 John DeBenedictis 

Executive Director (National Soccer Coaches Association of Canada)

Author, “The Last 9 Seconds’ …”A book I highly recommend,” Koach Karl

“You are very important in more ways than you think. It’s time to re-define your real job as a coach of our youth. You are not there just coaching a sport. You are there to help guide kids through life. Those coaching very young kids will have different issues than coaches coaching teenagers. Also, each child is different emotionally, mentally, and coaching is a challenge. Please be proud and honored of the fact that you have been given a huge task with our youth and learn what you can about dealing with the age bracket you are coaching. Take it professionally and respectfully.”

“Your real job is to keep kids in the game, while teaching values and ethics. Make it fun and interesting to the point that the kids you coach will love what they’re doing so much that they will thrive to repeat what you teach them at home and look forward to coming to games and practices”

“And about losing your players to poachers. Don’t worry. If you accomplish those two goals, no one will want to leave and the parents will not want them to leave. You’re real success as a coach will be judged by how many players you keep in sport and by the impression you left on that child’s life forever. Will the players you coach seek you out 20 years later and thank you for your time and how you treated them as individuals?”

“Strive for those goals everyday as a coach and success will come automatically in more ways than one.”

Coaches! You are glorified because you do make a big difference in a child’s life. Unlike television you are not glorified because the audience wants to see you act immaturely on the sidelines. That’s not your place when you coach kids. You are not on TV. You are not in the entertainment business of pro sports.

If you coach kids, please BE the reason kids stay in sports, not the reason they quit sports.

The real “coach of the year” should be the coach who brings back the most players the following season.

Enjoy the challenge, have fun, and thanks for reading.


Getting Back to Basics – Wait, That’s Boring



Can’t We Also Have Some FUN?


So we’re at the start of the New Year and with it come goals for a variety of improvements. As a soccer player, are goals ever really set for the year? The most common answer is no.  But why not?  Because normal coaches can make it boring for kids.

What about making it out to more pickup games this year? There’s less coaching and just having fun with friends.  But that can also be just “more of the same” game play as in practices. Sure it can be fun, score goals, most goals dictate the winner, and I hope you can create balanced teams because normally no one enjoys an uneven match even in pick-up games.

But what if your goal was to learn new moves this year AND you learned exciting new rules to play by? The problem with practicing outside of practices is that it can be boring. There are gimmick products that are interesting for a week such as rebounding nets, walls that spin balls back at you in an unrealistic manner, nets you put your ball in and kick, and even online skills programs that do little to teach players how to beat opponents (news alert, creating faster footwork alone does not teach how to beat opponents and there is little to no confidence to be gained).

So here’s your Soccer in Slow Motion (SISM) recipe for fun this year. More pick-up games. YES! New exciting rules. YES! Dominate your opponents anywhere on the court/field.  YES! Dominating = Confidence building, CHECK!

  1. Small-sided game play: 1v1, 5v5, 3v2 with changes, whatever the number of players you have works, you don’t need even numbers, just get everyone playing.
  2. Panna Rules: If you put the ball through your opponent’s legs they have to … choose your own challenge. They have to run to the side and do 10 jumping jacks, maybe 10 pushups, or even sit out for 30 seconds! Create fun advantages for a successful panna.
  3. Goals scored are 1 point and pannas are 2 points, or even 3 points (we vary it based on our players skill level – the better the players are at panna skills we use 2 points, for newer players we make it 3 points).
  4. And if you want more touches on the ball you can make use of street soccer arenas that are portable and provide a fun atmosphere to play in. Click here to see the fun with mixed ages and skill levels.

That’s it, Go Have Some FUN!

Coach Louie Mata and the SISM team

Keep Your Edge

Winter is here! Unfortunately for us goalkeepers this is the season that makes consistent training a little trickier – sessions get called off because of bad weather, etc.  That said, I want  to give you a few tips to help you keep your edge…

Work on your upper body strength

Ok, now for a “real” tip – it’s important for goalkeepers to build strength overall, but one area that gets overlooked is the upper body strength. Most keepers will tend to focus on the lower body, which is obviously important for diving, etc. Now this doesn’t have to be complicated and you don’t have to look like Arnie to be a good goalkeeper, but upper body strength will help you when it comes to reaching those hard shots or shots from short ranges as well being able to hold onto the ball if someone challenges you after you make the save.

To keep this simple, you can just include a routine of different styles of pushups every day. This will help you build the muscles in your chest, arms and shoulders – the key areas for a keeper. Of course there is more that you can add in time, but this is a great place to start.

Work on your flexibility

This tip is one that is extremely useful for any goalkeeper at any level. It’s simple – you 100% NEED to stretch. If you are a keeper and you’re not stretching properly, you are doing yourself a disservice. Flexibility is an essential part of making those game-winning saves that could make or break your career. On top of that, the more flexible and well-stretched your body is, the less likely you are to sustain a career-destroying injury.

I really can’t stress this enough. And it’s so easy! My first recommendation is to scour YouTube and find a stretching routine that works for you. You could even try doing some yoga sessions, either at home or at an actual studio. This is a great way to stay limber and to improve your range of motion for when it comes to the crunch.

Tyler Vaughn

Renegade GK


Skin In The Game

Here is a program that started with nothing – no money, no sponsors, very few adults, but a group of children whose wit and intelligence created a soccer empire the envy of the soccer world. They have won countless awards. They even designed & created their own ball out of banana leaves. Their brilliance won them awards from FIFA. & UNESCO. So when I meet adults here saying youngsters are not smart enough and couldn’t organize a booze up in a brewery if they tried. I beg to differ. I think our children are more than smart enough to create their own teams & league.

Without knowing it adults have invaded their rich world of children’s play and sanitized & over organized it to where we have the best organized and smartest dressed players in the world but little to no talent to show for it. They have no real investment other than to show up and play.

They need to be more involved in organizing their own team- planning training sessions, selecting captains, discussing tactics, etc.

We need youngsters to take back their game to the playgrounds, streets & parks. We need them to learn to create their own teams, coach themselves and build their own leagues.

We all want our youngsters to grow up into smart, intelligent, open minded, caring human beings – 2 out of 4 isn’t bad either.

If we slow down the race to win trophies a bit and cared more about the education of our youth. We might produce better human beings and real talent. Let’s build BANANA TEAMS & LEAGUES.

So check this video out and they are one of 100’s of leagues/ teams on this planet that follow this route.

If you want help please do not hesitate to contact me and I would enjoy sharing these ideas.

Nobody is Perfect

Human beings make mistakes.  It is a part of life.

Yet, many coaches, players, parents and others who attend sporting events expect officials to be perfect.

Like players and coaches, officials strive for perfection.  They do all they can to make the right decisions and make the correct calls in order to have a perfect game.  On the field of play, no matter how hard they all try, it is very unlikely that they will reach their goal.

Do coaches make the best decisions for their team and coach a perfect game?  Do players perform flawlessly, both individually and as a team, during a match?  The obvious answer to these questions is NO, but are these people held to the same standards as the officials?

Officials get paid for knowing the rules and enforcing them as spelled out in the Laws of The Game.  They also are paid for making correct decisions.  Officials are therefore accountable for both judgment calls and enforcing the Laws of the Game.

Incorrect enforcement of the Laws is unacceptable and should not happen.  Officials are paid and are expected to know and study the Laws.  Not following and enforcing them puts the individual’s integrity into question no matter how much experience he/she brings to the game.  Incorrect enforcement of the Laws of the Game are indefensible mistakes.

Happy New Soccer Year

This is the time of year many of the Leagues in District 7 have the fun event called “The Annual General Meeting” !!

On that day hundreds of volunteers show up to offer their services to the players and leagues.

A few are elected to fill positions from League President to Snack Bar Coordinator and the Board get together to plan and budget for the upcoming season(s).

Let’s talk about the upcoming season ….What are YOUR goals as an individual board member?  What are the collective goals of the board ? .

Do you set goals ? …. Do you have key performance indicators (KPI) ?

What should those goals be?

And leading from those goals what should the goals be for your District?

Think about what goals the District as a whole should set for this year.  What as a District do we need to achieve, to further benefit the players, that are signed up or are about to sign up to play and have FUN.

Please send your suggestions to the District 7 office.

Spring into Action

Now that the holiday season is a distant memory and the weather is improving, it’s time to think about getting outside and enjoying sporting activities again.

Outdoor sport is extremely good for the body and mind.

It is a sad situation that the numbers of children playing soccer (and other sports) is dwindling when physical exercise, keeps energy levels and weight levels in check and ensures certain physical illnesses are kept at bay.

Exercise also helps promote mental stimulation and team activities, for example Soccer, offer the opportunity for children to learn life skills such as working together, tactical awareness and most importantly of all having fun with team mates.

So for all playing Spring Sport, especially Spring Soccer I hope you have a fun season.

Positive and Rewarding

My name is Ralph Gutierrez. I’ve been refereeing recreational and competitive soccer for approximately ten years. As a referee I’ve had the opportunity and privilege to provide services to many leagues including ages U8-U18. From time to time I travel with other referees all around Northern California. One and the most important reasons I referee is merely because of the enormous passion that I have for soccer.

I was invited to referee at the District Cup in Lemoore California along with Cesar Medel, Julio Cibrian, and Humberto Gonzalez. We had an amazing experience refereeing both older and younger age groups!

Humberto Gonzalez; Ralph Gutierrez; Koach Karl; John Hodgson; Cesar Medel

It is great to see District-7 offer such tournament opportunities in the area. Although, this was their first year hosting the event, we felt it was well organized and the competition level was great as well!

We have no doubt that if they hold the event again next year their success would be much greater. Their venue is exceptional and the organizers make you feel at home right away. They are attentive and prompt to your needs!  All in all, our experience in August at the District Cup in Lemoore was positive and rewarding!

Referees have no doubt that…

The Outcome of Our Children Is Infinitely More Important Than…

The Outcome of Any Game They Will Ever Play..! Koach Karl