There are No Secrets in Soccer

  1. Always be happy and inspired when you greet your players for practice. I usually say something like “it’s a great day for soccer” even when it’s 40 degrees and raining in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  2. Try to make everything a friendly competition between the players, every race, every activity, I usually let the winners pick between push-ups, sit-ups or sprints. They don’t have to do too many, just enough to remind them they lost.
  3. Remember that despite the culture of winning you are surrounded by; your top priority is the development of players and not necessarily the result of every game. Yes, you want your players to be pumped up when they win and a little upset when they lose but keep it in perspective; it’s not life or death. I have been very proud of my teams in defeat numerous times.
  4. The three biggest words in my vocabulary are respect, passion and love. Win and lose with equal class. Respect your opponents, the officials, the coaches and the fans.
  5. Let the referee do his job. I try to teach my players that the officials are there to help you and protect you. Unlike other sports, I want the players to not yell and argue when a bad call goes against them. When a foul is called and it’s our ball, put it down and play and if it’s against us just get back on defense. Don’t waste energy arguing, it never helps and just creates a bad atmosphere and example.
  6. Don’t discourage dribbling and expressions of creativity. I’m sure Koach Karl remembers a player like Pierre Littbarski. Use the Google machine to expose them to past greats such as George Best, Diego Maradona and Johann Cruyff.
  7. 99% of your coaching is done at your training sessions. If you are screaming at players and trying to tell them what to do when they have the ball, then you are simply cheerleading and confusing them. Let them make their own decisions and mistakes and learn from them
  8. Be humble. There is always someone better than you on the field, and who knows more about soccer than you do. Don’t be cocky or arrogant. The soccer gods always have a way of putting you in your place when you don’t act correctly.

Kris Klassen is currently coaching boys and girls varsity high school teams in Wisconsin. If you’d like to learn more about his career or soccer projects please visit 


Winter is Coming… that means it’s time for some futsal everyone!

Perhaps you’ve never been to a futsal match, maybe you’ve never seen the higher levels of youth play at the regional or national level. We have, and plenty of it! As a matter of fact, SISM’s coach Louie Mata has won two national futsal championships throughout his playing career playing under, then national team coach, Cony Konstin.

Futsal’s 5v5 format on a hard surface is a great skill development tool. Players get more touches on the ball, they need to be prepared to play offense and defense. Futsal can be described in a number of ways, it’s an organized version of street soccer with its small-sided game play and lots of scoring. That’s why we enjoy it so much!

Check out this video with nearly a million views. In it is Leamssi and Bencok. If you’ve followed SISM you might have been with us in San Jose when they we at our house for the week as we prepared for the American Panna & Freestyle tournaments!

Where you here when we brought some of the world’s top street players to the Bay Area? See those highlights here.

So join a futsal program this winter and improve your skills for the outdoor game.

Until next month, happy holidays!

The SISM team


Video their performances for reviewing.

This is a pretty simple one. Having a video of the game (smart phones for the win!) that you can look back on provides your child a great way to realistically assess how they did. You can help point out the good things they did and help them understand where they could improve.

If you can’t video every game, then at least try to fill out analysis sheets, so it’s possible to see trends and highlight potential for improvement. For example, all goals were scored from set pieces, etc.

Lessons from Coach Graham

Without knowing it by overuse of I-Phones, tablets you are educating your main senses of vision & hearing to be dulled.

This has been the product of several studies with the result that England’s Head Rugby Coach has banned them on match-days. Eddie Jones the Head Coach hired the foremost person on the planet Dr. Sherylle Calder to coach the team on the discipline of when to use Smartphones & Ear-Phones. Overuse is encouraging “inverted vision” and so players lose their vision at critical times.

The other major lesson learned is the closing down of communication between players as they opt out to tune in to their head-phones and team communication is the loser. Ronald Koeman when he coached Everton was amazed at how quiet the dressing room was. It was almost like a library and not a vibrant dressing room of banter & debate.

I notice the habits of players at a local college wrapped up in their head-phones & reading their emails on the way to a game. Little do they realize they are warming up to lose.

Vision & communication skills should be on high alert on game day. Why practice losing before the kickoff?


Gaining and Staying in Control of a Match (Part 3)

The red and yellow cards are necessary tools that should not be overused.

When a minor situation presents itself, a referee can quickly step in and with a word or a look will be able to change the behavior of a player and prevent further escalation or retaliation.

The repeated use and showing of cards will often give the impression that the referee has lost or was never in control of the match.  Displaying cards will not help the weak referee regain control of the match (if he/she even had it in the first place).


As we approach the Holiday Season, I would like to wish you all the best as you spend time with family and friends

Talking about spending time with family and friends I have been able, over the last 2 weekends, to spend time with many of you at the Lemoore Sports Complex during District Cup.  There were many familiar faces and many new but what an enjoyable way to spend time watching the kids play.

We had 2 sites in District Cup Lemoore Sports Complex hosted by Lemoore Youth Soccer League and Tioga Middle School hosted by North Fresno Youth Soccer League. Thank you to both Leagues you did a spectacular job for the players, coaches and parents. I know that other Leagues offered support for example Valley in Lemoore and East Fresno at Tioga so to all thank you so much.

In the last addition of Komments I talked about what WE can do, I am happy to say WE did it, the initial District Cup which has been a great event, to bring our Leagues together as a District, WE had teams from Oakhurst to Avenal and Madera to Reedley. We had referees from all over D7, Madera, Fresno, Kingsburg and Visalia just to name a few.

So our mantra for 2020 must be WE can create the programs etc. to increase the number of children playing in this wonderful sport, WE can create ways to educate both parents, coaches and referees. WE can develop ways to make signing up to be a coach or referee one stop and easy.

End of Fall League

D7 Playing Program sees the end of Fall League as we now move towards the Holiday period.  A big THANK YOU to all who took part as this season ran very smoothly.

We were also involved in scheduling the District 7 Cup 2019.  Teams attended from a number of our Leagues and we had a good mix of In House and Travel teams.

The Playing Program Administrator had a great deal of help from the host sites ensuring that the weekends ran smoothly.

I personally was over-seeing the event at Lemoore Youth Sports Complex and so would like to thank Robert Woodley and his team of helpers for running the event at North Fresno.

It appeared that all who attended had a good time playing soccer.  Winners will be posted on the D7 website and we hope to encourage even more teams when we hold the Cup next year.

I look forward to scheduling for many of you in the Spring.

Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving and Christmas period.

Thank You & More…

I just wanted to say, Thank you!! to all that participated in our District 7 Playing Program Fall Season. Thanks to the efforts of all involved, I believe it was by far one of our best seasons to date. But on that note I’m really looking forward to our upcoming Spring League Season.

I am doing some research with a couple of our bordering districts to see about trying to bring back the CCSL for our teams, or doing something on our own similar to the CCSL, we will be looking at play weekends at one neutral site to help with the quality of travel.

On that note for those of you who may be traveling to one of our local District tournaments or a State events here in the near future, please remember to leave plenty of time to get to your destination, and please don’t text and drive because you have some very precious cargo onboard your vehicle!!!

Thanks for your support and have a great Holiday Season!!!




The Outcome of Our Children Is Infinitely More Important
Than The Outcome of Any Game They Will Ever Play!
-Koach Karl