This article by Koach Karl was originally published in the June edition of Sporting Kid Live by the National Alliance for Youth Sports.
Q: What should a soccer coach’s practice philosophy be to make the most of the session?
A: Begin by formulating your own practice philosophy. Although coaching uses various sciences, coaching itself is not a science. We all do it a little differently and no one may dictate to you which philosophy to accept. You must develop your own based on your goals, objectives, personality, previous knowledge, experiences, ongoing growth and involvement in the game. And most important, take into consideration the interest and skill level of your players.
So, to help you formulate your personal practice philosophy, consider starting with the following:
Ask yourself: Does it happen in the game? If the answer is YES, then do it in practice. If the answer is NO, then don’t do it in practice.
Then, study and apply the following ACTIONS:
Activity! Appropriate soccer activities have to be your main objective when planning and running a practice session. You need to remember that players come to practice to play soccer and not soccer-related games. A flexible practice scheme, such as my ‘9-Step Practice’ fulfills this goal by giving you the luxury to organize: individual 1 vs.1 games), small and large group games, and scrimmages.