Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Clicking for Kicks
by Mike Woitalla, July 24th, 2009 2:02PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

By Mike Woitalla

To develop skills and master the game, the next best thing to playing is to watch. But a common lament among American coaches, one I've heard even from U.S. national team coaches, is their young players don't watch enough soccer.

For sure, the great players I've ever interviewed tell stories of watching stars make brilliant moves, and then trying to emulate them. Former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, to name one, would watch soccer on TV with his older brother, then go straight to the backyard and mimic what he had seen.

There's no shortage of soccer on American television, but young players often aren't drawn to watching if there's not a soccer culture in their house. In many other countries, where dad's a big soccer fan or Monday's schoolyard conversation revolves around the weekend's games, children are more likely to watch soccer.

So coaches need to encourage them. They can mention upcoming games - "The USA is playing Mexico on Sunday!" -- and perhaps send e-mail reminders on when they're being broadcast and on what channel.

Coaches can start a friendly pool or fantasy league to encourage their players to watch high-level soccer. Have players pick a favorite MLS or WPS team - or teams from any league that is televised - and spur discussion on last weekend's games at the next team get-together.

Also, modern technology enables coaches to make at least some soccer-viewing convenient for their players. For this generation of kids, watching videos online is a part of their daily routine. Coaches can e-mail links to highlights or instructional demonstrations.

Highlights from soccer games around the world can be found by searching YouTube.com, and visiting soccer video highlight websites such as Footytube.com, SoccerClips.net and GoalJunky.com. MLS and WPS have video highlights on their sites. MLS's site features Goals of the Week and Saves of the Week .

YouTube also provides profiles and highlight montages of soccer role models, from Landon Donovan and Mia Hammto Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lenny Lun, who coaches girls at Northern California's Mustang Soccer, picks a "move of the month" for his players to focus on. He directs them to a video-game promo that works perfectly to demonstrate a variety of spectacular moves that entertain and inspire. 

Advanced Skills Tutorial (5:05 min.)

Below is a collection of other instructional video clips that young players of various levels may enjoy:

The Ronaldo Chop (1:23 min.)

Awesome Soccer Juggling Video (2:00 min.)

The Robinho Stepover (1:33 min.)  

Juggling Pele: The Master and His Method (2:00 min.)

Kelly Smith's Tips & Tricks

Juggling Tips (2:40 min.)

The Zico (1:48 min.)

(Mike Woitalla, who coaches youth soccer in Northern California, is the executive editor of Soccer America
. His youth articles are archived at YouthSoccerFun.com.

 



0 comments
  1. Paul Giavanopoulos
    commented on: July 27, 2009 at 1:01 p.m.
    Well said. This creates a huge issue for youth coaches at the younger ages as most of their players do not have visuals. This means that the coaches must spend time showing the players what to do, where in England for example, the coach will say "did you see what Gerard did on Sunday". Part of the problem as the article states is the parents. They really do not embrace the sport at home, especially when the NFL starts. While they are happy Little Johnie is playing soccer, they would rather watch their NFL team on Sunday then sit down with Johnie and watch a soccer game. As many around the world put it, soccer is not a sport it's a culture.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
Refs: Use your head and wear a cap    
I schedule a full check-up with my dermatologist every six months. When I was there last, ...
Taking the ice bath plunge for muscle soreness -- helpful or not?    
I've noticed for a long time now that adult endurance athletes will often jump into an ...
Development Academy award winners in good company    
In the wake of the 2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, which concluded last weekend with ...
Most of 2015 U-17 alums already with pro clubs    
The USA may have disappointed at the 2015 U-17 World Cup last October when Coach Richie ...
Think food first: Refueling after training or games    
Here's another of those subjects that seems to make some people emotional -- why is it ...
FC Dallas makes Development Academy history, but focus remains on long-term    
FC Dallas won 2016 U.S. Soccer Development Academy titles at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 divisions, becoming ...
FC Dallas reaches both Development Academy finals    
FC Dallas, which leads MLS clubs in Homegrown signings, continues to impress at the youth level. ...
Top ECNL honor goes to Southern California's Slammers FC    
Slammers FC was named ECNL "Overall Club Champion" for the 2015-16 season. The Newport Beach, California-based ...
So far, 53 clubs join Girls Development Academy    
U.S. Soccer, which on June 30 announced the first 25 clubs that will play in the ...
Do's And Don'ts of Supplements for Young Athletes    
Last week I wrote about painkillers and how to use them occasionally, as well as some ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives