Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Clicking for Kicks
by Mike Woitalla, July 24th, 2009 2:02PM

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 Hamm to 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
Is it OK to play in pain?     
"What's the difference between discomfort and pain? And is it OK for me to keep playing ...
The benefits of pool play vs. traditional leagues for U-10s     
The Youth Soccer Insider asked Sam Snow, Technical Director of U.S. Youth Soccer, to explain the ...
Ref Watch: Why three is so much better than one     
When I moved to Florida for business 27 years ago, I lived and worked in Orlando ...
Tab Ramos auditions new talent for U-20 World Cup     
Coach Tab Ramos has called up three players to the U.S. U-20 national team, which is ...
George Altirs boosts New Jersey-area youth ball     
As a boy, George Altirs spent his free time playing as much soccer as possible in ...
Are tire crumbs on fields a cancer threat?    
Some environmental and health advocacy groups have claimed that the crumb rubber infill, used in artificial ...
A World Cup for Richie Williams, better late than never     
Richie Williams might just be the USA's most successful player who never played in a World ...
USA avoids debacle in U-17 World Cup qualifying    
Ultimately, the USA's quest to qualify for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup hinged on shots from ...
Americans down to one last chance at U-17 World Cup qualifying    
One of the U.S. national team program's consistencies for nearly three decades was that the USA ...
Video Games vs. Youth Soccer, the mismatch    
In an article by John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing the Game Project, he writes that three ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives