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Snack Food for Thought

Since when did the postgame (or, in some cases, pregame and halftime, too) snack become the focal point of youth recreational soccer games? And when did it become the latest installment of "Keeping up with the Joneses"?
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Be a Great Team Manager

You're organized. You're a good communicator. You've run your school auction and served on a plethora of committees. Which is why your child's new coach has asked you to be the team's manager for the upcoming fall soccer season. "What do I need to do?" you ask.
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Finding the Right Place to Play

Imagine this scenario: You're sitting in a cafe in Switzerland watching Euro 2008. You don't speak any French, German or Italian, but you are handed the thickest menu you have ever seen. This thing is like 50 pages long. You open it and start flipping through. You have no idea what you're looking at. To boot, you're a picky eater. ...
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Coping with Mistakes: Teaching Tolerance

Tolerance is important not only between and among teammates but also for individual players personally. Ideally, this tolerance starts at the top with the coach.


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How to Get Seen by College Coaches at a Tournament

The opening whistle blows. The ball gets dropped back to you. Your first touch isn't so good and the ball slips away. You scramble to it just before a defender gets there, but you hit it awkwardly and it bends out of bounds. Uh oh.
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Is coach doing a good job?

Proper player development leads to good match performance, which often leads to wins. But there are shortcuts to winning, particularly with players younger than high-school age. Just get the biggest, fastest kids around -- then outrun and outmuscle the opposition.


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The Question College Hopefuls Must Ask

Wilbur Avataria is a good soccer player. He's been in touch with a dozen or so college coaches, visited a handful of those schools, and scored a stunning goal at Dallas Cup. Recruiting is moving along pretty well for him. But there's one glaring exception: he has no idea how serious any of these coaches are about having him on ...
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'Club Ball is a Business'

It often feels to the parents as if their child is a commodity. At one end they experience pressure to commit and on the other selling approaches that can be unsavory and even dishonest.


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At Camp with Manny Schellscheidt

It was 35 years ago when Manfred "Manny" Schellscheidt became the first coach granted an "A" license by the U.S. Soccer Federation. He has since coached at every level of the U.S. men's national team program and is now enjoying his role as technical director of U.S. Soccer's U-14 boys development program.


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Teaching the Game

Coaches spend an awful lot of time teaching tactics, often telling players, for instance, that they need to stay in their positions. But what's sometimes lost is the fact that soccer is a free-flowing expression of how you want to see the game unfold.


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How to Talk to College Coaches

While coaches do a lot of calling, players don't have to wait around for the phone to ring. Instead, pick up the phone, shake the nervousness out of your fingers and make the call. But then what?


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Keeping Your Expectations in Check

As a coach it is natural to have your "favorite" players. However, the positive and negative expectations you form about players on your team affects not only your own behavior toward them but also the feelings and performance of those players.


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Your Simple Steps to the College Search

If college recruiting had a motto, it would be this: "What the [insert expletive of choice] am I supposed to be doing?" It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask. Most players and their parents have never been through the process. Or maybe they bumped and scraped their way through it with an older sibling. The pressure mounts as they realize ...
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On Dribbling, Parent Coaches and Tournamentitis

Soccer America readers comment on recent editions of the Youth Soccer Insider e-letter.


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Beware of Tournamentitis

In the 1980s, tournaments took on another focus. They became the main revenue stream for many clubs. Proceeds helped to build facilities, greased the wheels of local governments and business to support soccer by their financial impact on a community. The profits made even helped to create jobs within the clubs for administrators and coaches. Certainly many positive types of ...
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