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The most important coaching tool ever...

I've said various things to the opposing coach during the postgame handshake:
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How I Became a Referee -- and Why I'm Glad I did

When I was 15 years old, one of my soccer coaches, Gordon Barr (son of U.S. Soccer Hall of Famer George Barr) phoned me to ask if I would like to ref our local soccer club's intramural program. I thought who would want to become a referee? After all, the ref gets yelled at and is booed, so I declined.
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Mario Goetze: From 'rascal' to World Cup hero

The latest edition of our "When They Were Children" series provides a glimpse into the youth years of World Cup final hero Mario Goetze, who scored the goal that gave Germany its fourth world championship.
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Tim Howard's advice for keepers, parents and coaches

In light of Tim Howard's extraordinary performance at the 2014 World Cup, where he set a World Cup record with 16 saves in the round of 16 overtime loss to Belgium and set the record for most U.S. national team appearances for a goalkeeper at 104, the Youth Soccer Insider republishes this 2012 interview.
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Robben and Van Persie: When They Were Children

Here are some glimpses into the childhoods of Arjen Robben and Robin van Persie, who each scored a pair of goals as the Netherlands opened their 2014 World Cup campaign with a 5-1 win over defending champion Spain.
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Love in the Time of Futbol

I am ready. Every four years when the World Cup comes around my every day world ceases to be and like a sunflower that lives to trace the sun in the sky I focus on one thing only: ftbol.
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Understanding teen 'weirdness'

Any coach who works with teenage athletes knows they will have to deal with a lot of weirdness. Biologically and psychologically, children reach puberty earlier and adulthood later. That leaves a lot of room in the middle for an extended period of awkwardness, which often leaves parents and coaches scratching their heads in disbelief.
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Sleep well, play well (The teenager's challenge)

I'm sure anyone who's raised an adolescent or teenager can attest to the idea that teenagers don't get as much sleep as they need.
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Elite? Premier? Not when the punts are flying

The setting is a "showcase" tournament featuring some of the top youth clubs in Region 1. College scouts are dotted around the field sitting in fold-up chairs, their clipboards on their knees, with pens poised to note the number of any outstanding players. The goalkeeper of a boys U19 team has the ball in his hands. I am standing in ...
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Brazil-bound U.S. players share early World Cup memories

While they were preparing for this summer's World Cup we asked the USA's Brazil-bound players to recall their earliest memories of the world's greatest sporting event. It was no surprise the 1994 World Cup hosted by the USA inspired many American stars of this generation.
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How the Game Has Changed in the Past Four Decades

Having started playing youth soccer in the 1970s, then taking up the whistle in 1978, I have seen many changes on the youth soccer landscape:
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Catching college coaches' eyes at tournament play

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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Refereeing the Hot Areas

In soccer, most people are actually very logical and realize that referees cannot get all their decisions correct. Yet it's very important that the officials get the great majority of the calls correct, particularly with the situations in the hot areas.
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The Keeper as Orchestrator: Sidewinders, Punts, Drop Kicks, Throwing and Rolling

Preventing goals may be a goalkeeper's foremost duty, but it's only part of the job. Once the ball is in the goalkeeper's hands or at his feet, the keeper becomes an orchestrator. That's why coaches should stress that goalkeepers are soccer players who happen to have the privilege of using their hands.
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Coaching from different angles and problem-solving (with Ben Cross)

When he's not coaching the Revolution Empire's U18 boys, Ben Cross is a Science teacher in Rochester, N.Y. There, he teaches his students to be problem-solvers, to observe carefully and use their knowledge and experience to propose solutions.
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