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 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
How refs spot off-the-ball fouls     
You can never relax while driving and the same is true when officiating a soccer game. ...
John Ellinger on U-17 residency: 'I don't think it was ever intended to be there forever'    
In January 1999, the U.S. Soccer Federation created the U-17 national team Residency Program in Bradenton, ...
Be a Great Team Parent: Tips for Parent Conduct, Team Trips, and Communication    
Youth sports programs often can only run with the help of parent volunteers. Whether your role ...
Seeded USA gets favorable draw for U-20 World Cup    
The USA, which earned a seed for the 2017 World Cup, was drawn into Group F, ...
Real Colorado's Sophia Smith gets her goal fix with U.S. U-18s and U-20s    
Sophia Smith, the 16-year-old who's been on a scoring tear for U.S. youth teams, hails from ...
Tab Ramos: We want these U-20s to play first-team pro ball    
After guiding the USA to the Concacaf U-20 Championship title, Tab Ramos will coach at his ...
A promising generation -- the U.S. 2017 U-20s    
America's biggest teenage star couldn't get time off work to be part of the USA's Concacaf ...
USA stamps U-20 World Cup ticket; now aims for Concacaf crown    
The U.S. U-20 national team faces Honduras in the Concacaf U-20 Championship final on Sunday, but ...
Injury prevention warmup programs work: Use One!     
I'm a big believer in using warmup-based training programs as part of the overall effort to ...
Tab Ramos on U-20 win: 'We gave them very little if anything at all'    
Mexico entered the qualifying tournament for the 2017 U-20 World Cup having won the last three ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives