• Should refs call players by name?
    The ref is the ultimate neutral and it looks very bad if he or she knows the players on only one team.
  • Closing the gap between curriculum and methodology: A necessity for development
    One of the most common proofs of development expertise referred to by clubs across the country, and frequently described as such to their members, is the club “curriculum.” This often described, but rarely seen, document is considered a guiding North Star when many describe the process for teaching and developing young players within their club. But while a club curriculum is helpful and positive, a curriculum-driven perspective reflects a need for significantly more thought and study that, if undertaken, would greatly improve the development environment for millions of players. The word “curriculum,” the scope of the document itself, and its ...
  • USSF's Play-Practice-Play provides a better framework -- but there's always room for improvisation
    In my first season, the verdict is positive -- mostly. But as with all coaching methodologies, you're going to find a reality check.
  • Overuse Injuries: How parents can watch for the signs in their children
    "What advice would you give to a parent of a youth soccer player regarding being proactive or reactive to injuries and overall health?"
  • Become a ref! It's fun, really
    I was going to take Sunday off. But the emails kept piling up from our ref assignor. "Games open." "MORE games open."
  • Start practice with play: U.S. Soccer gets it right
    In 2009, I wrote a column headlined, "Why is scrimmage dessert?" - because I had observed so many practices for young children that bothered me.
  • Have mercy? How coaches can manage a mismatch
    The opposing coach was emphatic. "Left foot only!" he yelled. He had also imposed shooting restrictions on his players.
  • Reffing according to the score?
    As many people realize that I'm an experienced official, often the winning coach asks my advice on what to do to not continuously score goals.
  • Ending ref abuse starts with the coaches
    Years ago, in my area, a coach screamed so much at the teenage girl refereeing a U-10 game that she ended up in tears and the game was abandoned.
  • Referee Watch: How to cope with reffing in the rain
    With the extreme weather we've been experiencing, an increasing number of my games have been played in heavy rain.
  • The Female Athlete Triad: An under-recognized sports health disorder
    The female athlete triad is a potentially serious health condition typically affecting teenage girls and young women.
  • For Kids Only ...
    Dear Soccer-Playing Children of America, The fall season is getting underway and I'm hoping you're having a great time.
  • Heat and humidity can be lethal for your players -- here's what to know
    It can be OK to practice in 100-degree weather, or it could be dangerous. It depends on the humidity factor.
  • The challenges referees face while coping with injuries
    This past May, I was refereeing a Long Island Junior Soccer League game when I felt a twinge in my right knee while running.
  • Making the game day 'go' or 'no go' decision
    The decision whether an athlete should be allowed to play or should sit out after injury is always an interesting one to observe from afar.
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