• Running a youth club: Steve Gans' advice for DOCs, the Board, and parents
    Operating a youth soccer club in the USA comes with all the complexities of running a business, including legal matters.
  • Use lines to help you ref
    In soccer, I'm increasingly refereeing with lines from diverse sports on the field as turf fields are often used for football and lacrosse. And these lines can be a help to the ref.
  • Injured Player? Take Safe Steps in the Return-To-Play Decision
    One of the toughest decisions in youth sports is determining when a player who has suffered an injury is ready to return to action.
  • United Soccer Coaches Convention: What to expect at the soccer wonderland for coaches from rec to pro
    The world's largest annual gathering of soccer coaches and administrators takes place Jan. 9-13 in Chicago.
  • A balanced approach that includes supporting high school ball will move American soccer forward
    The change so many are calling for must not be in the form of a bulldozer demolishing the very programs that built the American soccer story
  • The College Process: Be Prepared, Proactive and Persistent
    As high school students across the nation enter another grade, many will begin the exciting -- and at times overwhelming -- process of preparing for college.
  • When controlling the parents becomes problematic, leave them out
    The U-16 All-Star team I coached this fall prepped for its tournament against a travel team. They looked amazing, and they could hardly stop scoring.
  • 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.
« Previous Entries Next Entries »