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Player Development

All your players will be completely different at the end of this season. We hope you won't recognize them...

The following are some of the ways we hope to develop your children:


Prevention and Enhancement of Performance, or "PEP" programs are absolutely essential to training athletes today, especially female athletes, in my estimation. They are cutting edge, but I believe will or should be seen more and more in youth sports like soccer. As a result of taking a clinic on PEP last year, I added this into our player development curriculum--and it will remain there this year.

The "P"revention element of PEP programs are meant to reteach sound physiological movements (proprioception), especially w/ regards to jumping, cutting, and shifting--or exactly what soccer players do some 1,000 times a game. The idea is to have a dynamic warm-up routine that focuses on these crucial elements to soccer.

A further reason to integrate PEP into training:  females are significantly more likely to get ACL knee injuries than males. Two separate one-year studies of college athletes offered that female athletes WITHOUT PEP (or PEP-like) warm-up routines suffered ACL injuries 80% more frequently.

Enhancement of Performance
The different PEP warm-ups also increase performance in two ways: Core Strengthening and Plyometrics (Speed Training). Basically, each exercise or warm-up focuses on both a "P"reventitive reteaching movement and one of the above--either Core strengthening or Speed training.

For more information and links to PEP Programs, see the "PEP" menu under "Programs."

Fiorentina (new) Training

This year we are adding "Fiorentina Method" training to our Player Development Curriculum. Named after the professional soccer team ACF Fiorentina that plays in the Italian Serie A League, this method attempts to have a complete, total soccer player development approach that is "scientific."

What I love about this method is the unbelievable attention to detail placed on developing athletes' core dexterity concurrently w/ developing technical and/or tactical soccer skills. The first two key areas of this method we will add to our player development curriculum are developing Psych-Motor Skills and Coordination skills.

The great part about adding this program to our practices is that it is really fun for the kids. When the training field looks like a playground w/ rings, hoops, arches, speed ladders, etc., you'll know we are doing the "Fiorentina" part of our practice.

Psycho-Motor Skills
•Basic Motor Schemes
•Postural Schemes
•Senso-Perceptive Capacity

Coordination Skills
•Combine & Coupling Movements
•Spacial-Temporal Orientation
•Adaptation & Transformation
•Motor Imagination

TIC and Decisions

TIC, or "Technique, Insight, and Communication," is the goal for many adherents of Dutch soccer player development programs. These will be goals for our team as well. The concept can be simplified: in order to develop better players, you must develop better decision-makers on the field. In order to develop better decision-makers on the field, we must try our best to help each player develop their mastery of understanding positions, and let it inform the different ways they should use their soccer techniques on the field.

I've read a study that suggests good soccer players can make up to as many as 10 decisions a minute in a soccer game. What is so amazing about soccer players is that in order to mature and play better soccer, their decision-making depth and understanding of soccer must improve as fast as--if not faster than--their technical and tactical skills so they can become "quick 10" decision-makers.

In order to develop good soccer players, we have to -- wherever possible -- challenge them to take up the responsibility to make decisions. The speed at which each player can analyze the field and move in relation to their teammates and the field situation is one of the three types of speed that is "coachable" and we have in our development curriculum.

The "more or less" ideal development process will allow all the players on the team to:
  • play the game always one pass ahead;
  • (at the same time) have the confidence and technical ability to not be "pass happy;"
  • see and understand and be able to (VERY) quickly read the whole game unfolding at any given moment;
  • have a maturing, excellent pass-to-maintain-possession ratio;
  • have the wherewithal to eliminate "emotional fogs" that prevent 100% concentration during games...

Coerver Training

Generally speaking, the Coerver teaching platform puts an emphasis on developing great technical ball mastery and 1v1 skills. The elements we emphasize in our training curriculum are these:

Ball Mastery

Moves (1v1)

When you see us in "Soccer Circle" or "1v1 Move Squares," rest assured we are trying to develop ball mastery and concentrating on developing more and more comfortable 1v1 moves w/ each player...

Zone (new) Training

This year, in addition to other types of training, we'll be focusing in on a new one--to teach soccer w/ rhythm. Anyone who has ever been in a game and had the good fortune to experience being "in the zone" will understand the desire to try to unlock this potential in athletes is compelling.

Through reevaluating and adapting drills to add rhythmic elements, we will attempt to help the players better integrate and synthesize ball mastery drills or technical drills or just fundamentally sound coordination drills into their actual game play.

Positive Charting

Part of the PCA (Positive Coaching Alliance) philosophy, we'll use these charts to focus in on each player's positives and individualized needs for development... keeping things positive to each player in order to help them reach their potential.

The key to these charts, if you ask me, is how well we are received by each player as authentic and respected.

iSoccer (new) Evaluations and Testing

See "iSoccer" under the "Programs" menu above for more information on this great new program.