I’ve said it many times and today’s podcast with @Paul Kelshaw highlighted it again - get your hours in.
Spend 7 hours per day on the field for 10 weeks if you can. Get involved with a team that trains before or after you. You might even sacrifice time spent on other things to get more hours (don’t sacrifice your family, if you’re asking me).
Learn so much about yourself -
Shadow / Support / Assist. There are always teams training when you are not. This could be before or after you. Pro / semi-pro / College all train during the day and their coaches / staff are only even an email or a connection away.
Work with the kids that get left behind:
The lowest level team
The young kids
The lowest level - this is an awesome place to hone the skill of developing players to love the game. The lowest team is not great soccer, typically, and requires a different mindset from the top levels that want to win or prepare players for the next level. This group needs special attention, as all players do, but a different style. They need encouragement, support, and fun. I’ve had some ‘bad’ seasons, losing every game and constantly being challenged with a ‘what’s the point’ approach - it’s an incredible learning experience that I even published a podcast about it.
The youngest is something I explore with Paul in this episode. They are the foundation of the next generation and a key group that many do not like to, or want to, work with. It takes a special skill set and whilst I believe coaches have their niche and specialty, they should all be able to work with every age. Simple point - what happens if your club needs someone to lead a program aimed at 4 year olds? Are you turning down the opportunity because you ‘can’t’ work with that age? I hope not.
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