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Soccer Parents KICK, September 2003 -- Let the Games Begin
September 08, 2003

The madness of soccer season continues at a frantic pace.

Due to both the Women's World Cup and the Fall soccer season knocking at the door, I will be publishing the newsletter about every other week for the next 8 weeks or so.

As always, email me if you have a content suggestion for an upcoming newsletter.

Table of Contents

1. Let the Games Begin
2. Help for Parents Ė More World Cup Info.
3. A Game for Corner Kicks
4. A New Search Tool

1. Let The Games Begin

I donít know about you,, but I am busy, busy, busy. Fall soccer season is in full swing and most ďvolunteerĒ coaches are madly preparing their teams for their opening game on Saturday. (at least in my neck of the woods)

I know I am busy sculpting my incredibly gifted U-5 team into a lean, mean, scoring machine.

Seriously though, hereís a little friendly advice for the brave, youth soccer coaches among us.

  • Let the kids play and have fun. Especially at the rec. level this is of primary importance. You can coach the kids on the bench but let the kids on the field play soccer.

  • Donít forget that you are a role model. Kids are great at picking up your mood and attitude. Remain calm. Donít yell at the referees. They have feelings too. (donít they??)

  • Leave your ego in the car. Donít take what happens on the field personally. Many times the final score is NOT a reflection of your coaching ability. As hard as everyone tries, there will always be better teams and worse teams. Focus on teaching the kids sportsmanship and playing hard regardless of circumstances. Many life lessons can be learned in soccer. Win with grace and lose with grace.

    Guess what? Iím preaching to myself.

    One final editorial comment. Try to keep the end in sight. Focus on improving individual skills first and the team skills will develop throughout the season as they scrimmage and play more games. Remember, the game teaches itself.

    2. Help for Parents Ė More World Cup Info.

    In case you havenít been there before, is a great website. They have just updated it with a comprehensive new area devoted to the U.S. Womenís National Team and their journey through the tournament. It is designed to be your starting point for all news, facts, standings, and up-to-date scores.

    Get the family revíed up for the world cup!

    Also, consider visiting one of my sponsors,, for all of their U.S. National Team apparel and gear. Support the girls in their quest for another World Cup!

    3. A Game for Corner Kicks

    Here is a game that has several good teaching points. This should work well at the U-8 to U-12 level.

    Courtesy of

    Corner Kick Game

    This is a good transition game. I stole it from the 1994 Vol. 2, #12 issue of Soccer Coaching. The article was by Roby Stahl.

    The game is played on a half field with 2 goals and goalkeepers. Two teams of 8 divide up into groups of four. A large number of balls are split up to the four corners. The game is 4v4 with the remaining 4 players from each team positioned at the corners of their team's attacking goal. Each game lasts 4 minutes and the "corner" players exchange positions with the field players.

    Every time the ball goes out of play, the team that just gained possession is awarded a corner kick at their attacking goal. That means they must sprint to their penalty area and try to execute a quick corner-kick before the defending team reacts. If the GK gets the ball, he is to distribute as quick as possible, hoping to find a breakaway situation.

    There is no off-side. We started play with a GK distribution. After a score, we transitioned to the other goal for a corner-kick. Another option would be for the beaten GK to distribute to his teammate to restart play. Coaching Points:

  • encourage high work rate (sprinting)
  • emphasis on quick, but accurate corner kicks
  • look to recognize first player who opens space for himself
  • make defenders sprint back to their goal after losing the ball out of bounds
  • emphasis on aggression in the box
  • emphasis on quick transitions from defense to offense and offense to defense

    More soccer drill resources can be found on the Soccer Drill Page.

    4. A New Search Tool

    Last but not least, I got motivated after the last newsletter and decided to work on my own web page for finding soccer on tv. I even have my own search tool now.

    Here it is.

    Until next time.


    P.S. Does your child have a soccer computer game yet? If not, you should seriously consider Backyard Soccer 2004. My son loves his version from a couple of years ago. The new version includes the ability to pick Major League Soccer teams or the backyard kids. Try it now for free!

    Pass It On - Feel free to KICK the newsletter downfield to any friends, parents, or coaches who could use the information.

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