Guest Session by Tony Begg – Hibernian FC Academy (SPL) – Close Range Finishing

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Tony Begg – Hibernian FC Academy

Tony Begg is a Coach at Hibernian FC Academy. He Coaches the U10 team at the club. He holds the Scottish FA Children’s Level 4 Award and the Youth Module Level 4 Award.

Session:

Finishing U10 - Hibernian pt1 Finishing U10 - Hibernian pt2 Finishing U10 - Hibernian pt3 Finishing U10 - Hibernian pt4

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Guest Session by Scott Allison – St Mirren (SPL) – Developing an Attacking Style of Play.

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Scott Allison  – St Mirren (SPL) Academy

Scott Allison is a professional youth coach currently at Scottish Premier League side St Mirren FC.   He currently holds the UEFA B Licence, SFA Advanced Youth Licence (Level 5) and SFA Advanced Children’s Licence (Level 5).

Scott has previous experience at Glasgow Rangers FC, Livingston FC and Partick Thistle FC and has worked with every elite youth age group from U19 to U11.  He is also a former Scottish FA Senior Football Development Officer/ Coach Education Tutor and last played professionally in the Scottish 3rd Division with East Stirlingshire FC.   Scott believes in developing attractive, attacking, effective football and studies the traditional Dutch and Spanish styles of play.

Session:

Guest Session – Foundation Session by Jamie Wright – Sunderland AFC

Jamie Wright – Sunderland AFC

Jamie Wright is 29 and os a UEFA B Coach. His job role is Head of Football Development (SAFC Foundation of Light) & Assistant head of Foundation Stage (SAFC Academy).

Jamie is now Head of the Football Development department at SAFC Foundation of Light  where he writes new coaching delivery programmes as well as developing and writing a coach education programme. He is also responsible for quality managing all SAFC Foundation coaching delivery as well as ensuring coaches adhere to the SAFC Player Pathway. The Academy role see’s Jamie take responsibility for the 5 to 8 year old age group as part of SAFC’S category 1 Academy. Jamie also assists the head of phase working with the 9 to 11year old players.

You can follow Jamie on twitter: @jamiewright246

Session

 

This basic passing session allows player to focus on a particular technique (passing and receiving the ball). Aim is to follow the sequence above whilst hopefully instilling good habits i.e. getting side on to receive ball, checking shoulder etc… Once the group have had a go at right foot, switch sides to left foot. Session can finish with a competition to see who can ‘score’ the most passes into the smaller goals.

Yellow player plays the pass into the red player who upon receiving the ball can score in either goal. The yellow player becomes the defender, coach can incentivise the defender by giving him 2 points if they retrieve the ball and score themselves.

The 5 v 3 possession game gives all players the opportunity to attack, defend and keep possession during a small sided game. 5 yellows aim is to keep possession of the ball-Coach can incentivise them by giving them a target of passes to equal a goal or before they can score a goal. 3 reds aim is to win the ball back and once they do so can score in any of the 4 goals. The positive of this game is you can work on a number of things, possession, counter attacking, defending outnumbered etc…

 

Q&A with Alfred Galustian – Co Founder of Coerver Coaching

ALFRED GALUSTIAN – CO FOUNDER OF COERVER COACHING

Alfred is Co Founder of Coerver Coaching and widely regarded as one of the World’s Top Skills Coaches. Over the past 30 years, has worked as a Technical Coaches Instructor at:

 The French, English, Japanese, Australian Football Federations and top clubs including Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Newcastle United,Manchester City, Real Madrid  and Arsenal.

 

Alfred was the Skills Specialist advisor to the Premier League during the 2010/11 Season

You can follow Alfred on twitter: @coerveralf

Questions…

Why is Coerver coaching so important for youth academies/clubs?

Coerver has for over 30 years, been a pioneer in Skills Teaching. Professional clubs are always looking for ‘special players” players who can make a difference in the game; Coerver has a curriculum and a method that can teach this “special player quality.

Its been tried and tested with many of top clubs around the world  Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Man City & United, Arsenal and many more.

2/ Why are small sided games so important for youth development?

Ultimately skills have got to be used effectively in games. When we started 30 years ago, I must admit most of our focus was on mastering skills through repetition. Coerver has evolved thru the years, and now our curriculum and method, places a lot of emphasis on conversion of skills in games. We have a step by step way of teaching, and basically all these steps end with players being able to use the cores skills ( first touch/passing/1 v 1) effectively under game pressure. Our new Session planner,which is very helpful for coaches of all levels, includes a Small sided games segment. In fact it’s 35% of our total session plan. The benefits of small sided games are well know. The are some conditions that Coerver uses in small sided games that makes some of our work different, but that is in the conditioned part of such games. We mostly believe that small sided games should be mainly free from coaching, and that the player is the sole decision maker in such contests.
 
3/ What are the benefits for players of when using coerver coaching exercises?
We have a curriculum and method of teaching that we feel can improve players of any level.The beauty of the curriculum is that there is a way to adapt each drill and game to fit the level/age of the player.
Our main focus is to improve individual player skills, we believe this is the foundation that all other parts of the game can be built on.
Our drills and games are also designed to improve speed and decision making.
 
4/ How important is a curriculum for youth coaching?
Whatever the curriculum, I feel that’s the starting point for any youth coach. I always suggest that coaches should teach a curriculum that represents their approach & philosophy of coaching. If You really believe something you can teach it passionately.
Our Curriculum “The Coerver Pyramid of Player development”evolved over 30 years. Firstly inspired by the great Wiel Coerver,then devised by Charlie Cooke and myself.
Each year Charlie and I do coaches courses ,where we generally cover our curriculum and method of teaching. I certainly think Coerver is different from other approaches/curriculums its better I leave others to judge, but having worked in over 23 countries, I have seen first hand that Coerver has changed how coaches have taught the game globally.

5/ what is your philosophy as a coach?

I believe Skill is the foundation that you can build all the other important parts of the game.
I believe that hard work and practice are essential for both teacher and pupil
I believe that the player should be the sole deciding maker once the game starts
I believe that any curriculum should improve the person a swell as the football player
 

6/ What is the future for Coerver Coaching?

Coerver is now in 26 countries with vides and book in 13 languages. We want to continue growing and have an influence on the way the game is taught and played.

We have been in USA for more than 30 years,Charlie Cooke, the cofounder of Coerver, has done a fantastic job establishing Coerver all over the USA.
In Japan, we have established over 100 schools,all staffed by  coaches that we have trained in the Coerver System. Over the past 20 years over 300 boys have gone to the professional clubs from these schools
In Europe the Coerver influence,especially in the pro clubs and federations, is significant, so overall Charlie and I see Coerver growing in popularity and really changing the way the game is taught.

Here is Alf working with Manchester city academy coaches in a Coerver workshop:

Coaches for Coerver games and drills – go now to www.soccersessionplanner.com 

Guest Session with Aaron Danks – Academy Coach at WEST BROMWICH ALBION

CROSSING AND FINISHING BY AARON DANKS OF WBA

Aaron Danks is a UEFA A Licensed coach at West Bromwich Albion. He also does performance analysis for the club. He works with players from the age of 6 to 18 years old. You can follow Aaron on twitter @coachdanks

Here is a Crossing and Finishing session done by Aaron for youthtoprosoccer.com:

Note: Click on session to make image larger

Q&A WITH JILL ELLIS US WOMEN’S TEAM ASSISTANT & WOMENS DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Jill has extensive experience in the U.S. Women’s National Team programs, having served as an assistant coach under Pia Sundhage helping the U.S. Women’s National Team to a Gold Medal at the 2008 and recently the 2012 Olympics in London. Jill has served two stints as head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, guiding the squad to the CONCACAF title in 2010 and to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

Jill Ellis took the lead on interacting directly with key coaches within the youth club environment while also guiding and directing the U.S. U-17s, U-15s and U-14s US National Teams

She also has been Head Coach for UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) Women’s Program but took a full time role with the USSF in 2011 as Women’s Development Director. Jill holds a USSF A license.

Questions…

1/What is your Role at US Soccer?

I oversee the U14, U15, and U17 Women’s Youth National teams’ programs, the Scouting Network, and our Training Center program.  Simplified, I am working with my counter part April Heinrichs to provide direction and assistance to the women’s youth national team players, coaches, and their environments.

 2/ How has your experience working with Pia Sundhage been? 

Pia is fantastic to work with.  Most of our time on the road is off the field, so working with someone who loves to laugh and is eternally optimistic is a real joy.  She is incredibly inclusive with her staff and that really does create an environment that is very collegial.  I have enjoyed talking soccer and life with Pia and I will miss her.

3/ As a youth coach at national team level what kind of characteristics in a player are you looking for?

The demands of the international game really dictate what players need to be able to do to perform for a National Team.  A high degree of technical proficiency is optimum, even at the U14 age group in camp, the more comfortable a player is on the ball the easier it is to execute in a faster environment.  I think a player’s mental makeup is another important attribute.  They are playing  against the other top players in their age, so bringing a confident and competitive attitude to training is an important piece.  Tactics will be taught in training camps, but those players who watch soccer regularly definitely  show a quicker learning curve to absorb information.

4/ Do you think the standard of players being produced in US is getting better?

I do, but we must continue to push higher.  We will only be able to play at the top level if our club coaches believe they are an integral part of the process and also continue to evolve.  There are some very skillful players out there and more and more our top young players are watching the game so we are seeing some very sophisticated players in our programs. The truly special players need a club coach who has a specific plan for that player’s development.  Typically our most technical players are our smaller players, well now the challenge is to have our most athletic players be as technical so we can be a nation that has it all.

 5/ Do you think the standard of youth coaching is getting better?

In this new role I have been fortunate to meet and interact with many coaches in the club system and yes there are some quality coaches out there.  In hiring for the U17 and U15 Head Coaches in this last cycle it was how Albertin and Damon’s teams played that I was initially drawn to.  Yes, they have been successful, but they emphasized technical development and their teams like to build and possess. I would definitely challenge the club coach to revisit their training environment – as coaches we all get comfortable with the drills we know, but the practices we ran with a team 5 years ago might be beneath the current players we have.  Instead of simply possession in a grid for our high school age players, now let’s add direction and positions. Can we do more functional work with the players?  Instead of one drill to fit everyone maybe tonight we focus on our wide players and we put them in learning situations they will see in the game.  I know its a long answer, but the same weaknesses the club coaches identify in their game exist at the YNT – so let’s start to address them…crossing, finishing, driven balls etc.
6/ Do you think the new USSF Curriculum will take US Soccer to the next level?

 The new curriculum definitely has information that is both valuable and practical, but, ultimately it will come down to the coaches of our younger players who are out on the practice fields and sidelines being able to take the recommendations and utilize them.  Claudio Reyna spent a lot of time traveling Europe to look at what the rest of the world is doing so the information is current and relevant to both boys and girls.

7/ How was the Olympic Experience in London. 

London was great, Wembley even better.  It was fun to finish in London and stay in the Village with all the other nations and truly get immersed in the Olympic spirit.  I grew up in England and watched games at Wembley on tv,  so to get to experience that was amazing.

Here is a video with Jill Ellis and other technical coaching staff at US Soccer talking about the new USSF Curriculum: