Individual Development

A proactive approach to development will focus on the individual and providing them with the tools they need to become the best player they can be. However, coaching can only do so much for a player, and the highest level players have the intrinsic motivation, and individual drive to do more outside of their practice. Street soccer, fun individual games, and free play outside of structured practices can bring out the best in players.

Arriving 10 to 15 minutes before the start of practice and working on your juggling, or rebounding a ball off a wall will do wonders for your first touch and distribution, and the cumulative time of quality practice with the ball will help with the player furthering their ball mastery.


Practice Away from the Field

For a player to reach the highest level it comes down to firstly enjoying what they are doing, the player must enjoy and embrace the process. This comes from being able to play in a stress free environment. Yes, there must be challenges and targets, but with correct feedback to encourage a player to continue. A player must also be disciplined enough to practice on their own away from the field, accruing hours of deliberate practice, and getting as many touches on the ball as possible.

The Conklin’s (02 Boys), can be found at fields around Fremont, staying after practice, and whether rain or poor air quality, will always find a way to practice.

Key practices you can do on your own by being creative with what you have available.

Focusing on the Individual

When developing the player it is important that we focus on the individual when we look at their progress. Too often we are quick to compare to others in all areas of life, as adults and kids. This brings about the ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’, and ‘fear of missing out’.

We never know the full background of anyone or any team we play against within league play, and this includes the ages of the players such as sports age, biological age, and chronological age.

We also focus heavily on individual development, and with this true development and winning cannot co-exist in the youth game, especially at the younger ages. Coaching creative players through their development stages involved allowing the players to problem solve and make their own decisions, play with high risk in going in to 1v1 attacking and defending situations, and playing in multiple positions.

If as a parent you are not sure on how your child is doing, take focus away from game results and look for how your child is doing with comparing. Are they happy to be in possession of the ball, are they willing to try skills in a game, do they make decisions without looking towards the coach or parent.