“A” License: Day 4

Posted: January 11, 2013 in Psychology, US Soccer
Tags: ,

Today we kicked off the practice coaching sessions.  Since my last name is “Tosaya” I am slated to be 17th out of 19 sessions, so we won’t get to mine until way down the line.  But it’s been really good to hear the instructors feedback and start getting an idea what they are looking for in the sessions.

The thing I keep hearing from Mark Berson and Jeff Pill is “5 W’s” over, and over again.  You must make sure we can answer the “Who, Where, When, What and Why?” of the topic by just observing the session.  Tom Durkin’s feedback for his candidates is intense, but very detailed and good.  I have never heard such in depth feedback from the instructing staff at any of my coaching education courses (and I’ve been through a few between the NSCAA and the USSF), and you will definitely get your monies worth at this course.  The knowledge that this staff has about how to help develop training topics and teaching methodology is top notch.  Keep in mind, it’s still one man’s opinion, and there are many aspects and vantage points to address this stuff, but I’m really enjoying listening to all three and the critique.

After our practice sessions we had a lecture on attacking from the flanks.  This lecture was probably the low point of the course, we simply watched highlights from the 2010 World Cup and left.  Oh well.

In the afternoon we had a field session on pressing from Durkin and it was very refreshing to watch him work with the U18 girls team.  As I’ve mentioned, they are a group that will challenge you to be a good coach.  He handled it beautifully!  The topic was defensive in nature, but during the warm up he couldn’t get the attacking team to maintain possession long enough to allow the team he was coaching to organize and press.  He had to back track, address the possession issue, and slowly introduced his team into the picture and started addressing the topic.  Too many times I’ve seen clinicians and instructors just get impatient with the lack of talent and ability and drop the topic all together.  As Durkin stated after the session, “If players were good enough to play the game automatically we would be out of a job.”  It was very refreshing to see a national staff coach bring the topic to the level of the team he was working with and we saw marked improvement once he got to his topic.

After the field session we hit the classroom again for our player psychology lectures.  The instructor was Dr. Jennifer Etnier, Sports Psychology professor at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.  She covered two topics in two lectures this evening; Communication and Burnout.  The elements of quality communication, criticism, and relationship building were covered in the first.  The lecture on burnout was very interesting.  We covered the signs and symptoms of burnout and how important periodization is to helping prevent staleness in athletes.

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