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We've had a number of coaches ask if we could create printable show notes. Earlier this week I started working on doing that.

I've put together a template using the first episode and posted that to the site.

Now that I’ve worked out the technical side I'll start adding them to each episode.

I’ll also go back and add them to the previous episodes.

So far I've completed five episodes going back to Episode 12 on the Transitional Possession Game.

I'll get the others done during the rest of the summer.

Please let me know what you think of those and if there’s anything you'd like to see done differently.

I take your comments and requests seriously because they will give you more of what you're looking for which can only improve the podcast. In the last couple of weeks I've been working on things to get ready for next season.

In addition to coaching teams in the club. I’m also the Skills and Curriculum Director for the U8-U12.

I take this responsibility very seriously because what these young players learn now directly effects their future development.

We do something that I think is fairly unique that I believe will make a huge difference in the technical ability of our players so I thought I would share our process with you in this episode.

Technical Training I think most coaches and club directors would agree, that proper technical training should be the primary focus of our teams in their early years of development.

Unfortunately, coaches sometimes focus too much on elements that would help the team win today, rather than help the players develop in the future.

This loss of focus can happen because of pressure to win from either the coach themselves or from parents and players.

As a club, we decided to make one of the two training sessions each week strictly a technical training session.

The purpose of this obviously is to increase the ability of our players, technically, and provide a foundation for these players further developing them in the future.

Those U8 to U12 years are so important, to develop those technical abilities and then the coaches can build on with tactical elements, physical elements and then you are getting into creating an environment where the players are training to win and training to compete.

This was best put by Gary Allen from the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association in an article he did on developing a coaching philosophy that I really like and it says quote, "just as it is necessary for builders to cut deep into the ground for a foundation of tall building, so are you laying the groundwork for the future.

No one looks in at the gaping hole that is dug or ever sees the concrete laid for building foundation once it is built.

But in order for a beautiful and majestic building to rise, this solid but unseen foundation is necessary."

I think that's so powerful and really describes the coach's role when we are talking about players in those early stages of development.

We also looked at this as an opportunity to create an environment where the players would get an equal opportunity to be exposed to technical training, regardless of which team they are playing on.

Whether it's a first team or fourth team and so on. And we did this because of feedback that we had from parents saying "Look, I know these players are going to exposed to these different things because he is friends with my son, but my son hasn't been taught those in his practice."

So by organizing it the way that I'll describe, would make sure that players at all levels were getting an equal opportunity to be exposed to the training and these techniques.

We also looked at as an opportunity for coach education.

Basically teaching the teachers and making sure that all of our coaches were familiar with the key coaching points of each technical activity and could do them well.

Though obviously we hope that this is a accomplished through coaching education courses and things like that, but it's our responsibility of the club level, to make sure that this is happening and to give refreshers.

There is always different ways to present technical ideas and so doing it in this environment that I'll describe here, is a way to do that.

The way we organize this, is we took one practice a week, our team normally train twice a week, so the first practice of each week is dedicated to technical training.

Now, we've got the luxury of having all of our age groups train together at the same time, the same days, on the same fields.

If we have so many teams that they spill over to multiple fields, we have those fields situated next to one another that it's easy to do different things and technical training is one of them.

So on the first day of training each week, we have all of the players and all of the teams in the age group all be on one field.

And if we have, say, some of our age groups we have six different teams, we'll divide them into groups of three or four teams, occasionally we have age group with eight to ten teams within an age group.

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