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Sweating the Details with Conviction, Patience, Encouragement and Repetition Fundamentals are the backbone of player development.
The coach that sweats the details and fundamentals while coaching them in repetition is generally the most successful developing players for the long-term.
The fundamentals of dribbling, passing, positioning, defending, movement, etc. are a must for development. Our coaches must sweat the details of fundamentals.
If your team is to keep possession of the ball, each player must know how to handle the ball.
Practice plans, especially at the early ages, must involve a lot of touches for each player.
Focusing on technique, keeping the ball close to them, and the use of both feet throughout each practice plan repeatedly is essential.
As they get older, or coaches have an older team the focus is on fundamentals with technical and combination play.
Coach your team to value possession of the ball. Say it, teach it, coach it and repeat it!
Develop all speeches, training sessions, and parent meetings around maintaining possession of the ball. Build your whole soccer vocabulary at practices and in training sessions around the word possession and its soccer meaning.
Goals in the net and wins are all byproducts of a culture of possession so don’t focus on those aspects of the game as much.
There are old adages that a person needs to hear something at least 7 times to remember it or you need to practice 10,000 hours to perfect something. This is the case with possession.
Your coaching and support staff, the individual players, the team and the parents all need to be on the same page and understand the value of possession.
One of the best ways to coach this is to vocalize praise for decisions focused on possession. Make possession of the ball your culture by rewarding and praising the behaviors of possession.
Players won’t always get it right, but you can praise the intent. When the players realize that their decisions and behavior focused on possession receive praise, they will want to repeat that behavior.
It is human nature. Parents need to understand this too, so that they can help with the praise. If the parents are coaching or giving a different message from the sideline or in the car it will be confusing for the player. Stay strong on the conviction of possession. Do not waiver due to frustration, talent, external factors, winning, etc.
Keep the message consistent and keep coaching your team to value possession of the ball. Make sure we are developing for the long-term and not the plastic trophy, patch or medal.

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