BALL MASTERY - The Coerver Coaching pyramid starts off with ball mastery - the fundamental aspects which every young soccer player needs to learn and become familiar with. This is where the players start to manipulate the ball in different ways, using both feet, and are encouraged to be creative.
RECEIVING and PASSING - The next phase of play in the player development pyramid is passing and receiving.
Internationally renowned soccer clubs such as Manchester United, Ajax, Barcelona, Arsenal and many other clubs throughout the world look for players who are cable of being able to receive, and pass
a soccer ball. Receiving a ball on the move is a skill many coaches look for - is a player comfortable with taking a positive first touch and then distributing the ball sensibly and
1v1 ATTACK and DEFENSE - At any level of the game, soccer is about winning individual battles on the field - 1v1s are critical in any area of the soccer pitch, especially the attacking half. The third section of the Coerver pyramid focuses on teaching players those 1v1 moves which can have such an impact and often create game winning scoring opportunities. These beat-an-opponent moves involve scissors, step-overs and much more. The younger players aged between 8 - 12 love to work on these moves, the more creative you can help them to be, the better. Instilling confidence in youngsters to use these moves is such an important part of soccer coaching.
SPEED - In the modern game of soccer, speed is crucial. The fourth part of the Coerver pyramid focuses on making players quicker, so players learn how to improve their agility, power, and acceleration - with and without the ball. When you think of a Lionel Messi with his small frame you would imagine he would be overawed by the stronger more physical players. But look at his balance - he has such a low center of gravity, moves quickly, and has such a deft touch, he makes those stronger players look sluggish.
FINISHING - The fifth part of the Coerver pyramid is all about finishing. Finishing is a skill many people are good at, but few excel. At youth level soccer you will often find games with lots of missed chances - the team that has better finishers is often the victor. Coerver finishing drills and small sided games focus on instinctive play in and around the penalty area with a strong focus on technique. Without technique, the art of finishing is lost. Coerver establishes the fundamental finishing techniques, then puts players into situations to take advantage of those techniques.
GROUP PLAY - The final, and sixth part of the Coerver pyramid of player development is about group play. If you look anywhere on the field of soccer, the game is broken down into different areas which normally involve around four players from each team at any one time. When players are given the skills and know-how to succeed in those group play situations, that bodes well for a successful soccer team. Coerver puts emphasis in this section on fast break attacks which involve breaking as quickly and as efficiently as possible using all the skills learned in previous Coerver pyramid phases.
A top 10 coaches tips taken from our 60 years combined coaching on the field.
TOP 10 COACHES TIP
- Develop Communication Skills. How you speak, how you listen and in Coerver Coaching how you Demonstrate are really important.
- Never Stop Learning. The best People I have worked with in my career Juergen Klinsmann, Gerard Houllier, Carlos Alberto Parreiera, Sir Geoff Hurst, all World Cup Champions, told me they still regarded themselves as student.
- Learn from Mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, that's okay as long as you learn from them, and don't repeat.
- Keep a Healthy Lifestyle. Every Coach is a model to his/her students; young players will copy you, so set a good example.
- Coach with your heart, not only your head. Young Players need care and attention, winning is not everything at this age. So think before you say anything other than encouragement and praise.
- Enthusiasm, Encouragement, Energy = Excellence. This is the winning formula to be a good coach.
- Enjoy your Work. Anyone who teaches football in my opinion is lucky, so enjoy every moment.
- Concentrate on the performance not the game result. When you are a development Coach, your goal is long term success. In the short term you may lose games, but stick to the Coerver Principles of Individual Player Development and long term improvement is likely.
- Try and not over Coach. Try and remember be "Simple, Short, and clear in you coaching and when you demonstrate. Young players have usually a short attention span, so use each word carefully.
- Plan. Even after 30 Years Coaching I never go on the field without a Practice Plan. Spend time making your practice. Be clear what you want to show and how you are going to show it. Write it down.
Keep coaching and enjoying this great game!
Charlie Cooke & Alf Galustian
Seattle, WA, resident TR Stoneback has been providing Coerver® Coaching programs for players, teams, clubs, and associations in the Northwest since 1995. He believes that the Coerver® method should be a part of every youth player’s development no matter his or her skill level or ability. Over the years he has worked with a number of talented young athletes, many whom have gone on to play at the collegiate and professional levels. He’s also trained several players who’ve represented the United States at the youth- and senior-National Team levels.
6 STEPS TO SUCCESS
- Avoid a FIXED Mindset that sees talent as the only answer.
- Have a GROWTH Mindset that sees success as the result of study and hard work. As a PROCESS.
- Build a culture that celebrates practice and hard work
- Nurture the belief in players that effective skills are built up over time and that hard work can transform them.
- Extend players beyond their comfort zones
- Praise EFFORT, not TALENT