Coaching Advice

         District-7 Recreation“Coach of the Year - 2014”  MICHAEL CALVILLO

Overall, the best part about coaching is having the opportunity to impact other lives in a positive manner.  As a coach, you are entrusted with a group of young, eager kids who look to you for direction and leadership as you share with them the knowledge and passion you have with soccer.  Nothing is more gratifying than watching your team take what they worked so hard on in the training sessions and see it transpire into the Saturday matches. 

Players and parents see that production and are eager for what’s next.  That’s why it is essential as a coach to come prepared to each training session with areas of needed improvement identified in the recent match or with a fresh and new way to enhance what has already been covered.   If you are not prepared, then practices could appear redundant and you risk losing the team’s focus and attention. 

The key for me has always been to challenge each player as an individual and the team as a whole by encouraging them to always working hard, be innovative, and gracious in victory or defeat.  I try to convey that these lessons are not restricted to our soccer field, but the players can take this with them and apply it to the many aspects of life now and in the years to come.

A few important thoughts that I just have to put out there:

I encourage other coaches to spend some extra time on Saturdays watching other games.  I am such a youth soccer junkie that I cannot just coach my team in their match and then call it a weekend.  Every Saturday I'm out at different sites all over CJSL watching other games before and after my team's scheduled match.  Not only do I see some great competition, but I also observe other coaching tactics, formations, and plays that I may find beneficial for my team.

Secondly, I highly recommend coaches attempt to find a local adult league to participate in (outdoor, indoor, co-ed, etc) if they are able to.  I play in an adult indoor soccer league and one of my personal philosophies is that I would never ask any of my players to go out and do something that I wouldn't do myself in that very week, whether it be a sprint on a fast break, a challenge for a 50-50 ball, or going up high for a header off a cross pass.  I realize that participating in a league may not be feasible for some, but it really makes you appreciate how hard these kids work when you try to do what they do.  I believe there would be a lot less yelling from the sidelines if coaches would get that opportunity to play in their own league, and it doesn't have to be a competitive one.  Plus the players love hearing about coach's games, and it really helps you relate to them!

I am forever thankful to soccer because it has impacted my life in such amazing ways.  It has helped shape who I am today by giving me confidence, health and discipline.  With as many seasons as I have coached to this point, I still feel in debt to soccer and look forward to paying it back in as many ways as I possibly can for years to come

**Michael Calvillo* with his two sons, Joseph (now 12) and Christian (now 9) after our January 2014 Founder's Cup Championship match. 


Must Read Article

D-7 Recreation Resolution Resolving


RECREATION: Karl hands-out the following to initiate discussing standardizing the game in 2015, for the younger age groups, throughout District-7.   

BELGIUM – Eleven (11) million people who comprise its population…All over Belgium these days, boys and girls grow up playing soccer the same way. Every school, youth academy, and village team plays the same formation — 4-3-3, with classic, dribbling wingers — and follows the same progression up to the 11-on-a-side game. Kids under the age of 7 play 2-on-2; under-9s play 5-on-5; under-11s play 8-on-8. They never use more than half the field. It is only when they’re 12 years old that boys and girls are finally introduced to a full-size pitch and the idea of a long pass.

Researchers at the University of Leuven to analyze 1,600 hours of footage of young boys playing 11-on-11 to figure out how often they actually touched the ball (an average of four touches per player every 20 minutes)

Belgium’s master plan, called G-A-G —Global-Analytique-Global in French, or Globaal-Analytisch-Globaal in Dutch. The idea was to fuse the best of French soccer — its emphasis on physical power and tactical efficiency, hence “Analytique” — with the dreamy technique of the Dutch (“Global”), and invent a new kind of exciting, attacking soccer (“Global” again).

John (Hodgson) added that USSF is looking to mandate small sided games for U-6 through U-12; U-6  (4X4); U-8 (5X5), etc. and no heading for U-14 and under.

Respectfully submitted, Gladys Olsen, Secretary

November 12, 2014 District VII MEETING (REPORTS)

RECREATION: Karl submitted a written report along with Modified Laws of the Game  for U-6, U-8 and U-10. Some of this report goes back to the 1980s. (See Editor’s Note –below) He asked the leagues to (again) think about this for 2015. He highly recommended the use of spectator lines. Without these lines, spectators are usually stepping into the field to see better. Respectfully submitted, Gladys Olsen, Secretary

December 11, 2014 

U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati,

National team coach Jurgen Klinsmann… 

Gulati and Klinsmann both expressed concerns about the state of soccer for young players -- Rec soccer if you will -- limiting the chances of an environment ever being created for players to thrive and become stars. That included such issues as playing rules, competition and costs.

Said Gulati, "The notion of 9-year-olds, 10-year-olds, 11-year-old playing 11-a-side soccer, where if they stood on each other's shoulders they could not reach the crossbar, is nonsense." He said changes U.S. Soccer recommended a few years ago will become mandatory over the next few years.

"We want to push the envelope," said Klinsmann in support of the need to shake up youth soccer.

"I think this is very crucial for the development of the kids to challenge them with more contact, more touches and faster-decision making, just to be a lot more alert on the field," he said of small-sided games. "All of the pieces are really crucial in the long run. They might not pay off until 2018, but hopefully they pay off in the next 10-15 years and make a huge difference."

"The learning curve for the little ones is highest between 8 and 13," said Klinsmann. "We know that, all the other countries know that, so the further down we go and can have influence on coaches, with education for parents and the kids, the more we'll see coming through."

Editor’s Note:

Learn what FUNdamental SOCCER recommended and copyrighted 35 years ago by clicking on:

U-6 - Modified Laws      U-8 – Modified Laws      U-10 – Modified Laws

We expect that U.S. Soccer will make some Modifications to these Laws but hope that Small-Sided Games will be made mandatory throughout the U.S.A. in 2015. 

Referee Corner

More Than Child’s Play?

Many veteran officials swear that youth sporting events are more challenging than collegiate or professional games.

Strange as it may sound, spectators at youth competitions can be even more ruthless than the screaming mobs that attend professional games.  And it’s all because of the kids.

When children are involved, the “fans” have deep emotional investments in the game.

Dad may have overreaching expectations that Junior is the next Messi, and that performance pressure can quickly turn into irrational behavior.  Or mom may nervously chew her fingernails just before her “baby” is tackled during a U-10 game.  Her anxiety can quickly turn nasty for the hapless youth referee.

The strangeness is not only confined to the sidelines, though, because when you put two teams of young players on a field with only the most basic understanding of the game, almost anything can happen.

Most kids playing youth sports are there for the fun of it. Although a lot of them understand the concepts of winning and losing, few have an appreciation for the real competition.

Your officiating needs to reflect that.  Stay loose and talk to the kids as much as possible.

Parents can be an official’s worst nightmare.  They can be brutal.  It can be worse if you clam up or put that chip on your shoulder.  That opens you up for more barking.  The biggest fault of any rookie is that they have been told by someone to stay away from the parents, coaches and players.  By doing so, they often look arrogant.

Every official must draw a line in the sand and say, “I’ve heard enough, and I am not going to take it anymore.”  If that does not work, you have to put that person in the parking lot.

Without any police protection at the average youth game, you need to enlist the help of league officials or other parents when dealing with an unruly spectator.

If you approach your youth assignments with the attitude that your role is to manage the game and enforce the rules, you are only two-thirds of the way there.  To get the rest of the way, you need to be more flexible, more helpful, more friendly and at the same time be less rigid and less authoritarian.  

Technically, it is child’s play, but it is also some of the toughest officiating you will ever do.

Pat Ferre

USSF Referee Grade 15 Emeritus, USSF Referee Instructor, USSF Referee Assessor, USSF Referee Assignor. District-7 Youth Referee Administrator (DYRA)



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District News

District 7 Commissioner Komments

As we are heading in to the 2015 part of our soccer seasonal year I thought it would be right to add some Komments in the D7 Newsletter.

I hope you all enjoy receiving the monthly newsletter and encourage you all to send interesting information about soccer in your area to Karl at:

As we reflect on 2014 this has to be the year when we thank all our registrars, they overcame the new software and got our players registered. With this new software we expect better things to come as we integrate rosters to game cards etc.

Always in reflection you have to see tendencies, I see it on a weekly basis and hear about it daily. That is sideline and just general behavior for the players and spectators, this year somewhat less the coaches. We have in 2015 to all try to be cordial, exhibit respect to everybody on the field from the many volunteer league board members, referees, players on your own and opponent’s teams, coaches form either team, we all need to start to show respect exhibit polite behavior. Stop the “yelling”, let the kids play, leave the referees alone, this is a game to be enjoyed by all so let’s all enjoy the great game of soccer.

In finishing let us all look forward to 2015, with one word in our minds and that is soccer if we all show respect will be FUN.

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Did You Know???

Did You Know?  Putting Them at Risk

Research published in 2014 found that "young athletes who played a single sport for more hours a week than years they were old — such as a 10-year-old who played 11 or more hours of soccer — were 70% more likely to experience serious overuse injuries."

As kids move from regular league teams to more high powered travel teams it's not that outside of the realm of possibilities that a 10 year old could easily spend 10-15 hours a week playing soccer, especially if they also work with a personal trainer or coach outside of the regular practice hours. That puts them at risk for overuse injuries and burnout, no matter how much they may love to play, so we as parents and coaches need to pay attention. If they are in pain that doesn't go away we have to stop telling them to push through it and make sure it's not a more serious injury than we think.

 Keeping your players hydrated this winter

Did you know that colder weather can actually increase your players' risk of dehydration? A study by the University of New Hampshire shows that cold weather decreases thirst sensation. Since your players may not feel thirsty, they might get too wrapped up in the fun of playing and not make a conscious effort to drink in order to replace the fluids they are losing due to physical activity.

It is just as important to hydrate your players in the winter months as it is in the summer months. Here are some tips to keep in mind this winter:

  • Schedule water breaks every 10 to 15 minutes throughout practice when making your practice plan. Writing water breaks into your plan will help make sure they don't get overlooked.
  • Establish a team rule that players can get a drink whenever they want during practice, not just during a designated water break. Never prevent your players from getting water when they say they are thirsty.
  • Encourage your players to stay away from caffeinated beverages like iced tea or energy drinks at practices and during games. These types of drinks act as diuretics.
  • If your team has a snack at the end of practice as a group, consider offering fruits with high water content, such as slices of watermelon, oranges or strawberries.

Smiles - just for Laughs

For many coaches a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. 

Coach, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year resolutions!”

Coach, “Every year you make a resolution to change yourself....... This year it might be better to make a resolution to just be yourself!” 

Some coaches actually feel pretty good about not accomplishing anything in 2014 and are preparing to do the same in 2015.  

The outcome of our children is infinitely more important 


The outcome of any game they will ever play!   Karl Dewazien