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SIQ Thoughts on Training Session: Part One

We are excited to announce a new series on the philosophy of training, a collaborative effort involving several discussions with the SIQ coaching staff and enthusiastic input from parents. This initiative will be spearheaded by Coach Tolya, who is nearing the completion of his Master’s Degree in High-Performance Coaching at the School of Coaching in Barcelona, Spain. Before we bring these notes to you, they undergo thorough review by coaches Azary and Yura to ensure a broad spectrum of insights.

Purpose of the Series

The aim of these notes is to provoke thought and discussion among our community. They are shared on our Blog page, where we eagerly anticipate engaging with coaches and parents alike to hear their perspectives. As we all know in soccer, there is no definitive answer, only individual preferences shaped by personal views and philosophies.

 

Why Training?

Let’s start with a fundamental question: Why do we train? This might seem straightforward, but we encourage every parent to pose this question to their children. We’re interested in hearing what the kids themselves think about their reasons for training—whether it’s to improve specific skills like ball handling or speed, to simply have fun, or to enhance their performance in upcoming games.

The varied answers highlight different motivations but converge on a common goal: improving game performance. Recognizing this can shift our approach to training, making it more targeted and effective.

Rethinking Traditional Training Methods

If enhancing game performance is the ultimate objective, we must scrutinize traditional training methods with critical questions:

  • Is juggling the ball necessary if it’s not used in games?
  • What benefit does learning the Maradona move bring to a center defender?
  • Why practice dead-ball shooting if in-game situations require movement?
  • Are drills like dribbling through cones or extensive 1v1s truly beneficial for actual match scenarios?

These questions are not meant to dismiss traditional methods but to challenge us to align our training more closely with in-game demands. Moreover, we are sure that all the activities listed above are extremely useful at specific stages of player development – the key is to apply them at the right time to the proper level players.

The Art of Coaching

Coaching is more than a routine; it is an art that demands creativity and constant evaluation. A coach must continually question whether a training activity is the best way to prepare players for games. For instance, while running 10 miles might build endurance, incorporating the ball or organizing varied small-sided games could provide more relevant physical conditioning and technical skills practice. At SIQ, we are continually striving to discover the most effective methods for nurturing players of varying ages and skill levels along their developmental journey. We recognize the immense challenge of tailoring activities to suit diverse age and proficiency groups. Indeed, coaching is not a mere set of activities and instruction; it’s an art form requiring adaptability and creativity.

Upcoming Topics

In our upcoming posts, we will discuss the following topics:

  • what should be the primary focus in player development?
  • which game format, ranging from 3v3 to 11v11, is most suitable for each age group and why?
  •  how breaking the game down into components or specific situations can be more advantageous
  • we’ll introduce different types of training activities, examining their pros and cons.
  • we’ll compare player development nuances in Europe and the United States
  • we’ll discuss the difficulty of being a “superstar” at an earlier age

Do you have a topic you’d like us to discuss? Feel free to leave a comment or send us an email, and we’ll be sure to address it!

Join the Conversation!

This blog series is meant to be interactive. We invite you to express your opinions, ask questions, and help us create a lively place for community discussion on soccer training. Please remember, there is no single right way to coach—each method has its advantages depending on the coach’s vision and effectiveness in communication.

We look forward to your participation and to cultivating a rich dialogue about soccer training philosophy. Stay tuned for more insightful discussions on our Blog!

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