“Why is he learning to play this way? just kick the ball”, “Just get the ball to the Striker”, “He should be learning how to kick the ball hard and force it up the field” These are some of the comments I hear from the sidelines from parents unfortunately some of these comments are counter to the way your kids are being coached – which makes it very hard for everyone concerned.
We all have opinion on how the game should be played, but let”s face it as parents we are just “armchair coaches” or past players. There is actually a higher plan for developing players which is all laid out by reading the FFA National Football Curriculum (if you live in Australia). I was in the fortunate position that I knew nothing about football, so i was forced to read it very early on the piece it and it all makes sense (relief).
Understanding the National Football Curriculum will help you understand what your coach is trying to teach your kid and probably leave you less frustrated once you understand. Here are some of my takes on the roadmap document
- Football Not FightBall – To have Aussie kids play a style of Soccer that is “Today’s Game” ; that the rest of the world plays, by progressing how we play football from “Fightball” to Football
- Possession-Based – The progress our kids to play Possession-Based style of game with the emphasis on Passing and Creative play rather than Direct Play with long kicks
- Phased Approach – For each age group there is a phase and the kids will be coached accordingly from Discovery, Skills Acquisition, Game Training and beyond
- Street Soccer – The Discovery Phase emphasis is to play football, replicate street soccer and building the “Love of the Game”- the focus is not on results but pure enjoyment
- There are Building Blocks – Know that your kids development in Soccer is a planned phased approach, following a roadmap created with a vision mapped out by the FFA
The ultimate aim is to raise the standard of soccer in Australia and it will require a systematic approach and organisation. I was not going to blog about this but I think it is important to understand the BIG picture and understand each phase before you send you kid to training once or twice a week and play on the weekend. The document is a lot to digest but definitely worth reading and should help you understand the “Game Plan”.