WYC 148 – Youth Soccer – John Adair talks Constraints-based Coaching

2018 will mark John Adair’s fourth year at Coerver Coaching. Adair is the Regional Director for all of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, overseeing player development and coaching education. Prior to joining the Coerver Coaching staff, he has enjoyed success at both the club and high school levels in the South Jersey area.

Instagram: coachjohnadair
Twitter: @coachjohnadair


Listen Now:

Listen on iTunes: iTunes link

Listen on Stitcher: Stitcher link

Listen on Google Play Music: Google Play link

Cringe moment

  • Early on John did a lot of cone drills and isolated movements without decision-making and learning the game through their own mistakes

Creativity and problem-solving

  • Instead of cones, set up small area games in confined spaces. 2 v 1’s. 3 v 2’s.

Training better individuals vs just winning as a team

  • Instead of 11 v 11, break the game into corridors and small area games
  • Use this mentality to create mini-goals so each unit has accountability and measurements to look at after games, not just wins/losses as a team

Constraints based coaching

  • Create games where players have a variety of choices, they learn skills while making decisions

Self-confidence for players

  • Focus on the process – so it’s different for each player. Don’t compare them with other kids. Use guided discovery through side conversations with players for them to uncover solutions to what they need to improve.

Team Culture

  • Involve the kids to get buy-in. Have the kids write down what they thing a good player on this team will do.

Great teambuilder

  • Have play days. The kids run the day, play mini-tournaments. Kids make all the decisions.

5 for 5

  • Spend at least 5 minutes talking to 5 different kids about something other than sports

Connecting with and Impacting Kids

  • John coached a kid who had the physical tools but not the technical and mental tools needed. The kid approached John and worked his butt off over the summer and went on to play college soccer.

The one that got away

  • Coaching a state playoff game, they played the underdog role too much, changed their tactics too much, and went away from what got them there. This led to a lack of confidence.

Best learned/stolen idea

  • Constraints based coaching. Make everything in practice relate back to the game and involve decision-making. Don’t be reactive in practice-planning – set objectives and have a plan that you stick to.
  • Great resource: Youtube channel: Opposite Direction Coaching – Task constraints; Environmental constraints

Favorite Quote/Book

  • Quote: ‘If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room’
  • Book: Leading by Sir Alex Ferguson

Parting Advice

  • Value the experience over winning, and the results will follow

Reviews are the lifeblood of the podcast!- If you like the podcast- please take 2 minutes to write a review! Click here

Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter:

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 10.16.08 AM