May 4, 2018
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.
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- 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.
- Involve the kids to get buy-in. Have the kids write down what they thing a good player on this team will do.
- 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
- Quote: ‘If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room’
- Book: Leading by Sir Alex Ferguson
- Value the experience over winning, and the results will follow
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