March 15, 2019
WYC 165 – Youth Soccer – Sean Conlon – Founder of We Make Footballers
Sean Conlon is the founder of We Make Footballers, a football(soccer in the U.S.) prep school to prepare athletes for playing at academies. With a background with the Chelsea club, Sean has the passion and vision to help young athletes improve their game on and off the field to reach their dreams.
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Learning on the playground
- Sean didn’t play for a formal team until he was 13 years old. This has pros and cons – a lot of creativity can be developed, but mixing in a bit of coaching can help the guided discovery process.
- Emphasizing fun at young ages and training parents to recognize development vs. just wins and losses is key.
We Make Footballers
- 14 franchises across England, have prepared 170+ players who have gone on to join academy teams
- Focus is preparing players for academies
Great fun skill building games
- Stuck in the mud – Get in a square, everyone has their own ball, dribbling. Make one player the sticker – he runs and tries to tag the other players. When tagged, they hold their ball over their head, and if other players kick their own ball between a frozen players’ head, that player is freed.
- Snake – In a square. 2 players have to hold hands, they are the snakes. The rest are the mice. Players don’t have a ball, they just run around. As players are caught, they join the snake.
The one that got away
- In the cup final, Sean looks back on a couple of changes he could have made earlier. Thinking clearly in high energy moments is critical. Be decisive and take action.
Best stolen idea
- Make every practice fun, regardless of the age group.
- Book: Alex Ferguson’s Leading
- Quote: ‘In football, the worst things are excuses, excuses mean you cannot grow or move forward.’ – Pep Guardiola
- Utilize the internet and forums to continuously learn
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