- Q?My 11 year old daughter needs training. What do you recommend? That is, what do you work on first?
A.We always want to know what experience your daughter has, what is her personality, soccer playing style, or any other information you think is important. We will often ask if your daughter (or son) needs footskills, passing, receiving, shooting, or a little of everything. What we want the athletes to master first are footskills, which do not take long to get smooth and then we work on a great deal of receiving, passing and shooting. Once all of that is sharp, athletes need to work in a group so they can work at game speed for a portion of the lesson, using 1v1 and 2v1 training. Lots of ball touches and confidence do wonders for soccer players!
- Q?Other teams in our league have better ball control and positioning. We feel that our girls are being “left behind” and we know that they need better training to succeed. Will this interfere with our club training agreement?
A.We can get the athletes ‘caught up’. We offer different training options. We recommend the small group lessons (max of 6 players) because the training is still individualized, which is the key to player development at ages 14 and under.
There is so much to learn and teach that in large groups many athletes are not getting the proper technique/mechanics down. What we focus on at first is lots of footskills so they can have stuff to work on at home and once they get smooth at the footskills we work on receiving, passing and knowing when to pass or dribble under pressure.
Most kids use the inside of the foot most of the time so the method we use forces them to use the outside and sole of the foot which is one of the main ways our players get better so fast and start to separate from the rest of the players.
Some people do Private or Semi-Private lessons to which is good but after 4-8 lessons I think they should move on to a small group unless the parents or kids want to stay in a private individual.
We are not a club nor do any of our trainers coach club so you do not need a coach’s permission or signed release to train with us.
- Q?Soccer in the DFW area seems very competitive. My son is so young, in my opinion, for this kind of pressure but he loves soccer. What do you suggest?
A.We communicate with you what we observe in your child in terms of soccer traits (for more on this, please read our age chart overview and its categories). Many children are beginning competitive soccer at an earlier age. This is not necessary to be competitive or successful later on – in fact, you reduce the risk of burnout and loss of investments by all parties, if you do not promote the game beyond your child’s interest. We often recommend that younger children (<6 years of age) get a set of private individual lessons and then practice those for a few years until your child is older and has continued to express an interest in the sport of soccer.
All of North Texas is a major hub for competitive soccer. This is excellent in terms of training opportunities and advancement for your child, should he/she elect the soccer route for later years.
- Q?My daughter is gifted at soccer. She also loves the game. Are you saying she is too young and should not receive training?
A.Passion for the game is a key ingredient to success on the field. Also, the variations in child personality and temperament are just as prevalent in the game of soccer, aptitude for play and learning, and development of athleticism versus natural athletic gifts. Taking facts such as these into consideration, we try to get your daughter as many touches and as much good training as we can. We know kids her age want to play some fun games but we try not to go that route in individual skills training sessions as we know if she can get through the hour doing proper training she will get better faster.
- Q?My child is very athletic but less skilled. Can her athleticism trump skills training?
A.Athletic ability is a natural gift that cannot be taught. Athleticism can be groomed and matured, but the difference in terms of game play is significant. Athleticism is a great skill to have in your soccer arsenal but solid technical skills, game knowledge and interpretation, and passion can trump athleticism. Soccer is not only for the big, fast, and strong players as strength can vary in its presentation, especially in soccer. We see this concept proven in every major game by players such as Messi and Kaka. However, we would take an athletic player any day and twice on Sunday!
- Q?Are these normally rec players or Academy and select players that come out for skills?
A.Ninety percent (90%) of our players are select players who play for Texans, Solar, FC Dallas, D’Feeters, Sting, Liverpool and most of the other clubs. They come to us to get the specialized skills and attention that their coaches do not give.
The only rec players that we train are when we train the whole association.. Currently we train the Irving and NRH(BAYFA) soccer associations at their place.
- Q?The skills you teach seem to difficult and impractical in terms of game use and career advancement. I know what you teach is different from soccer tricks but are the skills really advantageous?
A.Many athletes need to work on controlling the ball with the bottom of the foot because this skill is important for game play. Being fast and good on the field is not enough. However, a balance is required for quality play and ball control, which allows the athlete to set the game tempo and direction. Many times we will have the athletes dribble around the goal as a demonstration of this; as they come back we often notice that the players use almost all inside of the foot so with what we know where to begin.
We have 14 yr olds who play on the National Team who do not know these skills when they come to us. Also we tell players “you don’t have to do this in a game or know it to be a good soccer player.” We have to be aggressive, talk, work hard, pass and receive the ball also.
You should see a difference after 3-6 hours of training. The more an athlete works at home the better. We do not expect them to do this in a game for 4-10 months but they will be more composed on the ball, evidenced within the first 3 weeks, which will create better game play.
- Q?Why do you need my input as a parent for training?
A.We want you to know you can let us know what your child lacks and in what areas your child is strong in so that we can together help the progression go as fast as possible. we have our own method and will assess your child’s needs but you have seen your child play in games know more about your child than we do at the time of the initial assessment so all input is welcome.