From Sam Snow, US Youth Director of coaches, here is the Skills School Manual. If you ever wonder what the technical teaching points to dribbling, passing, trapping, shooting, defending, here you go. Very specific with excellent diagrams. I like to describe it this way: “Technique” is how to do something, while focusing on “tactics” focuses on when (and why if you are a good coach) to do something. Too often, we focus too much on the “tactic” side of soccer at young ages rather than the “technique.” Here is an introductory quote from the manual:
emphasis must be on technique. The actual execution of a movement is
always in the realm of technique. The challenge of “when and why” to use a
movement is one of tactics. In this manual the focus is the “how to”; that is
on technique. Technique is the body’s mechanical execution to affect the
ball; for example receiving, catching, shooting, dribbling, deflecting, etc. It
is one of the four components of the game and leads to ball skill. Skill is
being able to execute a technique under the pressure of opponents in tight
space and most likely on the move. Without ball skill a player cannot
execute tactics. Some players will:
o be able to do a technique in an activity but fail to apply it as skill when
under pressure from opponents
o be competent with the ball but not outstanding
o be technical but not skillful, while others will be skillful but not
o be capable of executing some skills against one level of opponent but
Players gain more trust and respect for a coach who can help them improve
their technique. The result is confident use of new skills in matches.
Motivated players spend time working on their skills. Players will appreciate
the importance and thrill of learning new techniques and refining existing
ones if the coach creates the proper training environment. Then the players
begin to equate fun with improvement.
Novice coaches often find themselves in a Catch 22 at training sessions.
They can influence young players by helping them develop techniques, but
some coaches don’t know enough about the techniques they are teaching to
offer relevant advice.
Skills School Manual Great Manual. Enjoy.
Instructors in white – Sam Snow (left), Gary Williamson (middle), Neal Ellis (right)