Competitive Edge - Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp On Inner Squad Competition

Competitive Edge - Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp On Inner Squad Competition

Jurgen Klopp believes fierce competition for places will help ensure that Liverpool take the “next step” this season. The Reds boss says that it is inevitable that some players will be fuming when he picks his line-up for the Premier League home opener at Watford next Saturday. 

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Driving a Soccer Ball Key Coaching Points and Drills

Driving a Soccer Ball Key Coaching Points and Drills

By “Driving” the ball we are referring to striking a ball over long distance “On a Rope” – dead straight with no side spin. This needs to be addressed when the player is at the technical developmental age …say 8 – 12 years of age. Obviously the longer and stronger the legs, normally, the further the player shall be able to drive it.

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Driving a Ball

Driving a Ball

One of the issues our coaches must address with our young players is the ability to drive a ball straight with no side spin. Many of our players kick around the ball and hook it. If this is not corrected when the players are young they will be saddled with a very poor kicking technique and will not be able to change the point of attack, effectively, nor will they be able to drive the ball to a center forward or start an effective counter attack.

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Liverpool versus Derby County Premier League U18 Game

Liverpool versus Derby County Premier League U18 Game

If there is a place out there where “Soccer Youth Nirvana” exists – a Category I Premier League Academy is pretty close to it. Better facilities, players, staff coaches and TIME available simply do not exist – this is it! Although American clubs cannot replicate, to the letter, what happens in these Academies my observations over the years is that emulating, as best as we can, the culture and practical day to day programming of these Academies is the way forward for developing our American players.

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Developing Midfielders - Position Specific Coaching

Developing Midfielders - Position Specific Coaching

To develop truly gifted midfielders, and players in general, American coaches should review the advantages of Position Specific Coaching. Dick Bate’s recommendation is to conduct Position Specific Coaching Sessions at least once a week. The coach of the U/15’s could be the back line coach, U/16’s would be midfield and U/17’s would be an expert in striker play. It is important that the entire staff buy into the concept and watch inner club games on a regular basis which are highly experimental involving coach interruptions, 3 x 30 minute halves, man to man for one third, playing with three at the back, man marking an opposing star player etc. 

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