4footsoccer.net: Philosophy

Sunday, January 13

Coaching Philosophy 

The goal of 4 Foot Soccer is to have the kids have fun learning the game of soccer.  Coaches should always maintain a healthy, positive attitude during training and competition.  

Philosophy During Competition 

For boys and girls between 8 and 16 years old, always consider playing well as more important than winning.  While learning to play, the participants must forget about the result of the game.  They should be encouraged to take some risks, despite the fact that this kind of play might allow the opponents to score.  Players, parents and coaches should consider competition only as another kind of training.   Don’t mind losing a match, because defeat is always a possibility when competing; there is no guarantee of winning.  If another team beats yours, it’s generally because of their better play.  It should never be because your team didn’t put all its efforts into the game to win it.  As long as you have tried hard and played up to capability to prevent the defeat, you never should feel bad.   Winning isn’t as important, nor losing as bad, as most parents believe.  It all depends on what a team was able to demonstrate.  Players may win after having shown a poor game played in a destructive manner—and they may lose despite having played much better than the opponents and having enjoyed every minute of the game.  Learn to play in competition as though it is a matter of practice; train with the spirit of playing an important competition.  Winning is only a consequence of playing well.  That is why every player has only to try to give his or her very best.  The result will fall like a ripe fruit falls from the tree.  It is always easier to coach to win a match than it is to play the game well.  However, playing well allows you to discover new solutions to old problems, again and again.  Teaching to win, on the other hand, means you restrict the game mainly to those already-known skills and tactical moves that are important for winning it.  Yet when you compete that way, in the long run you also restrict and limit the complete development of the young players.

 Maintaining a Positive Attitude 

A coach of young soccer players should conscientiously do and say things that make the young players feel good, accepted, important, happy and successful.  Try these simple gestures: 

  • A warm greeting, using the player’s name.
  • A smile
  • A thumbs-up sign
  • A pat on the back
  • Talking with players
  • Playing some games or activities with them
  • Asking their advice and listening to what they say
  • Helping them learn something new or to improve something
  • Helping players adjust their personal objectives
  • Giving encouragement
  • Praising, avoiding criticism
  • Including the youngsters in the teaching process through effective questioning.

Winning Matches vs Developing Talent 

According to a U.S. survey of children who took part in organized sporting activities in the late 1990’s, 14 million out of 20 million North American children stopped participating after turning 13.  Today the dropout rate for young athletes is alarming.  Some studies in England, for example, report that up to 70 per cent of all who participate in youth sports choose to quit.  Among the reasons given for this epidemic are starting too soon, playing too often, trying and training to hard, and becoming too specialized.  Perhaps bad coaching should be added to that list—as youth who has a coach consumed with winning at all costs is surely destined to burnout.  Of course, it is natural for young athletes (and all too often their parents) to want quick results.  But there are no shortcuts in sport, and coaches will fail if they are unable to accept that fulfilling potential takes time. In Spanish football, also, there is a lot of concern because of the constant increase in the number of 13 to 15 year olds who abandon federated football after having trained and competed the adult way for six or more years.  This large-scale desertion is because football, originally considered by children as a simple activity to be shared with some friends, has, with the passage of time, become a bitter experience for many young people.  Now as far as they are concerned, it often entails frustration, a very rigid system of competitions and critical parents.  It also means for them to be held up to high expectations of coaches whose object is not to train young people to understand and master the progressively difficult game of football (soccer).  Rather, those coaches seek to gain as many victories as possible—at any price---and hence realise the consequent prestige of being able to apply for a better-paying job in the world of football.   

Sunday, January 13

Why 4 v 4 Soccer?

  • Promotes growth and appreciation for the game of soccer.
  • A high number of goals are scored which makes it great fun for children. 
  • Rules are simplified, emphasizes imaginative play.
  • Techniques are learned naturally so players can improve while just enjoying the game.
  • Recreates the “street soccer” of which many pro players refer.
  • Players are free to develop their play in a fun environment.
  • Provides more realistic challenges, cultivates soccer intelligence.
  • Increases player concentration as the ball is close at all times.
  • Develops skill quickly through increased frequency of 1 v 1 match-ups.
  • Improves fitness through the lively and dynamic tempo of the game (Fast Play!).
  • Results in more touches on the ball with more opportunities for decision making.
  • The size of the field makes for a fast paced game of soccer and one that players will think is great fun while it enlarges their soccer brain. 
4 v 4 Soccer Forces Player Development
  • Small field size forces players to learn what to do to score.
  • Players cannot hide or get lost in 4 v 4.
  • Attacking small goals requires swift passing to break defenders down and create scoring opportunities.
  • Pressure is the environment for developing players.
  • Pressure can be a defender challenging the player on the ball.
  • Pressure can be receiving the ball for a shot, receiving to attack space, or receiving to cross. 
  • Repetition allows the player to rehearse skills over and over in a fun environment.
  • Players are constantly switching from attacking and defending situations.
  • Ball contacts are increased by having fewer players and reduced space.
  • If players can do it in 4 v 4 they can do it in 11 v 11

Friday, March 22
League Information

Download the follwing information from the Handouts section:

League Dates: June 11th - June 27th 2013 (Games Tuesday/Thursday) Please call with any questions (318) 880-0058. 
League Games:  Will be played at:   Johnny Downs Sports Complex! 


Ages: Players must be at least 5 years old by August 1, 2013; through Adult. 

Questions call (318) 880-0058 or email 4footsoccer@gmail.com  

Roster size:     U6-U10 rosters limited to 8 players. (3v3)

                      U10-Adult rosters limited to 10 players (4v4) 

                      Adult -High School rosters limited 12 players (4v4 on Slightly Larger Fields) 

Game Day:  Each team (U6 - Adult) will play 2 games every Tuesday / Thursday evening.

                      U6- 12 min halves with 2 min half time

                    U8- U10: 20 min halves with 2 min half time 

                              U11-Adult 25 min halves with 2 min half time

                      Adult - High School: 20 min halves with 2 min half time 

Practice:  No practice’s, recommend only a few minutes of practice prior to the games on Tuesday/Friday.  No Weekends!  Beat the Heat!     

             Organized street ball with little coaching-let the kids play soccer! 

Register by mail or with credit card online:  Team or individually   

Regular Pricing: $75.00 For 2013 Spring Skill Development League - (Team T-Shirts will be ordered for the Spring League) 

Sibling Discounts:  $10 for 1st sibling, $15 for 2nd sibling and $20 for all others. 



Sunday, January 13

7 Requirements For Developing More Creative Players 

1)    Declare war against the 11v11 game.  The 11v11 game, which has stunted the vigorous development of young soccer players for many years, should be replaced by another type of competition tailor-made for younger players.  Games like mini-soccer (3v3 on four goals) 4v4 with no offsides allow for adequate frame for children to express their creativity and inspiration in a healthier environment: an environment that does not contain the stress of the 11v11 game with its adult-oriented rules.

2)    Use more games and fewer analytical exercises. Practice should happen in a game context.  “The game itself is the best teacher”  Children should be exposed to more game plays and less practice with the analytical method.

3)    Let the kids play without correcting them permanently.  When playing, it is not always necessary for young soccer players to know the specific learning objectives of a practice.  The learning objectives are always important for the coach but not for the players.  Players should frequently have the opportunity to just play, or play just for fun, without having any specific learning as a main objective. We should not forget that one essential part of the game is its unpredictability. This explains why the game is so fascinating for kids. Friedrich Schiller states perfectly the vital meaning of playing games: “The human feels and behaves like a human when he plays.”

4)    Children should have the chance to play all positions and in reduced space.  Young soccer players should have the opportunity to play in various positions in order to discover the roles and functions that these positions characterize.  Experimenting with play in different positions stimulates creativity. The problem of positional experimentation can be solved with a competition with fewer players, in a reduced space.  These types of activities stimulate creativity, while the full game on the regular soccer pitch, only tire the young players physically and intellectually, limiting their creative play.

5)    Only those who enjoy the game can be creative individuals. When children play, they should have fun and be excited by the game.  If young players do not identify themselves with the game proposed by the coach, the creative capacity will remain dormant.  The more the players enjoy the game and the ball, the more that playing stimulates the development of a creative way of interpreting soccer.

6)    Dare to risk and improvise without fearing the consequences.  Young players should not be pressured by their coach to quickly pass the ball in order to allow better team play and winning.  Young players who treat the ball as their best friend and often do their own thing are frequently more creative than those who accept what the coach demands.  They should be allowed to improvise their play and take risks without fearing the possible consequences of having committed a mistake or to have lost possession of the ball.  That is why young players should practice and play as often as possible without the presence of coaches (in the street, in the park or in the courtyard).  4v4 should be an opportunity for players to tryout their moves and be creative. Players should feel comfortable, to explore their innate potential without the fear of getting criticized when committing mistakes.

7)    Place more importance on training the right hemisphere of the brain.  Once young children enter school, the left hemisphere of the brain (where logical thinking, mathematical reasoning and verbal expression are located) is mainly the one getting stimulated. The development of creative potential needs a systematic stimulation of the right hemisphere of the brain. That is why in school as in soccer training, “Open” tasks are needed more than ever that demand young people be creative and to find a solution of their own to any given problem.

Tuesday, March 4