American Solution FC: Training/Player Helper

Training Cone
Individual Player skills are vital to team success.

Overall Training

As players move up in age group, the demands of the game increase and the advantage of pure speed or physical strength becomes smaller. The need for sharp foot skills becomes equally important to accentuate conditioning and speed. Solid skills with the ball will dictate the outcome in most high level matches.

Physical speed has its obvious advantages but a player still needs to control how it's used. Mental speed is critical to game play. How a player makes individual decisions not only affects their effectiveness but that of the players immediately around them. What to do with the ball and where to be on the field in situations is learned and felt. In a nutshell, both mental and physical speed levels are required for team success.

Player strength and conditioning are vital for performance as players grow in the game. Simply said, “it becomes more difficult to play when we are tired.” Fitness is a must in the later parts of any game. “That is why we prefer to train tired.” When player skill, speed, and condition come together, the game “slows down” for them and soccer can become very effortless and fluent for those willing to put in the work. 

Foot Skills

When we talk about foot skills we are talking about:

·         Trapping – Both feet (top, bottom, outside, and inside of the foot), chest, head, thigh. Keeping the ball close and controlled gives individuals options for what to do next. 

·         Passing – Both feet (top, bottom, outside, inside, heal of the foot), chest, head. Controlled pace on a ball keeping it simple and avoid putting teammates in rough situations. Leading an on rushing teammate, or kicking it directly into their feet, playing it long or keeping it short, those passing decision are vital and must be done accurate to retain possession.

·         Shooting – Both feet (See Youth Player Helper about Both feet) instep, laces, outside of the foot & heading. Use power and finesse at the appropriate time. Keep the shot down, as we like to say “the goal goes from the ground up.” 

·         Advanced moves: step-over fakes, foot-to-foot rolls, ball chips, flips, scoops, and quick proper turns.  When those special moves become useful.

These skills become the backbone of player ability, touch on the ball, and how one evolves as a complete player. You can never have enough skills! 

We utilize creative drills, small sided games, and time tested training techniques, so players can have fun, work skill, and build confidence. At the end of each practice a training review is done with the group and specific drills are highlighted for the players’ home training routine. We strongly encouraged juggling and just “kickin’ it around” with their friends for fun. Players who do more on their own to help their game outside of structured practices usually bring more to any team.

To arrange for player / team training or to ask further questions please e-mail Coach Rick at

Important Things to always remember.

Youth Player Helper   

  • A good soccer player must have the skill, an above average fitness level, and a tactical knowledge of the game. When all 3 of these factors are put together a player can be at their best.  
  • A soccer team has positions and responsibilities for each. We encourage you to listen and learn what each position duties are. That way if you need to step in at another spot, you can.  Soccer players need to be very versatile. It is very tough for a coach to keep you off the field when you know how to play all positions.  
  • Everyone on the field has one thing in common, everyone out there is a soccer player. You may play in a certain position, but everyone on the field needs to be able to dribble, pass, trap, shoot, head, and put in the effort to help the team be successful.  
  • If you cannot pass, dribble, shoot, and trap with both feet you are limiting what you can do as a player on a soccer field. You are also limiting where the coach can play you. Its is the responsibility of each player to become better with their weak foot. Simply put, the more you work at it the better it will become.  
  • Learn and know all the rules. This will work in the favor of each player. Any questions ask the coach, do not be afraid to ask questions. That is one way to learn something you may not know.  
  • Learn from the mistakes that are made by you and everyone else. All players make their mistakes, it is what you take away from the mistakes that make us better. Never let a mistake bring you down, it will happen. Move past the moment and do something to make up for it. This builds your individual character. 
  • Learn from other players success. If you see a move try it in practice. When you have it down smooth use it in the game.
  • Soccer is played with your brain, you always need to be thinking. Learning new things makes a player steady & dangerous on the field. The more you learn the better you become.  
  • Communication between players is vital. Soccer players cannot be shy or silent, players must talk to each other.  If you need to yell to get on the same page, yell but be positive. A team’s communication level between its players will only make the team stronger.  
  • When our team has the ball, we are all offense. When the other team has the ball, we are all on defense, even forwards. Understand the transition, which is usually the turn over.  
  • The turn over is-- when the ball has changed who has possession of  it. Could be a misplayed pass, a challenged ball that’s won, or a ball that has gone out of play.  When the ball changes sides that that is known as transition from offense to defense or defense to offense. Quick couple of points in dealing with the turnover.                     
    • 1. Be patient and don’t just kick the ball back to the other team after they kicked it to you. A trap or pass to your teammates is the way to go.
    • 2.  The ball is awfully important to what happens in the game. It is pretty hard for the other team to score when they do not have the ball. 
    • 3. Recognize the turnover and become a option for your teammate to pass to. This helps your team to keep the ball. 
    • 4. When a individual turns the ball over. Please do not stop and beat yourself up about it. You turned it over and put in the effort to get it back, maybe put pressure on the other team in the direct moment it happens.
    • 5. Don’t get all crazy and start running all over the field chasing because you turned it over. Collectively as a team we will deal with it by all becoming defenders until we can get the ball back. Stay in your position. Do your job and take care of your responsibilities. Your team is lost when you go on a rouge chase.
    • 6. Turnovers are key to the game, keeping our heads and how we deal with the turnover is vital for possession of the ball.   
  • There is a big difference between tough and cheap. Tough is getting into 50/50 balls and using your physical self to do what is necessary to win the ball. You will have to be tough to play soccer and deal with people being tough with you. Fouls are inevitable and are going to happen.  Cheap stuff is when you are out to hurt someone. Kicking, elbowing, punching, or whatever. You do not want a cheap label put on you, and the American Solution coaches know the difference. We will not put up with it and you may be released if all you do is play cheap. What you do on the field represents your teammates, coaches, parents, and club.  
  • Referees are there to enforce the rules of the game. Their decisions are final. That’s it.  Players get cards for various reasons, fouls that may need to be taken. Do not get booked for jabbing your mouth to the official, they do not like a player complaining about their calls. Just respect the call and move on even if you don‘t like it. Your coach is there for you and will deal with the referee if it comes to that. That's why your coach has a pass.    
  • A game is never lost until the final whistle is blown. Your effort will most likely determine what the result will be. Opening whistle to the final whistle. Please do not bring past results to games not played yet. Never be afraid of your opponent before the game starts, you may get beat before you even play them. Look forward to the challenge.  
  • Watch high level soccer matches (EPL, Spanish League, Champions League, International games, MLS). Pay attention to what teams do and why they do it. There are plenty of games to watch and many players to emulate. If you see something that you liked practice it and put it in your game. The more you really watch great teams play, you’ll start to get a better understanding of what soccer is all about. Players can always be better. Hard work on skills, your fitness level, and the learning process will make every player become better. There is always more to learn, even for players who are on TV in large stadiums. Doing the little things and putting them all together make big time players. This is being a student of the game.