Soccer is Evolving: How do you Handle Change?

The modern game is changing and every head coach, assistant coach, player and parent needs to take notice. How are all these integral elements and branches of the game embracing the new challenges and performing tasks and meeting demands to keep the game moving forward?

The global game of soccer has seen massive changes in how the game is presented to consumers. When satellites were able to broadcast
International games across the world in the early 1980’s right into homes, the convenience to watch the beautiful game created changes. I had a 12 foot span dish in my yard and was able to scan the world and receive live feeds of soccer games, enabling me to conveniently observe and learn so many vital nuances of the Worlds game. Rush forward to today, and in a relatively short span, technology allows us all to watch this spectacular display of World Soccer Skills from an 18 inch dish or a cable service. One step ahead of that is the ability to stream games and content from the Internet into a laptop, iPad, tablet or even a smart phone, making mobile watching a reality. Every game watched is a building block to understanding the complexities of the game and is an educational tool not to be missed.

Your day to day life has changed for the better with all the Mobile Apps
that are available to make your life easier. Soccer is no different. Now
Soccer Apps are there at your fingertips to enhance your education and sort available information into manageable and accessible files.

The new norm in schools is to have all the student’s course and year of
curriculum in a iPad or Tablet. Books and paper are no longer being used. If this is the new educational norm why wouldn’t we want our soccer players to have the preferred dissemination of soccer Techniques and Practice Plans in their hands so they can learn from the ‘Neck Up’ and be better prepared and organized going into practice.

Looking for good practice sessions and solid content from the internet can be daunting and so time consuming. You will find you do not have enough time to view, review, catalogue and select age and gender specific content that shows appropriate progressions and meaningful coaching points with refined curriculum. Video is cumbersome and is so ‘Old School’.

If you had the time to invest in researching the techniques you need to
have each player develop at each age group, how many videos on the internet would you have to screen? How many hours would that require?

Would you be acquiring another video series that players and coaches would embrace and utilize? Then you need to pair up the necessary tactical information to activities to reinforce the techniques you want players to learn. How many hours are you willing to spend, or more to the point, do you have time in your schedule to devote to that type of exhausting endeavor? Now you need to assemble this so players and coaches can view them in the proper sequence and use them in their sessions. How will you accomplish that? Then of course the question is, can you monitor whether players and coaches are using the materials you devoted hours to researching, gathering and distributing to them.

This is a full time commitment to training content development that is a
complicated platform.

“There are solutions available for handing this process that can save you hundreds of hours. I work with just such a company. MOTI Sports does it all for you… or as much as you want” and keeps it simple.

Having the ability to have Techniques and Training Sessions in a gaming
platform where you can use a mobile device, smart phone or tablet to zoom and pinch the screen activity. This format allows frame by frame viewing of 3D Images and activities to enhance the experience and engagement of the user. Visual information with voice over coaching points shortens the learning curve for both players and coaches. Having Technical Skill Elements in Motion Capture where you can zoom, pinch, rotate to any view and perspective, viewing from above is really close to virtual reality. From below, you can see all the Plyometrics of foot prints and ball movement, try that with video.

The MOTI App has analytics that give feedback to players, parents and Club DOC’, and Administrators allowing tracking of how much time each player has spent logged on to a Technique or Practice plan, This can be a validated true reflection of how prepared the player is for practice and game performance. The concept of doing soccer practice at home can now be a reality and monitored. Spending 15 to 30 daily minutes in a home basement, the garage, in a yard or a bedroom can be reviewed and used to determine the true interest and dedication to improvement each player has. Paper practice sessions are obsolete, now replaced by hand held or pocketed devices. Technology and the game of soccer are blended and ready to show you Animated 3D sessions. Pleasing and clear depictions of the beautiful game illustrate the progressions and beneficial curriculum, presented in gender specific dynamic Practice Plans. By the way, the MOTI Sports Practice Plans are really just templates and can be fully adjustable and can be easily customized and modified with new drawings, video and other media.

I have seen firsthand the engagement my Grandkids have with iPads and smart phones. This is their preferred method of entertainment and education. Give these players the 23 Techniques of Passing, Dribbling, Control, Ball movement and the moves that show how to beat and go past players, and we have them engaged and visualizing the intricate details of every key development aspect of Soccer.

Handle change by going to look at MOTIsports.com or give me a call at
612-867-0390

Best of Kicks
Alan Merrick

The DOC and Recreational Director Survival Code

Coming Up for Air

“So much to do so little time” is a much-used statement from Directors of Coaching and Recreational Directors this time of year. As we come to the end of May 2018 the preseason and team set ups are all complete, the schedule changes and field conditions have been resolved. It would make sense that the DOC should be coasting along and be in a “Good Mood”. Not so! You can be guaranteed that in every Club there are several teams that are unhappy with their new coach. This puts the DOC in front and center in getting those teams calmed down. Additionally, the DOC is doing some remedial education, tweaking of scheduled practices so they can be present and in the hands of teams. If the DOC is already coaching one or even two teams within the Club, time management becomes a nightmare when practice & league game schedules get even more entrenched in conflict of each other.

While helping design the content and seamless delivery of the MOTI Soccer Training Platform I recalled my experiences as a DOC and was determined to engineer components that help in Club DOC Management. The Practice Plans while complete and ready to use out of the box, are really templates and guides for the DOC to place their personalized preferences into them via drop and drag action from the Media Library. The system gives the Director all options to impart their “Style of Play” throughout Practice Plans and therefore, the Club. By having a digital formatted practice plans that can be loaded and scheduled in the DOC’s downtime in June, then the often hectic and frantic Club Team Management can be done calmly accomplished with professional care and consideration.

The Directors of Recreational programs have appreciated the curriculum development considerations MOTI has on file; they have found it fits into their unique challenges. Recreational Directors are always scouting for and recruiting coaches throughout the community. They are always thankful for the volunteers who come forward. But, then the Rec Director also hit a wall when volunteers stop coming forward and the coaching demand is greater than the supply. Then they have to strong-arm parents, who find themselves shanghaiing unsuspecting parents into being coaches, by sending out the notice “if no volunteer comes forward to coach we will have to abandon the squad”.

In most cases a warm coaching body comes forward, but too late to attend the scheduled Club coach training Murphy’s Law takes over again. Getting these last minute coaches up to speed is paramount on the “tasks and jobs to do”. The MOTI App gives a complete session of training content that has been designed with sound curriculum progressions that are mobile on all smart phones and pads. The Coaches Quick Start video inside the app gives complete instructions to begin using the system. The sessions have all the visual and auditory coaching points for very fast orientation into coaching principles.

If you are a DOC, a Board Member, or a Coach consider MOTI in the next two months of June and July, wouldn’t it be nice to spend just a few hours setting up the entire program for this Fall season? The MOTI Sports 3D Soccer Training Platform has a complete program at your fingertips, one that engages and helps train all of your players, coaches and their families.

Use the MOTI™ Sports 3D Soccer Training Platform to get rid of some of “the coaching Chaos” that you find yourself in. Embrace 3D Soccer Training Technology that it is here now, by implementing it and accepting it into player and coach development. I keep on hearing “It’s not what technology can do; it’s what you can do with technology”. This technology is “awesome” it is “phenomenal” it is now up to you to show what you can do with technology, that is going to be amazing, save you lots of time and allow some calm breathing!

Making the most of Spring – never mind the weather

Coaches: Ever changing weather patterns can present major challenges to your spring practice times! In some areas, practice fields won’t be ready to play on until the end of May! Overcome the weather by giving your players Home Work! Players need to be creative and find a square yard or larger in their home, bedroom, basement or the garage. Assigning MOTI Skills from the Library of Technique Skills challenges them to fiddle with the ball and build familiarity, emphasizing close control and ball manipulation. The skills needed for development are all in the palm of their hands which they can view in 3D and then try, emulate and master. It also allows coaches to monitor the players time on the MOTI App and see how active and prepared their individual motivation is. Think of it as being on the virtual field.

Here are some MOTI Sports ideas to save the season and maximize the time you do have for practice, as we strongly recommend that you encourage and enable your players to get those touches on the ball on their own time.

Consider assigning homework. As you schedule the practice plan for the players, put a note up on the Announcement board telling the players to:

  • Practice each 3D Foot Skill on their own time, so they have performed the individual skills 100 – 200 + times each before they get to the next organized practice. We suggest younger players do 100+ repetitions, while 200+ repetitions for older players are recommended. This work load will help form good habits and the skills will develop much faster. Following the precision of the MOTI motion capture ensures ‘perfect practice’ references, promoting natural player movements even faster. Practice makes Permanent – Perfect practice makes Perfect – Don’t be confused!
  • Recommend that players watch each 3D Drill 5 times so they can visualize which foot skill they would be using in the drill as they move through each rotation and progression in their head.
  • Remember visualization creates a great learning environment.
    It is well documented, that time on task and practice repetitions increase skill mastery. Using a simple backdoor step from the garage or the front door step can act as a player home rebounder, returning the ball in a 1 – 2 passing movement. Or better still have them find a neighbor or a parent to pass back and forth with.

The MOTI App will always be there to act as a go to resource giving visual reassurance to the student and audio referencing the correct technique and execution.

If MOTI can provide solutions to you in the Spring just think what it can do for you All Year Round!

Maximize your practice time using MOTI’s 3D Soccer Training Platform.

Spring and New Era of Coaching

Spring and the Birth of a New Era in Coaching using Visual Technology – “Watching the Game”.

Virtual experience is the new key to shortening and shaping the learning curve for Soccer Coaches and Players. Instead of watching unimaginable hours, even years of game footage, or live matches, a new option is available through mobile 3D animated content. Think of a Soccer Session in your shirt or hip pocket at all times via a phone or tablet.

The Modern Game demands coaches and players to increase their understanding of the important ‘small elements’ of the game. These elements, like good technique and positioning are the glue that enables Speed of Play, Cooperative Input, Cohesive Interactions, and Synergies of Offense and Defense. A shared virtual learning experience can produce both individual player and team organizational speed and execution of tasks on the soccer field, even before taking the pitch. If that virtual learning is a Soccer Training Platform that has soccer ideas, concepts and theories melded into an intuitive, organized, curriculum, which is age and gender specific, it can be an instrumental aid for all participants in the Modern Game.

Make better Soccer decisions! Place yourself in a position where you can make yourself and people around you more successful, improve your game understanding and competitive edge from Recreational to the highest level. Don’t be scared or timid about the ‘Birth of a New Era in Coaching – try using Virtual Technology and share with your Director of Coaching, your Board of Directors, your Team Coach, Players, and Parents. No one wants to be stagnant and everyone wants to have fun.

Having a streamlined Soccer Training Platform that has real time collaboration and fast operational efficiency is available now with MOTI Sports! Welcome to a New Era in Coaching with Accelerated Soccer Education for both coaches and players.

How simple can a practice be? How effective?

Young players need structure and an environment that allows them to succeed in their soccer skills development.  To that end coaches need to set up small playing areas or grids made with cones or pinnies/vests that give players visual reference points of boundaries that reassure them of their surroundings. Smaller working areas also ensures players get many more touches on the ball as they navigate the designated soccer pitch. Having all players moving around and being active with a ball is a great starting point and should be desired throughout the player’s lifetime participation in the sport. The correlation between the number of touches on the ball and increased skill sets is indisputable, more is better and never forget it. Activities in the grid set up can be continually changed to ensure that the needed ball repetitions do not become boring. The objective is to have players from the age of 5 through 10 completely versed in a minimum of 8 skills with the ball, having them doing the basic moves needed to move, guide and protect the ball in all directions. This age group can be transformed with appropriate activities and technique that accelerates their learning curve of ball manipulation and a foundation of ball mastery.  The following curriculum is a must have skill set for these players foundation within the game. Inside outside touches of both feet, inside outside touches that then transfer the ball to the other foot side for continuous weaving of the ball from side to side. Double touches of the ball on all foot surfaces going outside, outside then inside, inside, repeat on the other foot side. These simple foot skills produce all the ingredients of great dibbling skills and ball manipulation. The next skill set is one of changing direction to either keep the ball in play or turn away from opponents these are hook turns with the inside and outside of the foot. The sole of the foot or cleats can produce a drag back motion to turn or control the ball, the sole can also produce lateral motion to move the ball into passing lanes or preparation for clearing or shooting a ball.  At this age group teaching the correct foot positions and shapes the body needs to succeed in ball manipulation is most important.   Correct muscle memory and focused body movements are crucial for performance. Any athlete who has spent time and effort learning these foundation ball skills will have the necessary level of proficiency to continue and thrive in the game often making it a lifetime team sport. Players who do not get this foundation will pass up on the more difficult aspects of the game leave the game frustrated and despondent at the age of 13 and 14 and you will see them as solitary joggers in later life.

Players can now get 3D Animated foot skills for their Mobile devices and practice the plyometric foot movements of ball mastery at home.

Visual Referencing and Learning the New Norm

Decisions, decisions, decisions !!! That is the name of the game in soccer
administration. US Soccer is making decisions on who the next President is
going to be to catapult and develop the game forward at all levels. That
person will make a decision on who the next Men’s National Team coach will
be.

MLS just made the decision to finally allow David Beckham’s franchise to
happen in Miami. In the Youth Club level new boards of directors are
settling into new positions and roles making decisions, while Coaching
Directors are busy making decisions on team selection, league placement,
and team coaching assignments.

Decisions made now need to be calculated and well informed as they affect
the future of the game. The next generation of soccer players are the ‘Gen
Z’ these are kids growing up learning Math and Science, Reading and Writing
in the ‘Virtual World’ on Smart Pads and Mobile devices that have more
power, memory and applications than the first Moon Shot computers all those years ago.

Perhaps the decisions made at the Club level need to reflect how the
development of players can be influenced by technology. Today, learning Soccer Skills and Tactics can be placed in every soccer players hands, visually
engaging them with the correct moves and instruction. If schools can do this, why wouldn’t Clubs use this format to engage players in Soccer, the Sport they are excited about.

Players in this generation have the technical tools and ability to be
wizards of game situations, understanding progressions, and how play is
developed. Today’s players,  because of their acute capacity for visual
perceptions of ‘Soccer’ get 3D Animation into their hands and help create
the next Generation of Messi’s, Renaldo’s, Pele’s and Best’s.

That “Decision” is in your hands.

MOTI Style of Play

MOTI Style of Play

The MOTI style of play can best be described as ‘TOTAL SOCCER’ each component is intertwined and produces another completion of the games jigsaw board or building block foundation. The MOTI style of play was introduced to many of these concepts by some of the World’s best National Team Coaches and Club Coaches at the Professional level. One of the MOTI staff played for 7 different National team head coaches. This MOTI training program is dedicated to all the good people in the game that have influenced, mentored and helped guide the MOTI coaching staff in an attempt to understand the game. We are all still learning from the game and will update and modify these TOTAL SOCCER renderings. We hope these ideas assist you along your path. MOTI is available to personally go over these concepts and assist you in problem solving.

Whenever you are ready feel free to make contact with MOTI Sports and let the FUN begin.

‘Total Soccer’ has an emphasis on intelligent movement, versatility of positions, switching in and out of defensive positions, pressure on and around the ball. This system of TOTAL SOCCER play has many facets. We are continually looking to refine the tactical procedures and increase the fluidity of this Total Soccer style. Space and creation of it are pillars of the style. Simple soccer is by far the prettiest style to watch, but playing it is complex and very difficult. Total Soccer is a style that takes the game to the opposition, is very proactive and attack minded. The focus is on how MOTI teams are playing and creating problems for the opponent to solve. Getting outside full backs to think like wingers and add wide options in the attack is one key. Overloading of the flanks and superior service into the penalty box will produce offense and goals. Getting three and even four players into the penalty box to anticipate the service from the flank crosses increases the success rate of scoring and gets the opponent on the back foot and always under pressure. Creating a ‘Buddy System’ a player always looking for the next pass with each component of zone play will produce many opportunities to make a man up 2 v 1 situation. Players at all age groups will be able to capitalize on the advantage of this initiative and dominate other teams’ efforts. We challenge MOTI Coaches to be continually on the lookout for this overload creation of play and use it as a ‘principle’ in all areas of the field.

This style of play will take several years to implant and create a legacy of improved competitiveness and player development. Start Now!!

MOTI Welcomes You to Coaching the Game of Soccer

Welcome to Coaching the Game of Soccer

Are you a new coach involved with Soccer for the first time asking – What do I do now?

What follows will give you enough pointers to begin coaching and give you a solid foundation to plan practices, identify and teach relevant soccer skills that will hopefully lead to bolstering your involvement in and ultimate enjoyment of the great game of soccer.

Soccer is a game of great skill and technique if it is to be played correctly and enjoyed immensely. When first starting out it is important, as a coach, that you not try to instruct the new player too much at one time. In the initial stages of development your concentration should be focused on having your players familiarize themselves with fundamental ball handling techniques. It is important that young players learn to control the ball with different body surfaces such as feet, thighs and chest. Being able to comfortably juggle the ball on all surfaces of the body is a natural progression to close ground control. Creating positive practice environments, especially during the beginning sessions, and allowing players to experience the many moves and technique skill sets together as a team is vital. Only with perseverance and repetitions will players attain the feel and touch required to have maximum control of their body and the ball.

Encourage players to work on their own, doing practice routines at home in the back yard, garage or anywhere that can handle the wear and tear. This only accelerates the learning curve. There are really no shortcuts, nothing magical, just practice, practice, practice. However, having the MOTI 3D Technical’s in the player’s hands on a mobile device and being able to go frame by frame or watching it from any angle or perspective keeps them engaged for longer periods of perfect practice.

Before starting any coaching session, always keep in mind your objectives by going over your Coaching Philosophy. Practice plans should be planned in detail prior to walking on the field. The MOTI plans give each coach wonderful content to be used in its entirety or as a template for adjusting content.

All practice time should have as much activity and enjoyment as possible.

Keep ALL players active and involved.

Do not lecture.

Put more time into viewing the activities so that clarity of the content is easier to demonstrate and more touches on the ball is achieved.

Teach skills over all aspects of the game, find rewards for players who spend more time working on the Technical Skills at home. The MOTI Analytics’ allows you to monitor the viewing time of each player on your roster.

Concentrate more time on individual skill development rather than tactics.

Make coaching corrections calmly and precisely, having regard for the individual player.

Treat all players as equal and coach the talented and less talented player with the same enthusiasm.

Do not over-coach from the side-line during games.

Make your players’ involvement a positive athletic experience.

The aim of the player is always to have fun and as much enjoyment as humanly possible. The aim of the coach should be to work within their player’s capabilities and create an environment of positive practice time to develop more skillful soccer players.

Set your practices for small areas and small sided games and activities.
The full game of 11 v 11 is far too complex a format for the young players to learn in.

Far too much information is available and the young player can be mesmerized by this overload of game impulses. In a small area with fewer numbers of players, coaches are able to manipulate the practice period to better absorb soccer information. This also helps ensure more success in bringing to the player’s attention relevant coaching points for team and individual improvement. The player’s involvement in this format is increased, giving the player many more touches of the ball and exposure to the appropriate game situation.

Being able to look at the MOTI Practice plans and review it before and after the practice in slow motion or even frame by frame gives even more understanding of the workings of the session and the overall game. Remember that players have different speeds of learning and the MOTI App gives flexibility in the learning curve.

Activity needs to be foremost in the practice session. It can be two fold in that because of high demand for fields space, associations and clubs generally have two practice sessions per week usually of one hour each. This practice time must be used to the optimum. This means the session must be well planned and as realistic as possible. Your players must be totally active throughout the session. Using the MOTI App and practice sessions on their mobile devices before practice prepares them and cuts down and in some instances removes the set up and explanation time.

Practice sessions should have a flow pattern. Start off with a related warm up to your session, with progressions, that transition into a realistic small game and full game situation by the conclusion. Your players will develop faster when they have reference points at the beginning of the session, having the MOTI App to see, hear and do the session prior to practice helps them through the progressions of the session as smoothly as possible. As soon as you sit your players down and start “Talking” soccer to them, 50% or more will turn off or mentally wander away from the tasks on hand and the session.
Starting a session and playing environment needs you to outline and define the space and boundary to be used this is another advantage of seeing the 3D animations on the MOTI App (i.e., cones and existing field markings can be incorporated) .

Outline and define the objectives and goals of the session to the players, (i.e, defending, attacking, passing and shooting techniques) Select teams and alignments quickly (use vests and bibs to distinguish opponents or groups).
If you have not used the MOTI App to give your players a visual insight into the session, you must do a quick demonstration, and give a few key points verbally. Send your players off to practice quickly. The practice will help them perfect their skills – listening does not!

Aim to change the environment you have set so your practice can progress to a realistic game situation ( i.e., with goals for both teams’ offense and defense, perhaps shots on goal for forwards, counting the number of passes for defenders)

MOTI cannot emphasize enough that practice has to be enjoyable, if the player comes away from practice with the thought of sit-ups, push-ups and running laps, or what might be regarded as punishment, he or she will be less likely to return next time.

Don’t be the coach that turns kids away from the game – using tools like the MOTI App make the practice fun!