The Secret Ingredient of Great Coaching

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The Secret Ingredient of Great Coaching

This is a good article about coaching, and the formula for a successful dynamic between coach, player, and parent.  "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." -Theodore Roosevelt

Trust amongst athletes, parents and coaches is something that has to be first earned, then cultivated, and then built upon. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. High trust teams consistently do the things that build more trust (and usually more success) while low trust teams repeat the same mistakes over and over as the season falls apart.  read the full article here.

 

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Chicas Futsal Program - Nov. - Feb.

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Chicas Futsal Program - Nov. - Feb.

Chicas Futsal begins November.  Futsal is a pillar of Chicas programming and player development.  Encouraging and instilling skill, speed of play, creativity, improvisation, with maximum repetition, Futsal is it!  The below video is the Asian Confederations  Football Women's Futsal Championships.  Watch Iran demonstrate the qualities and percision that made them Champions.  

Iran v. Maylasia

Iran v. Hong Kong

  • 10 pass goal starting at 3:20
  • 5 pass sequence goal starting at 19:28

Iran v. Japan - AFC Women's Futsal Championship Final 

Work. Love. Share. 
We are the Chicas!

 

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"Release Your Child To The Game"

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"Release Your Child To The Game"

RELEASE YOUR CHILD TO THE GAME!    by John O'Sullivan, Changing The Game Project

“I don’t know where to turn,” an exasperated dad recently told me after a speaking event. “My son is fast, and he is skilled. We do lots of extra practice, we go to a private skills coach, we are doing everything it takes to get to the next level, but something is not right. He is not doing as well as he should. He seems to have lost his motivation. What should we do?”

“We?” I asked the dad. “You keep using the word ‘we.’ Whose experience is this; his, or yours?”

The dad paused for a second, looked at me, and said with a defeated look, “Wow, I never thought of it like that. It’s not we; it’s he. Oh man.”

Thankfully, that dad had a revelation that evening, realizing for the first time that he had claimed his son’s youth sports experience for himself. He loved his son. He wanted only the best, and saw in him great potential. Sadly, he was not loving his son in a helpful way.

He had made his son’s experience his own. In the process, he was stealing one thing his young son could never get back: ownership of a positive youth sports experience. At least this dad realized it was never too late to change.

Many parents come to us at the Changing the Game Project because they are frustrated. They see great potential in their son or daughter, but they don’t see a passion to compete, to practice, or to take advantage of the opportunities to improve. One of the most frustrating feelings in the world is to have a front row seat as your young athletes seemingly throw away a promising sports career because they don’t seem to care.

These parents, like the dad above, just want to help. They want to know what to do. Yet they never consider that they might be living vicariously through their child. They might be living out their own unfulfilled sporting dreams and ambitions by stealing the experience from their kids. As this groundbreaking Dutch study has found, parents who see their child as a part of themselves, and not a separate entity, can often desire their children to redeem their unfulfilled sporting dreams.

When I tell these moms and dads that they will actually do more by doing less, many disagree. They say that makes no sense. They dismiss the idea, and double down on the extra training, the private coaches, and the pressure to succeed.

Sadly, many of their kids end up quitting.

Their child’s will to play is gone because they have stolen it, usually without even realizing it.

As I have written about on these pages many times, there are three critical ingredients to a positive youth sports experience: ownership, enjoyment and intrinsic motivation. Without these, it matters little how fast, how strong, and how skilled your child is. He or she will never play long enough or hard enough to be successful.

Once you are confident that your child is in a safe and developmentally appropriate environment, one of the greatest gifts you can give the young athletes in your house is to let them go and let their sports experience belong to them. The phrase I love I learned from Proactive Coaching founder Bruce Brown, a longtime coach and advocate for responsible parenting. He calls it “releasing your child to the game.”

Parents need to accept that the sports your child plays are his and his alone, not yours. We did not win the game, he did. We did not strike out ten batters, she did. Once you release your children to the game, once you let the sport belong to them, then their accomplishments belong to them.

Believe it or not, by taking a step back, you give your child the room to step forward and claim the sport for herself. It creates an environment where she is likely to compete harder, train more often, and improve faster.

It also benefits you as a parent! How?

It allows you to accept your role as spectator at games and give your athletes control of the outcome. It allows you to rise above the emotional frustration and anger that many parents feel when their child or his team is unsuccessful in a match, or the referee is having a nightmare of a game. It creates an environment where your child can play without fear, and is safe to fail, which will ultimately help him play better.

Perhaps most importantly, by releasing your child you remove any chance that your child believes he is responsible for your happiness. This may sound like a silly thought, but look around at your child’s next athletic event. Look for the angry and disappointed parent faces on the losing side. Despite what they say, their actions are telling their children that the outcome of the game determines their happiness. This is an incredible burden to place upon a child, whether it is intended or not. It certainly won’t help them compete!

If you find yourself saying “we” instead of “he” or “she,” you have not released your child. If you find yourself constantly frustrated at your child’s athletic performance, you have not let him go. If you care more about your child’s wins and losses then she does, before you start asking “what is wrong with my kid?” perhaps take a look in the mirror.

You see, in sports there is a big difference between goals and expectations. According to Dr. Jim Taylor, psychologist and author of Positive Pushing: How to Raise a Successful and Happy Child, goals are possible accomplishments that may or may not be achieved, yet can provide satisfaction to children just by going through the process of setting them and trying to attain them. Expectations, on the other hand, are all or nothing; they are assumptions of achievement.

We should place certain expectations upon our children, but these must be things within their control. We can expect them to be courteous, committed, honest, caring, responsible, hard working, and a host of other things we would agree are important. These are expectations based upon effort and values. They must be clearly communicated, and the consequences for failing to meet them should be equivalent with each expectation and consistently applied. Your child has the ability to be all of these things, and if he is not then he should expect that there will be consequences. It is okay for us to be disappointed in him for not meeting our clear expectations, and we should hold our children to high standards that reflect our values and beliefs.

All too often, though, parental expectations become ability (you will win because you are the best) and outcome (I know you will win) oriented, and become confused with our goals for our children. When we expect them to win a game, we are expecting them to accomplish something that is not completely within their control. They may give their best effort and still lose. If a child believes that a parent’s love is tied to the expectation of winning, and he does not win, he may believe that he is less loved or valued. This creates anxiety and inhibits performance. It saps motivation. And it eventually leads a young athlete to quit.

Take a moment and ask yourself “Have I released my child to the game?” Have you allowed this experience to be his and his alone? Have you created a sporting environment where its safe to fail, and your child understands that your love is not tied to athletic outcomes?

Can you sit quietly and watch a game, or do you feel the constant need to coach, correct, and instruct? If you see your athlete’s motivation, determination, or passion for sport fading, sometimes the best thing you can do is not do more, but take a step back, and let your child go.

Sometimes, when it comes to helping your young athlete (as I say in my TED talk below) the best way of doing more is by doing less, by letting him go, by simply saying “I love watching you play,” and by releasing them to the game!

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Oktoberbreast Franz Witte

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Oktoberbreast Franz Witte

The Indie Chicas FC raised money in September through the "Viva Las Chichis" bracelet sale.  100% of all proceeds  were donated to the Franz Witte Oktoberbreast Event on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015.   Donations were awarded to Casting for Recovery ($2432.50) and Expedition Inspiration ($2432.50).   Additional sales will be directed towards "Sarah Strong" organization of choice.

Work. Love. Share.  We are the Indie Chicas FC!

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Chicas Coaching Insights

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Chicas Coaching Insights

One of the amazing experiences related to youth soccer is concept of transformation. 

  1. Kids playing the game - the process of a child discovering the game and the concept of "play" 
  2. Kids learning the game -  "mastery" through quality instruction, repetition, and expanding their level of awareness
  3. Kids becoming soccer players - mastery of technique, decision making, creativity, intuition, competitive drive, desire, and ambition  .

This process is accomplished, at the highest levels, with professional instruction, detailed planning, and full consideration for the development of 1. The player, 2. The team.  It is with this in mind I want to share the "Chicas Coaching Insights": what, why, and how we make decisions about your child's development and team development.  Coaching decisions are NOT one dimensional, nor taken lightly.  A great deal of thought, planning, education, discussion, coordination, and facilitation goes into every decision we make as coaches.  Our players and teams are on a very specific path that has been laid out, tested, and proven with great success.  Each player and team has very specific needs, which also influence how programming is delivered, but the path remains the same, as do the following concepts that influence our coaching decisions.    

If you ever wanted to know the amount of time, energy, thought and consideration that goes into your child and your team...the following is for you. Welcome to the endless labor of love we call coaching.  The art and science of addressing the delicate balance of the "important" v. the "urgent". :)

Coaching Decisions are influenced by the following:

  • Develop Today - the "urgent""
    • For immediate success (but not at the expense of long term success)
    • Collectively
    • Using existing environments (training/games/events) for tests and challenges vital to continued growth and development of winning ways
  • Develop Tomorrow - the "important"
    • Exposure & Integration of future players
    • develop players that will have the skill sets to advance and play at the next level - opportunity on the college, national teams, or professional stage
  • Needs of individual players (playing up, crossover games, development needs, positional needs/development, adding layers to their personal development via games and training, how these decisions will impact our teams)
    • where is she in her development
    • what specifically does she need
    • are her needs best addressed in training, games, or both with her team, or additional environments (playing up, more games, more training, exposure with older players, etc.)
    • how is she developing the necessary skill sets to advance (technically, tactically, psychologically)
    • is she being challenged appropriately
    • is she learning and applying what she is learning
    • is she focused, fit, committed and ready to compete
    • does she need time and exposure in more or less challenging environments
    • does she need exposure to other positions
    • what environments are ideal for exposure to other positions that maximum her success 
    • Personality of player
    • Tendencies of player
    • Sophistication of player
    • Adaptation of player
    • Accountability of player
    • Performance of player
    • Mentality of player
  • Needs of the team (collective needs, player dynamics, game situation, tactics, individual performances)
    • player dynamics; which players have good synergy on the field based on position(s) and system of play
    • formation/system of play that best suits our skill sets, personality, and ability
    • player strengths, weaknesses and tendencies based on our system of play, style of play, etc.
    • **New rules and changes that will impact player placement next year
  • Develop the Team
    • System of Play
    • Style of Play
    • Positions
    • Dynamics
    • Mentality
    • Personality
    • Expectation
  • Needs of individual players in the club (playing up, crossover, development needs, etc)
    • younger players needing additional challenges with older and more experienced players
    • younger players needing additional challenges with older teams in more competitive environments
    • player movement consideration based on their level of play
    • **New rules and changes that will impact player placement next year 
  • Needs of each specific game - the plan, the intuition, the recognition/awareness of the situation, the improvisation, the decisions
    • what is the level of competition
    • what is the objective beyond winning/losing - development needs for our team (positional needs/development, tactical refinement/development, style of play, etc.
    • what do we need to develop or focus on at this point in the season
      • mentality
      • possession
      • attacking
      • defending
      • transition
      • tactics - the how, when, where, and why 
        • what is the meaning of the game, or situation (need to advance, league game with no implications, etc.)
        • what develops during the game that influences how the game is managed.
      • tactical adjustments based on opponent or situation of the game

Additional topics that are very important to facilitate this development model includes:

  • The concept of success - growth, discovery, and advancement. This does not always look like winning, but winning they are. 
  • Programs for specific age groups
  • Methodology for specific age groups
  • Calendar of programs for specific age groups
  • Competitive events (tournaments, leagues, exchanges, scrimmages)
  • Financial considerations

I hope this glimpse into Chicas Coaching provides you additional information about the lens we view the game and your child's short term and long term success.  Trust the process, trust your coaches, and know we have your child's best interest in mind at all times.  

Take it from me, if you focus on anything other than the pure joy of watching your child play, you lose the beauty of what it is, the transformation and ride of these amazing girls doing something magical and brave...they are putting themselves out there in pursuit of becoming their possibility as soccer players and people.     

Thank you for your support and trust.  We love your kids, we love this game and are 100% confident your child will realize her full potential if the path is followed. Enjoy the ride, soak up the limited time you have with your daughter, because in a blink of an eye we will be discussing her college placement, and then she is gone.    

Work. Love. Share.  We are the Chicas

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Chicas Discovery Questions

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Chicas Discovery Questions

Do you know what you want? 
Are you willing to work for it?  
Does your desire to succeed outweigh the pain and sacrifice required to achieve your goals?
If you are a Chica, the answer is YES!
You are on the path to reaching your full potential.  
It's time to get to work,  embrace the challenges that await you,  love the process, and discover the inner strength you have inside. 

Dream Big.  We are the Chicas.
 

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SAT Test Dates

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SAT Test Dates

Chicas  be sure you are registering for the upcoming SAT test dates in 2015.  Your SAT scores directly impact the following: sliding scale for acceptance to university, and potential academic awards/scholarships you may qualify for.  Be your possibility!

  • Test Date - October 3
    • registration deadline Sept. 3
  • Test Date - November 7
    • registration deadline Oct. 9 
  • Test Date - December 5
    • registration deadline Nov. 5

Future test dates include (2016): Jan. 23, March 5, May 7, and June 4.  For more information and practice tests, visit CollegeBoard.

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College Placement Advisory

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College Placement Advisory

High School Chicas! Now is the time to collect video for your upcoming college communications. Video has become more important than ever in your college placement.  As such, please be sure to collect footage during your high school season, so we can edit into a great 6 minute highlight video for college communications and showcase opportunities.  To learn more about the college placement process, please visit  March Forth Soccer , the Indie Chicas FC partner for your college placement needs.

 

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Fueling Your Body, by Brooke Erickson beFIT

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Fueling Your Body, by Brooke Erickson beFIT

Most people think that nutrition for kids is different than nutrition for an adult, but this is not the case. Kids are obviously still growing and their nutrition can play a key role in their future body composition- but the following is a brief rundown on energy sources for optimum performance. 

The main energy source that the body will use first is carbohydrates. The body will actually convert 100% of carbohydrates into glucose, but the key for optimal performance is to provide the right fuel at the right time. To put it simply, think of carbohydrates in two forms… complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates take the body longer to digest therefore taking it longer to convert into glucose. Simple carbohydrates are the quick fixes… the fast way to provide energy to the body.

It is optimal for your daughter to consume a complex carbohydrate (slow digesting) such as oatmeal, 2 hours before and a simple carbohydrate (quick digesting) such as chocolate milk or juice, 30 minutes prior to her game or practice. This will ensure she is getting enough carbohydrates prior to any type of exercise… it’s hard and not ideal for people to consume 50-75 grams of carbohydrates in one meal.  

It’s also important to provide an energy source within 1-2 hours after demanding physical activity. This will help replenish glycogen stores and repair muscle tissue. I would suggest 3-4oz of lean meat or poultry with fruit, trail mix or chocolate milk.

These are just the basics for fueling up for game time or to hit it hard at practice, but it’s a great start! 

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