Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sam's Blog - Dec. 20

Sam’s Blog will be a weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam is the Director of Coaching Education for US Youth Soccer

Editing continues on the next Novice Coach DVD from US Youth Soccer. John Thomas and I have been in the studio working on the project quite a bit recently.

The fun part of any DVD project is the filming since then we are on the field working with the players. The most labor and time intensive part is the editing. The current project takes the existing Novice Coach DVD and splits it in two. One DVD will now be for U6 and U8 and the other will be for U10 and U12. Some new footage for U10 was shot and the U12 footage is all new. The target audience again is the parent/coach new to the sport of soccer and the art of coaching.

So now my questions to you are what coaching education products would serve your needs? What topics need to be addressed within the realm of the arts and sciences of coaching? What type of media would you like to be used for the information to be delivered?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sam's Blog

Sam’s Blog will be a weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog. Sam is the Director of Coaching Education for US Youth Soccer

Last week I drove from Bismarck, North Dakota to Gillette, Wyoming to meet with the state coach and others to discuss coaching education and the professional development of their state staff instructors. The drive took me through part of the Bad Lands during a snow storm, which gave an already far-out landscape an even more unworldly look.

If you are not from that region of the United States you may wonder where in the world is Gillette and do people actually play soccer there. Well the town is in the northeast corner of the state and yes folks do indeed play the beautiful game there.

These facts highlight that soccer continues to grow across our nation and not just in metropolitan areas. We had our soccer boom and now we have gotten a fair handle on managing those huge numbers of participants. So it is time once again to work on growing the game as we did in the 1970s. Towns such as Gillette and Mamou, Louisiana and Williston, Vermont are where the game will continue to grow.

So in our soccer missionary work how do we start the next soccer boom?

Some Thoughts on Youth Development

Have you seen some of the latest articles in Soccer America regarding youth development? The magazine’s Mike Woitalia has been writing several articles that deal with some of the hot topics in youth soccer.

Some of the most recent articles are below dealing with over-coaching and U.S. Soccer’s evaluation of the nation’s approach to player development.

What do you think about the current state of youth development in American youth soccer?

Do we want Robinhos or Robots?
By Mike Woitalla, Soccer America Magazine
How over-coaching and the emphasis on winning stifle young American talent.

U.S. Soccer Youth Development Time to Reassess
By Mike Woitalla, Soccer America Magazine
The U.S. Soccer Federation is reevaluating the nation's approach to youth player development and coaching education.

Look for a new blog from Sam Snow, director of coaching education for US Youth Soccer. Sam’s Blog will be a weekly addition to the US Youth Soccer Blog.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Annual Workshop set for 2007

Annual Workshop and Convention set for St. Louis in 2007
Register Now [

The 2007 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop and Coaches Convention will be held March 1-3, 2007, at the America’s Center in St. Louis, Mo. Full registration for the event is $300, but registrants can save 50% now through Friday, December 15th.

Full registration fee includes entry to all workshops, US Youth Soccer adidas Coach of the Year dinner, President's Reception, US Youth Soccer Awards Gala, and Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall. In addition to full registration, a one-day pass for Friday, March 2, or Saturday, March 3, may be purchased on-site for $25 to access the educational seminars and exhibits only. Please note that registering for the event does not include a room reservation and all official activities intended for adults.

The event, the largest of its kind for youth sports in North America, features more than 90 educational workshops and demonstrations for administrators, coaches, referees, parents and soccer enthusiasts. The event features the announcement of the 2006 US Youth Soccer adidas Coach of the Year as well as an exhibit hall with over 200 exhibitors featuring the latest soccer equipment, technology, apparel, fundraising ideas and more.

In addition to learning from some of the leading clinicians in the areas of coaching and player development, this year’s event will include topics from the challenges and realities of international travel, risk management, organizing and financing field development. You will also hear the latest in marketing techniques and tactics, sports medicine and nutritional topics, developing and retaining youth referees and recreational, elite and disabled players.

Don’t miss this chance as early registration is $100 if received by December 15, 2006. After December 15, all pre-event registration is due by January 26, 2007 at $150. On-site registration is $200.

More than 3,000 registered guests attended the 2006 event in Houston, and similar numbers are expected for 2007.

2007 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop and Coaches Convention
Who: Soccer Coaches, Referees, Administrators, and Exhibitors
What: 2007 US Youth Soccer adidas Workshop and Coaches Convention
When: March 1-3, 2007
Where: Americas Center - St. Louis, Missouri
Admission: Information and online registration will be available at (Online and Standard Mail). Early registration ends December 15 at $100, registrations by January 26 at $150 and onsite registration at $200.

US Youth Soccer ODP to Play in SuperGroup at Disney

Regional teams to compete against U.S. Soccer Under-17 National Team, Newcastle United FC, Tigres UANL and Real Madrid CF
adidas Super Group Schedule of Events [

Top talent from US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP) will compete in the adidas Super Group at Disney’s Soccer Showcase in Lake Buena Vista, Fl., from December 27-30, 2006.

Fresh from the US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Thanksgiving Interregionals this November, the US Youth Soccer Boys 1990 Regional teams will compete in the eight-team adidas Super Group at the Showcase. Joining the US Youth Soccer ODP regional teams will be: the U.S. U-17 Men’s National Team, Newcastle United FC, Tigres UANL and Real Madrid CF.

“The adidas Super Group provides another opportunity to further the player development of our athletes and provide additional international experiences,” said Bob Bounpane, US Youth Soccer ODP Boys Committee Chairman. “Hundreds of college coaches and Disney’s first class facilities make this a great week to end an outstanding 2006 for our elite player development program.”

The showcase event will be played at Disney's Wide World of Sports® Complex and is among the top recruiting tournaments in the country. This year, the showcase will play host to 535 teams along with the eight Super Group teams and more than 700 collegiate coaches.

Initially created in 1977 as the US Youth Soccer Select Team Program, US Youth Soccer ODP was formed to identify a pool of players in each age group from which a National Team could be selected for international competition. A girls program was added to US Youth Soccer in 1985.

The players must try out to qualify for the program's high-level training from carefully selected and licensed coaches through a series of trials at their local, State Association and then Regional levels. Those selected are exposed to the nation's best coaches, trainers and facilities.

US Youth Soccer ODP is the original Olympic development program and the only elite player development program that can claim members of Major League Soccer as well as a majority of current and past national and youth team members, as alumni. And, with programs in all 55 State Associations as well as regional and national championships and participation in international tournaments, US Youth Soccer ODP continues to lead the way. For more information visit

US Youth Soccer ODP players participating at the adidas Super Group at Disney’s Soccer Showcase have been selected through a series of trials at their local, State Association and then Regional levels.

A number of US Youth Soccer teams from the state level will be represented at the Disney’s Soccer Showcase. A complete team list can be found at as well as additional information regarding the Showcase.

Elite soccer events are nothing new to Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex, which has hosted the prestigious US Youth Soccer National Championships in 2004 and 2005 after previously hosting the championships in 1999 and 2000.

For more information regarding US Youth Soccer and the US Youth Soccer ODP, please log on to

adidas Super Group Schedule of Events [link]

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

US Youth Soccer National League

At its recent meeting, the US Youth Soccer Board of Directors re-affirmed the organization’s plans to form the US Youth Soccer National League.

According to US Youth Soccer President, Larry Monaco, “US Youth Soccer remains committed to the concept of the US Youth Soccer National League. The league will be open to US Youth Soccer members and allow for the nation’s top players and clubs to compete with greater frequency and further their development through additional playing opportunities at higher levels.”

The US Youth Soccer National League will offer play for girls and boys and is set to launch beginning with the 2007-2008 seasonal year.

US Youth Soccer programs and events are known for their excellence and the US Youth Soccer National League will continue this tradition. For US Youth Soccer members, the next months will be an exciting time as the plans for the league are finalized.