A note from our Director of Coaching

Director of Coaching      
Earle Davidson

US Soccer National “A” License
Former NCAA Division I Head Soccer Coach

NSU.earle.d@icloud.com • 615-491-5989

Fun & development go hand in hand. The key is creating a fun, safe environment that encourages development.

It begins with comfort on the ball. We build confidence with touches (Controls, dribbles, turns, shots, etc). As the players age and progress, we add concepts and increase the skill set, including team play.  The addition of topics expands understanding and skill.  Sessions become increasingly position/game specific as they age because we want players to find success in the game. By doing so, we develop comfort and understanding in game situations.  Sessions will relate directly back to the game they will play on the weekends, be that 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 or 11v11.  This does not mean we will be playing 9v9 in practice, but rather painting a picture to represent that using small-sided games. Everything comes down to decision making. Comfort on the ball & the understanding of what is going on helps players to make confident decisions.  We want the game to make sense, so we teach this format in practice. The main vehicle for teaching is playing different types of games to illustrate components of soccer. 

Guided discovery is an integral aspect to what we do.  We want the participants to feel ownership of the process, so mini discussions are commonplace.  Where does this skill fit into the game? How can you use it?  Does it suit you?  We also pitch in little chats about the game.  What do they like about it? What pros do they favor? Are you ready for the US National team game this weekend?  Additionally, we chat about non-soccer things or how the game relates to being active, having fun, healthy living, being outdoors, etc.

While this may seem instruction heavy. individual creativity and freedom to play are vital and encouraged at every opportunity. Sessions are active. I fell in love with this game many years ago in New Jersey growing up watching the New York Cosmos play. What really attracted me to the game was that it was up to me, as a player, to make decisions within the team. Players learn to cooperate with their teammates, yet retain the opportunity to show individuality. 

 

- Earle Davidson