Quotations and Soccer Tips

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A champion is someone who is bending over to exhaustion when no one else is watching

When I coach youth teams or when I give a clinic, a phenomenon is constantly there. A few players, when I'm apparently not looking at them, slow down in their effort and even stop doing anything. I know because I keep following them out of the corner of my eyes. These few players, think that they are doing the exercises just for ........ the coaches.

No matter how much you explain that practice is fundamental to becoming a better soccer player, to become altogether a better and stronger team, that though soccer they will better affront the challenges of their lives, when you turn your attention away, they keep slowing down. I really like it when I see players who work as hard in practice as they do in the game. That is the only way to get better. Practice and repetition equal improvement.

I've tried different approaches to correct the negative attitude of slowing down.

Training these 3/4 players separately with an assistant coach
Giving the responsibility to a few of the best players to work separately with them
Completely ignore their attitude
Talk to the parents to understand if they've noticed this attitude in other fields of life

Why do they do this?

Maybe they don't like to play soccer very much
Maybe the parents are forcing them to play
Maybe some of their friends play so they come to stay with them

If you can't find a solution, it's better to consider these kids a kind of 'virus' on the team. When all the tactics above don't give tangible results that make them work with more passion, I think the best cure is to exclude the 'virus' from the team, before the whole team gets 'infected'.

But this is only my opinion. If you have other cures, I'm a good listener.

Coach Gianni