CCA Level 2 Award in Creative Soccer Coaching (Ben Holman)

By | 2015-01-28T18:51:15+00:00 January 28th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

On completion of my CCA level 2 I had to reflect on my coaching, previous to the course, and ask myself why I had coached the way I did. My conclusion was that previous coaching courses had told me to coach that way and my personal experience of 'old fashioned' coaches had rubbed off on me. After the course I was coaching in a specific while adopting a unique philosophy not because I had been told too but because I thoroughly understood the rational behind the CCA level 2 course content. Darren delivered a course full of valuable information, with high quality examples and provided both scientific and historical rationales. The course was delivered in both practical and classroom based environments to such a high a quality that it made veteran university lecturers look amateur.  The course is a must for any football coach out there regardless of age, and further more, I believe the course is suitable for any sports coach out there and anyone who is trying to develop children in a sporting or non-sporting context. From how to create the optimal learning environment to nurturing creativity in children  and the positives of allowing children autonomy the course covers it all. Ben Holman - Sports Development and Coaching Graduate, Northumbria University'

ISSA Coach Education (Level 1 Award) at University of St Mark & St John

By | 2015-01-23T18:13:59+00:00 January 23rd, 2015|Soccer Stories|

Our students here at the University of St Mark & St John in Plymouth have really benefitted from the ISSA Street Soccer Level 1 over the past few years.  The course is excellently delivered, with an engaging and knowledgeable tutor, who utilises a range of creative teaching resources and methods in order to connect with our young learners.  Our students coach in a variety of environments, from traditional grassroots football clubs, to local authority run community schemes, to professional football club development centres.  All have found this course to be of great use in helping them to promote creativity in both session design, and in the ability/enjoyment of their players . Ryan Thomas (Program Leader for Football Coaching & Development) University of St Mark & St John

ISSA Street Soccer Training (Creativity)

By | 2015-01-23T16:37:05+00:00 January 23rd, 2015|Soccer Stories|

The FA Coaching Strategy specifically identifies the need to develop coaching programmes which improve the creativity of players. Anyone who watches the game will be able to see creativity in players and identify moments of creative flair. However, in order to help foster creativity in players, we need to understand what it is and how it is affected. Why do we need focus on producing creative players? Creativity has been described as the process of developing original ideas that have value. In many walks of life, there is now a distinct movement towards the development of creativity. The reason for this is pretty simple. In our rapidly developing world we need people that can respond to the changing environment. We need people who can find elegant and effective solutions to completely unpredictable events. We don’t know what’s just around the corner. All we actually know about the future is that we know nothing. That’s why so many people in business and commerce are focussed on the need to nurture creativity. The same is true in football. Creative players are those who produce an original skill to meet a completely unpredictable situation in a game. Often in football a moment of skill is not planned, it just ‘appears’ when it is needed. In fact, in football creativity is a double edged sword. As well as helping players provide solutions to unpredictable situations, it also helps them present unique and unpredictable challenges to the opposition. So, why is it that some players [...]

ISSA Street Soccer Training (The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education / Moving beyond habits)

By | 2015-01-19T18:54:02+00:00 January 19th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

ISSA Street Soccer Training - The Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education – Moving beyond habits In sport, the arts, and indeed in any field of human endeavour involving movement, we aim for a smoothness of action that we consider to be good form. We want our movements to be efficient, graceful, effortless and powerful. Top athletes and performers understand that these elements are an integral part of producing a consistently high level of performance and that they also help in the prevention of injury. However, those of us who are less ‘naturally’ gifted consider the amazing coordination and ability of top performers and athletes to be innate – a gift that they are born with – and we believe that they raise their performance levels only through hours of dedicated practice and effort in the gym. While it is true that most of us will ever match the grace and ease displayed by sportsmen such as Roger Federer we all have an innate potential for graceful action far beyond what we can imagine – if only we could learn how to realise it! Dr Moshe Feldenkrais Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais (1904-84), a Russian-born physicist, martial arts expert, and mechanical engineer, developed the modality that bears his name in order to cure his own debilitating knee injury. Drawing from his background in these various fields, as well as his observations of developmental movements, he used his own body as a laboratory, experimenting with many different ways of doing everyday actions, and carefully [...]

ISSA Street Soccer Training (The Alexander Technique)

By | 2015-01-16T21:30:25+00:00 January 16th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

ISSA Street Soccer Training - The Alexander Technique The Alexander Technique is a method that has a lot to offer sports people. The focus is on preventing habitual muscular actions that cause inefficient movement patterns that can lead to injury and limit performance. For example, it’s common for people to stiffen their neck in preparation to move and yet they’ll be completely unaware that they’re doing so. I have seen this is sports people of all abilities including top athletes. The act of stiffening the neck impedes the body’s reflex activity and has a detrimental effect on coordination. Unfortunately once it has become a habit it is difficult to stop until it is brought to a conscious level and the individual given instruction on how to move without the habitual preparations, or in other words, to use less effort. An Alexander Technique lesson involves taking the pupil through a series of movements whilst focusing on their habitual actions that may be interfering with movement. A teacher of AT will use their hands to promote freer, lighter movement whilst giving verbal instruction. The combination of gentle guidance, instruction and immediate feedback of the improvements help with the learning process. This invariably involves a sense of lightness and less effort whilst performing an everyday movement the pupil usually associates with using more effort. The techniques used encourage the pupil to focus on the moment between the stimulus and their response to it and can be applied to other habitual behavioural patterns. A [...]

ISSA Street Soccer Training (NLP)

By | 2015-01-16T21:27:46+00:00 January 16th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

ISSA Street Soccer Training – NLP 'How did he do that?' When you see a kid doing an amazing street soccer trick, you probably wonder how they do it. Many people will also be wondering if they could ever achieve the same results. It could be said that this same curiosity together with a belief that excellence could be duplicated, a scientific approach and high levels of tenacity is what led to the field of NLP. 'Let me have a go!' In the 1970's, Richard Bandler, a mathematician, and John Grinder, a linguistics professor, set out to see if they could discover exactly how some of the most effective therapists of the time were achieving consistent results. First they 'modelled' naturally, in the same way that we learn to walk and talk, by absorbing themselves completely in what the subject was doing without analysing and then having a go - mimicking both consciously and unconsciously - taking on elements of body language, speech patterns and intuitively thinking in similar ways, until they began to get similar results. 'Analyse THIS!' Then they began to analyse their findings so that they were able to construct a detailed model ('Programme') of the important elements of what the person was doing with their body, brain and nervous system ('Neuro') and the way they were thinking and communicating with themselves and with their clients, both verbally and non-verbally ('Linguistic'). They knew they had found the 'difference that made the difference' because they were able to [...]

ISSA Street Soccer Training (The Inner Game)

By | 2015-01-16T21:26:08+00:00 January 16th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

ISSA Street Soccer Training - The Inner Game 'In the flow... your potential revealed' Can you think of a time when you did a combination of tricks so well you dazzled yourself and your street soccer mates? Hopefully you managed to get it onto the ISSA YouTube channel too. As you remember this experience of playing to your potential – Where was your attention? Were you thinking much? How hard were you trying? What emotions were you feeling? How relaxed were you? The chances are that your attention was very focussed in the moment, to the point where you became unaware of much of the external environment. You probably weren't thinking too much and if you were it was simple task-based thinking, no further than necessary into the future and probably not in the past at all. The voice in your head had taken a time out. Trying? What trying? Odds-on you were enjoying the moment and at ease mentally and physically - just enough dynamic tension to dazzle and no more. And feeling quite detached and unconcerned yet confident in your ability. 'In the way... Interference' Now remember a time when things didn't go so well. Have a look at what got in the way. Maybe someone turned up to watch and you noticed them out of the corner or your eye. Perhaps you started trying too hard. Did your internal dialogue kick off in a big way? Did you feel tense and uncoordinated? Were you feeling anxious about [...]

George Green (Student at Bournemouth University) – George recently took part in the ISSA Street Soccer Coaches Workshop – here is his feedback

By | 2015-01-16T18:12:07+00:00 January 16th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

George Green (Student at Bournemouth University) – George recently took part in the ISSA Street Soccer Coaches Workshop – here is his feedback Movement Analysis & Biomechanical Considerations December 8, 2014 George Green Well you are probably wondering where I have been?! Well to let those of you know who may not already know, a good friend of mine has been kind enough to build me a website. This is a completely new type of project for me and I am enjoying the templates we have produced so far. Also with my fast approaching semester one exams on their way I have been in a series of revision and university. But even more interestingly, just yesterday I was on a course called ‘Street Soccer UK’ which focused on delivering the most effective conditions for learning to take place in your sessions. Of course there was lots of street skills involved but more importantly, the session wasn’t about making the coach look good. It wasn’t about looking professional with badges all over your tracksuit, nor was it about hiding behind your clipboard and over analysing everything (as we tend to do as coaches). But even more interesting than that, there was a point in the session that challenged the FUNdamental movements of physical literacy. In fact they had a good reason to. They touched briefly on the reptilian brain located in the frontal lobe and how when under pressure or feeling threatened it shuts off from everything around it. Therefore this [...]

ISSA Street Soccer Training (The Learning Environment)

By | 2015-01-16T18:09:31+00:00 January 16th, 2015|Soccer Stories|

Creating an optimal learning environment is not something that happens by chance. There are some fundamental founding principles to follow and a formula that can be applied. Let’s start with the most fundamental of all – motivation. A leaner has to be motivated to learn. In psychology, motivation is often known as the ‘why of behaviour’. It helps to explain why we do the things we do and even why we don’t do the things we should do. There is a reason behind our decisions and our actions, which all stems from our motivation. Why does a soccer player get out of bed at 6am on a cold, wet Tuesday in December to drive all the way to the training ground and run and kick a ball around for 2 hours? Why do they then have a bite of breakfast before doing a strength & conditioning session, followed by physio, a bite of lunch, a meeting with the coach and back on the field for another 2 hours? What’s it all in aid of? Why do they do all this 6-7 days a week for years on end? The answer is perfectly simple – it’s all in pursuit of an trophy or league winners. That’s what motivates them. That’s their reason. Our motivation to do something can come in all sorts of forms. Sometimes we are motivated to avoid things we don’t want. Sometimes we are motivated towards something we do want. It’s true that some athletes are motivated as [...]