Last week AYSO’s Player Development and Technical Advisor Scott Snyder attended the U.S. Soccer National Instructor Workshop in Bradenton, Fla. We caught up with him to get a look behind the scenes.
How did AYSO’s involvement at this event come about?
Since the 2011 Zone One initiative, U.S. Soccer has been extremely hospitable to AYSO and sincerely recognizes our grassroots efforts and commitment to player development. They have contributed to our new curricula, and have frequently invited us to relevant coaching or educational events like this one. Events like these help us make our program even stronger.
What was the main purpose of this workshop?
There were numerous educational initiatives. The event opened with a presentation by U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who provided a global perspective of where we (USA) are at and what we need to do to develop world-class players and coaches, including style of play and adding national youth teams to each age group from U-14 to U-20. He communicated an honest perspective and vision for the game in this country and addressed identification, training and development and competition.
Also referenced throughout the event was an exciting new digital-coaching center, which will host much of U.S. Soccer’s coach education resources and provide direct communication with registered coaches.
The core classroom effort was to further educate instructors on 2015 (A-F) individual license competencies develop match analysis techniques and improve grading, feedback and communication with candidates.
Who ran the workshop and who were the other attendees?
U.S. Soccer’s Director of Coaching Education, Dave Chesler headed the event supported by Vince Ganzberg and Jay Hoffman, two senior National Instructors. The workshop addressed both Regional (state Technical Directors) and National Instructors. U.S. Development Academy coaches were all present for the opening address.
In addition to Klinsmann, there were presentations and dialogue with National team coaches Brian Johnson (U-14), John Hackworth (U-15) and Richie Williams (U-17) who all provided insight to their respective programs, players and youth development objectives.
There were numerous coaching/teaching sessions by Educational Specialist Doug Lemov (author of Teach Like a Champion, and co-author of Practice Perfect). U.S. Soccer has incorporated much of Lemov’s methodology in their efforts to complement and boost the level of coach education.
From a pure soccer standpoint, what stood out?
The workshop was run in conjunction with the U-17 International Friendlies between England, Brazil, Australia and the USA, and since we had match analysis and technical-summary projects, attending the USA vs. Australia match with such high level coaching talent (all working on analysis) was an incredible experience.
Also, to collaborate with state directors and instructors on numerous projects ranging from session planning (relevant to a specific license) to the importance of quality communication, grading and feedback was an invaluable insight.
How are you going to bring back what you learned to AYSO and our programs?
The quality of content and methodology was truly outstanding and I believe U.S. Soccer’s educational initiatives will definitely impact and boost the game in this country at all levels!
My goal is to filter and address how the content and methodology can be integrated into our own structures. It was also beneficial to connect with some of the nation’s top coaching minds and gain insight to local marketplaces as we consider our own Region’s specific needs.
Finally, also in attendance were numerous contributors to our new coaching content, including Dave Chesler, Richie Williams and Anthony Latronica (US Soccer), Austin Daniels (AZYSA) and John Kerr and Michael Brady (Duke University), so it was good to catch up and show our appreciation for their support.