For the youth age groups, I really concentrate on ball development, as well as team building. This age in the kid’s lives is where they can decide who is going to be true leaders in the world. This time period is a pivotal point in everyone’s lives, I want to ensure that I teach the kids just how these years could shape their lives. I want the kids to have good amounts of playing time but the ones that show up daily. The ones that push as hard as they can without fail, that lead by example and put forth the effort it takes to improve and learn. Those players are the ones that will start, even if they are not the best-skilled players.
This age group is when they should be taking on more responsibility in their lives, on and off the field, so I’ll be looking for players that are going to be stepping up and taking control of the games and practices. I will create opportunities for them to step up and lead practice warm-ups, lead game warm-ups, lead practice drills and even come up with their own drills and activities. In doing this it will empower them to be creative in a positive way and see how they can create things that are a benefit to the entire team and not just to their own needs.
I’m really big on developing leaders and bringing out the best in people and kids. I strive to see kids take a leadership role and give positive direction to their peers. If the kids could find their strengths and build them, then, in turn, they could help teach their strengths to the other players on the team. When a kid can teach a kid then you really have a powerhouse because they can relate to each other much better than I can. If they are improving each other then the team is improving as a whole to become a force on and off the field.