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Karl Dewazien interview - I DARE YOU TO PLAY

Karl Dewazien - aka 'Koach Karl' - is the coaching director for the California Youth Soccer Association. He is an A licensed coach in the US and has dedicated his life to coaching coaches in the most efficient way to teach children. His techniques are both simple and effective and they get results. Marcus Banks has interviewed Koach Karl exclusively for Total Football, focusing on 10 different aspects of coaching.

1) I DARE YOU TO PLAY

Marcus asked: What message do you try to get across to the young players at the academy?

Karl Dewazien: It is difficult to put a challenge in writing because I prefer looking straight into young players’ eyes and say, “I Dare You To Play (Soccer) Each And Every Day”!

Notice that I did not say ‘Practice’ every day but what I want young players to do is PLAY every day! To be more specific:

"I Dare Them To PLAY … (1 v 1) Every Day”

With a friend they are to find an open area, preferably with grass, to play on. There is no need to have an ‘official’ field with touch and goal lines. All they really need is an area that is open & safe. Safe, means that the area is devoid of glass, rocks, holes, or anything that can cause an injury.

There is also no need for regulation goals because targets (i.e. trees, bushes, shoes, books, cups, containers with water or sand) can be used to become a goal. However, it is more fun to teach the players to make a semi-regulation goal by following these steps:

• With feet together hold ‘an object’ in each out-stretched hand.

• Move the right foot as far as you can.

• Place the object outside of the right foot.

• Bring feet back together.

• Do the same thing on the left side.

• There is your perfect goal for the 1 vs. 1 game.

Toss of a coin

Start with a coin toss to imitate the beginning of a regulation game & here are some more ideas to keep the game fun and interesting:

• -No out of bounds

• -With out of bounds

• -First to 11 goals - wins

• -The one with the most goals at end of a time limit – wins

• -You can score from either side of the goal

• -You can only score from a certain distance

• -The ball must ‘roll’ between the markers for a score

• -The ball can ‘bounce’ between the markers for a score

• -You can score by making a terrific tackle

• -You can score by beating the opponent with a great fake

• -You can only score by dribbling the ball through the markers

• -Make up your own rules!!!

It is a great idea for them to keep a ‘Record Chart’ of each of their 1 vs. 1 game results. The ‘Chart’ should include the Time, Date, Opponent and Final Score. They are encouraged to put the chart on the refrigerator or some other ‘special’ place in their home. Posting of the scores is vital so that the player with the highest number of goals at the end of the week/month can be recognized and given and award (i.e. candy bar) 

Another idea shared with the players is to organize a 1vs. 1 ‘Neighborhood World Cup’ tournament! Keep a ‘Neighborhood Chart’. Ask a local store owner to put the chart in a ‘special’ place in the store. Again, post the scores of the ‘daily’ game results. Finally, ask the owner to provide a reward to be given to the winner at the end of each week/month.

We know that In time these 1 vs. 1 games will instill in the young players the two most important habits that will make them the best soccer player they can be:

• First, they will develop the habit of ‘Attacking’ when they have the ball.

• Second, they will develop the habit of ‘Defending’ when they do not have the ball.

I Dare Them To Play (1 vs. 1) Every Day…

So that They can ‘Attack & Defend’ – Come What May!

Your FUNdamental,

Koach Karl

Karl Dewazien

Questions by Marcus Banks

Don't miss the second part of Karl's interview coming soon on Total Football


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