I read Anson Dorrance’s book “The Vision of a Champion” a while back, his 2nd book where he talks about the competitive cauldron system they use for UNC Women’s Soccer. He talked about a coach who had adapted it for youth teams, but the links provided don’t work anymore and Google failed me, so I’m working on my own adaption. In order to do that, I’ve been tracking down any online versions of presentations that Anson has given and finally found a good one over at the North Carolina Girls Soccer Camp website. I figured I’d share.

On the competitive cauldron note, I also found a decent article by John O’Sullivan from Oregon Rush Soccer: Creating Intensity In Training.

We have all seen it; our top player lollygags his or her way through yet another session. We have prodded, cajoled, whispered and yelled, and yet, another display of average effort is put forth by a talented player, and a talented team. It is a problem all too common for the American coach, a result of our poor youth soccer structure in the US. With yearly fixed rosters, and little avenue to promote and demote players between teams, we are faced with players who know that their spot on the roster is pretty much guaranteed until the next tryouts.

My 96 girls team (which plays a 3-4-3) is in an even tougher spot as their spots are pretty much secured for as long as they want – we have 15 players and there are no other players trying to make the team since our overall numbers at this age are small. So incentive to play hard just isn’t there. I hope to touch on this in a lot more detail soon.