3 FOUR 3

assionate students of the beautiful game

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March 24, 2018 12:01 UTC
May 4, 2010 11:59 UTC

A Lesson in Top Level “Checking Your Shoulder”; Go Beyond the Superficial

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Do you remember when most all Americans, coaches included, thought 'rondo' meant this:

Now we're a bit more educated, but still have a long wayto go on the rondo front.

Today I want to introduce another topic, that of 'checking your shoulder'.

Many have been saying that phrase quite often but, much like the rondo, most are missing a ton of depth and nuance.

The 5 Key Player Development Components

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Player development can be broken into 5 majorcomponents:

  1. The household/parent/family influence
  2. The playing on your own influence
  3. The pickup game influence
  4. The structured club training influence
  5. The personal training influence

Each taps into a pieceof the puzzle.

A Huge Deficiency in the Suburban American Soccer Player

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It's well known one of the advantages players outside the US have is pickup ball.

Across the globe, players of all ages from 7 year olds to adults benefit from the street game that informal pickup culture the American player lacks. The barrio, as hispanic/latino cultures call it, is where strong mentalities, ball skills (of the smooth, not mechanized variety), and the dark arts of the game are forged.

January 12, Downtown LA, You’re Invited

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If you're coming to the NSCAA convention in Los Angeles (or you're already local), we're hosting a 3 hour meet-up just a few blocks away.

Date: January 12 from 5-8pm

Location: The Fine Arts Building in downtown LA. The room we've secured is beautiful.

How Brian Kleiban Creates A Winning Culture [Podcast + Video]

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Hi guys, John Pranjic here; I had the rare opportunity to record a conversation with LA Galaxy academy coach, Brian Kleiban. And it's pure gold.

Listen to this 3four3 Podcast below ...

Brian touches on a lot of important topics in a short amount of time, including:

  • International youth competition
  • Why forgingan identity is important
  • And how to develop a winning culture during training (example in the video below)

Here are two links for the top-level international matches mentioned in the podcast:

  • Man City vs LA Galaxy
  • FC Barcelona vs Chivas USA

Want to see and hear more from Brian?

“White Boys” Can’t Play Soccer?

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Hi guys,

I opened up quite a bit in an interview, but that's where John Pranjic host of the 3four3 podcast led me at times.

If you'd like to follow up with anything you hear, I'll be happy to engage with you.

Listen to the episode here.

The American Soccer Culture Problem

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First, I want to applaud both Colin Cowherd and JasonWhitlock for bringing an important truth about the state of American soccer to the masses. It speaks volumes that these sports generalists call it like it is, while entrenched American soccer media doesn't.

American soccer media, hence its consumers, coddles our players.

MLS Academies Need More, and Better, Competition

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So, I've harped on the fact that competition in the US isn't a good gauge of where we're at. International competition is the barometer.

As such, the past 5 years we've gone on international trips with a group of players to play in legitimate competitions against the best academies in the world.

The Most Undermining Phrase in American Soccer

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"It's just a game".

No, it's not.

It's an economic market like any other.

There are businesses in play, livelihoods at stake, communities to consider, and consumers that should be looked after.

This is an ecosystem with real people, with real consequences, who depend on responsible governance.

LA Galaxy vs Manchester City – [U15 Full Match Video]

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We love to share what matters.

Going into this match, this team, our team, the LA Galaxy U14 team was undefeated with a 19-0-2 record in the US Soccer Development Academy with 101 GF and 12 GA.

You rarely, if ever, see us publish or mention our domestic exploits (we could be doing it weekly), because that doesn't really matter.

Should Coaches be Siloed in Specific Age Groups? Part 2

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Part 1 touched on why it makes more sense elsewhere in the world. Here in Part 2, we look at some incentives and consequences for instituting coach siloing in the American environment. An Organizational Perspective

Looking at a club perspective there's this sense that efficiencies are introduced, that it's just simpler to have a conventional conveyor belt style organization.

Should Coaches be Siloed in Specific Age Groups?

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You may have heard people talk about siloing coaches in age groups many times.

It goes something like this:
A club should assign coaches to an age group, not to a team. For example, John has a U13 team. When the season ends, that team moves on to a different coach that coaches U14. John then inherits a new set of U13s.

An “All Value, No Fluff” Soccer Education

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For the impatient, you can sign up to this free education here.
But it would be awesome if you read this article first.

There's no question we need better soccer education in our country.

So over the past 7 years, Brian and I have taken on that challenge. Of course it's been much longer if we include all the on-field and in-person work, but insofar as delivering education that scales, that was born with 3four3.

The Myth of the Best Players

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Who's better?
Neymar or Ronaldo

To me, this is a no-brainer and practically a litmus test for who I shouldn't pay attention to.

But there are people, for one reason or another, who think different.

And right there, in that one phrase, "for one reason or another", is where the myth busting of the "best players" needs to start.

Not Allowed in American Soccer – Leicester City FC

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I think we can agree that fulfillment of potential is something we all yearn for.

But what if the path to fulfillment is taken away from you? What then?

Well, compared to the rest of the world, American soccer is set up precisely to do this. Limit, or even take away, one's potential.