Shaun Tsakiris is a former professional player and U.S. Youth National Team coach. He is now a director at Los Gatos United in Los Gatos, California.
In this episode, we discuss:
- His biggest influences as a young player
- Playing for Sigi Schmid at UCLA
- How to coach players like Christian Pulisic and Uly Llanez
Hearing Shaun riff about how to utilize these crafty dribblers was my favorite part of the conversation. It was impromptu. It was authentic. It was real.
We also spent time talking about structured vs. unstructured environments and we each share our observations.
Connect with Los Gatos United on Facebook to follow the work Shaun and his colleagues. A link to their page is available in the write up on 343coaching.com.
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I was glad to hear about the experience with the Player’s Club in this episode.
I’ve had identical experience when I tried to get players to take charge. Players couldn’t do it and parents thought I needed to direct the activity.
Yet, I saw the same kids get games of baseball or basketball going and keep them going with ease, with some interesting differences.
One difference: At soccer, the better players wanted to be on the same team to dominate.
In their pickup baseball game, the better players balanced themselves out between teams, to keep everyone interested and playing.
Same kids (and the same kids were the better players in both sports) at that time.
For me, that’s culture. We have culture in those sports handed down from family members, friends and neighbors through informal play that we don’t have, on as wide of scales, with soccer.
Each episode John says that 3Four3 helps coaches get past the trial-and-error and get to what works with coaching, faster.
That’s the same role culture serves with players. It gets them working on the right stuff, early, in fun, addictive, self-driven and inconspicuous ways (i.e. they practice juggling because it’s fun, they want to be like their friends and siblings, want to earn cred at the games, not b/c their coach told them to juggle).
Players not lucky enough to be raised in a good culture, are in trial-and-error mode for anywhere between 3 and 10 years (or more) and if they discover what works before they quit, they are that many years behind those from good cultures.