Miguel Lopez is the Hilton Head Academy Director at Storm Soccer Academy. A young coach in age, he has numerous experiences working with young soccer players between the ages of 5 and 13. The number of hours he has spent coaching and education he has received at such a young age has created his ability to be a success on the field and to have a transformational impact with the players he works with.
While Miguel was taking a full load of college classes over the course of the last three years, he spent all his spare time refining his craft as a coach so that in his early 20’s, he has developed into a knowledgeable and veteran coach. Over this time he has attained a USSF “D” License as well as the NSCAA Advanced National Diploma.
Now a college graduate, Miguel has come full circle in that he has become a mentor to less experienced coaches. Through mentorship, he is able to work with other coaches in a manner where he helps them reach personal goals while contemplating leadership and soccer issues in which he must be the “expert.” This deep thought he puts himself through allows personal development for Miguel while assisting less experienced coaches. It is a win/win for all involved.
Miguel has asked me to share some of his coaching tips with the Educated Coaches community. These tips are specific to soccer but many of them could transfer to another sport or leadership environment. This will be a weekly feature and I hope you look forward to taking part in this process as Miguel continues to develop into a “master” coach. Coach Miguel’s tips follow:
At Storm Soccer Academy we work on player development as our highest priority. At the youngest age groups, that means that all players need to get adequate time on the field. Depending on the number of players on the team and the format played (6v6, 8v8, or 11v11) the coach should have a a substitution plan in place prior to the game. It is always a difficult task to substitute players evenly without disrupting the flow of the game and to give your team the best chance to be competitive but that is the task we attempt to accomplish within every game.
Successfully accomplishing positive substitution patterns within a game where all participants maximize their time on the field and have the opportunity to win the game can be accomplished in the following manner:
- All players should play at minimum one half of a game. Some may play more based on the level of the game and your need to be competitive but every player must play at least half of each game.
- Substitutes should start in the second half as a confidence booster for them. This will have a positive long term effect.
- Substituting players 1/3 of the way through the half will allow you to get all players adequate time. Subbing players again at the 2/3 mark for different players on the field will allow you to get the players back in the game who came out.
- Based on your experience level, it is highly recommended that you create your line-up and substitution pattern in a notebook that you have with you at the game. This will help you deal with irregularities like injuries that are bound to happen that you did not plan for. The more prepared you are the more you can adjust on the fly.
Thanks for sharing Coach Miguel and we look forward to hearing more tips from you in the future!