Our Soccer Training Philosophy
Footwork Labs focuses on three things:
Technique - This is the foundation. A player cannot express their mental interpretation of the game without the toolkit.
Insight - A player’s mental understanding of the appropriate application of the toolkit to solve problems.
Speed of Action - This can only come about through play or experimentation. That is what play really is, time for the kids to learn through trial and error.
Why Those Three Things?
At Footwork Labs, we don’t believe in prescribing the next move for kids in any given situation. Does this sound familiar? “Send it!” “Over the top!” “Get it forward!” “Play faster!” “Pass it to Billy!” “Don’t pass it back!” “Don’t pass across your goal!” Many times, we have overheard these phrases at games being yelled by coaches and parents. In coaching, we call this “joystick” coaching because it removes from the player their chance to think for themselves on the pitch. To analyze the situation for themselves. This happens many times in school as well where children often are taught to simply regurgitate information given to them instead of how to think critically and interpret the information for themselves. Simply put, this is not how soccer is played at the highest levels. So why should it be taught this way to your child? Footwork Labs’ passion for the game and our desire to make a difference in the lives of young soccer enthusiasts DEMANDS that we find a better way! Hence, Footwork Labs believes in what we call “Solution Driven Soccer”
Footwork Labs seeks to provide the most comprehensive and complete soccer training possible to the youth soccer player. We seek to maximize technical ball skill through purposeful training based on objective criteria and to create game-like decision making situations for the player in order to develop dynamic, confident, skilled, and creative players who are prepared mentally, physically, and tactically for the adult game for the purpose of reaching their full potential and internal goals.
We at Footwork Labs soccer training seek to constantly innovate and be different than the current US training models that exist today (Club model). We strive to be at the forefront of dynamic youth soccer training incorporating mental coaching (through proven sports psychology), physical training, nutritional education, and sports education (learning from those who have succeeded in sports). Bottom line, we seek to revolutionize the game in the United States by producing superior players to any other program. We seek to bring proven youth development methods (from the world’s best professional youth academies) to the United States and to tailor them to the culture here so that we can change youth soccer for the better.
Solution Driven Soccer
In the same way that the Jazz player spends countless hours learning music theory, only to forget that theory in the moment of expression, we want our players to have mastery of all techniques coupled with insight and speed of action (notice the last two have to do with the brain and not the feet) in order to be lucid problem solvers on the pitch. We want our players to play with freedom of expression so that they may find joy in the game even when they face adversity. This is the essence of our trademarked term “Solution Driven Soccer.”
We don’t want to tell our players what to do. It is not that we don’t like a long ball to a striker, or that we only want players to possess the ball or never clear a ball out of the box. What we want to do is give your child the tools by which they can decide when any of those possible solutions are appropriate and then decide for themselves how and when to apply that solution for the best outcome of the team. Questions such as “When do I make a run and where?” or “When should I try to go 1 v 1?” or “Where and when should I pass the ball?” are questions your child will face constantly and consistently in a game. Our job then is to equip your child with the ability to solve those problems on his/her own.
This is why the environment we provide is so critical. We teach technique in every session, but what makes us different is in the way we build game like scenarios in which your child can experiment with the timing and technique so that he/she solves problems in real-time in their own unique way.