Style of Play: The Rush Way to Play is based upon movement and activity by both player and ball. Possession-oriented does not fully describe how we play; attack-oriented does. Whether in possession or in defense, we are attacking. Rush Players play with freedom yet understand the importance of responsibility and the balance between the two. Rush teams are flexible and adapt to varying circumstances. The Rush Way to Play represents both passion and purpose. Stating this style of play is very important as it affects our coaching curriculum at all ages.
Formation: The categories of this age group play full sided 11v11 with Rush Soccer's default 1-3-5-2 formation, but players and coaches are encouraged to train others as well, in order to develop their versatility, capable of adapting to different systems.
6-3-1: The 6-3-1 philosophy is in place to ensure that all teams are progressing and improving consistently, as well as experiencing the emotions of winning and losing through manipulating six wins, three losses and one tie throughout the year. If a team is winning all the time, they are encouraged to schedule a scrimmage against tougher competition to be sure they are being pushed. Likewise, if a team is in a losing slump, then a scrimmage is encouraged against an opposition that they should beat, to regain a positive attitude, develop a goal scoring mentality and create confidence in defense.
70 Games: Rush believes that the cliché “the game is the best teacher” is a creed to live by. Playing 70 Games a year is our aim. This is a rigorous schedule; therefore, the calendar must be strategically thought out by the coaching staff.
An intensity calendar has been devised to select peak times throughout the year. This calendar gives our athletes and teams time to recover and regenerate and other times to intensify training for an upcoming important event.
Core Values: There are 11 players on the field and so Rush Soccer has 11 core values as well. Highlight them all at this stage.
Playing Time: Playing time for any individual is completely at the coach’s discretion. Rush encourages that playing time at all levels should be equal throughout the season. At the younger developmental ages, players should be exposed to as much of the game as possible. Limiting team roster size will aid in increased playing time for all players.
Substitutions: When possible and regardless of the state of the game, all players should exchange courtesy with their replacement. This will promote team spirit and give confidence to the players entering the field.
Pre-game / Warm Up Routines: For this age group, the Rush Way suggests pre game routines that include a global body warm up, followed by an activity to review a concept fresh on the player's minds. Leaving at the end a few minutes for the players to warm up freely is also advisable. Keep the entire warm up period between 15 and 30 minutes.
During the Match: Games are a great coaching opportunity, but always respect the 4:1 coaching approach, and make most of your comments when off the ball and preferably in natural stoppages.
Half Time: Rush encourages players to analyze problems and discuss solutions on their own before coach intervention. Players should be given a couple of minutes away from the coaching staff to voice opinions and discuss solutions. The coach should then bring their views and knowledge to the group. The Rush Way expects our comments to apply the 4:1 positive to instructional coaching method.
Post Game: Once again, the Rush Way expects our comments to apply the 4:1 comments. Take the opportunity to promote core values like Humility & Respect when winning, and Tenacity & Unity when losing. Keep it brief and don't go on profound game analysis. Let both the players and yourself cool down and take some time to analyze the match objectively.
Greeting: Players are expected to greet the staff with a handshake for all local, national and international staff. The Rush staff across the country expect their players to shake their coaches hand each time they meet. Why?...respect, build social skills, break down barriers, learn culturally accepted behavior, the list goes on.
Practice and Game Attendance: Is optional for all levels of player within the Rush Organization. Playing other sports and multiple sports at the same time is the choice of the family and zero repercussions will be administered the coaching staff. Players who wish to become better and succeed within the game will attend all practices and games with the attitude of wanting to leave a better player. This is a reflection of our core value Accountability. The Rush Tutor Program promotes and encourages players who wish to push themselves the opportunity to practice with any other team within the club on any given day.
Acknowledgement: When a coach addresses a player during training or competition, it is important the player acknowledges. Communication is two-way.
Player First, Team Second: Similar to the European youth club structure, Rush encourages the player to be first before his or her individual team. For example, we encourage:
- The player to play with the adult team before his own team’s game.
- The player to train with older, experienced teams in place of his own teams.
- The player to guest play with an older team in place of their own game.
This enables players to be comfortable playing on teams that are in line with their ability regardless of age but based on performance in training and game days. Players are encouraged to train with higher level teams to accelerate their development.
Team Photos: The Rush has a certain style of their pictures, learn it and apply it. Take a photo of your rotating starting 11, and a whole team picture to promote Unity.
R.E.A.C.H.: All players should be aware of the R.E.A.C.H., Rush Equipment Assisting Children program and understand the importance of social responsibility. In a nutshell, this program provides the opportunity for our players to turn in their old uniform in order to donate to our less fortunate Rush clubs and players around the globe.
Coaches' Sideline Behavior: From the outside, the conduct of the coach on the sideline can be perceived as a reflection of the conduct of all coaches within Rush Soccer. Coaches are a reflection of their players and should conduct themselves with respect for the officials, the opponents and the game of soccer. Remain positive when at all possible but motivational throughout. Education and being a first class role model are the paramount reasons that a coach has been given the honor to coach for Rush. It is always important to remember this.
Parents' Sideline Behavior: Rush parents are expected to be positive, motivational and supportive to all players and officials. Learning the Rush chants is encouraged. Parents are expected not to coach from the sidelines but enjoy the experience of the game.
Players' Sideline Behavior: Players are encouraged to support other Rush teams and give their full-hearted support. Learn the Rush song; be as loud but respectful as possible and help educate the rest of the country in the way soccer should be supported, as it is in the rest of the world.
Risk Management: Accepting a coaching position means accepting responsibilities. Exercise reasonable care, have a first aid kit, take a CPR course, as well as make sure every player departs with their parents or designated individuals, never leave a player alone after practice, among others.
OBJECTIVE: Sustain A Balance Between Technical & Tactical Development While Leading The Players Towards The Specialization Stages
Age Group Coaching Approach & Psycho-Social Considerations: We'll repeat this same statement for all age groups: When you coach a team or a player, the most important thing is always to understand who you are coaching.
By this stage, we encounter players that have full capacity of understanding abstractions and hypothesis. Their span of attention is longer and starts to resemble the adults one. This is the main reason why the presence of more advanced tactical concepts is encouraged now, to a point in which it balances the technical loads.
Coaches should still keep a close eye at the biological ages of the players, as they might still find some big differences in development. Make sure you don't judge your players' abilities by confusing skill with physique. This is the most common coaching mistake at this stage: to associate the effectiveness of an action to a skill rather than a temporary physical advantage that will not be sustained in time. Make sure you support your players that are developing later from a biological standpoint, as well as create the right environment to challenge those that have developed early, so that they find themselves in need of developing skills rather than rely on a constant usage of their physical advantages.
Remember that is frequent to find players that have grown a lot in a short period of time. This growth is not always organized, what might result not only in the new adolescent suffering from physical pain and a declining coordination (they seem to be "clumsy"), but this also might generate a lot of stress on the player that's encountering a new, different body, as well as experiencing multiple hormonal changes.
It is important to pay attention to them and support them through these changes. It is frequent to observe mood changes. These players enter into their adolescence, that is a complicated stage characterized by insecurities, sensitivity, a constant search and discovery of one's personality and in which our teammates and coaches have a strong influence on us. This highlights the importance of coaching 4:1.
From a Physical standpoint, it is important to add many components of Agility, Flexibility, Mobility, Balance, and Coordination to our sessions, as this will help "reorganize" the body of the athlete after the pubertal stage.
Warm ups, as they grow, become more important from a biological standpoint. It is adequate now that players perform global warm up routines before going on a second stage in which they perform an activity that intends to review a concept trained during the week. This is also an ideal stage for the player to start adopting the habit of warming up by himself/herself.
Another important thing to consider by this stage is that now players can already perform long aerobic and lactic anaerobic training with effective results, what was discouraged for pre-pubertal groups, as it was explained on the previous age groups, in which the increase of these valencies was mainly a result of metabolic development. Maximal strength is still discouraged, mostly for it's irrelevance, contrary to explosive strength and aerobic power.
As always, try to be as soccer specific as possible when you train these valencies.
From a Technical standpoint, all the technical gestures can be trained.
From a Tactical standpoint, the players should already be effective in groups of threes and fours, performing soccer concepts associated to lines (defenders, midfielders, and forwards), so as to focus on multi-lines (or small sided groups) concepts now. For example, playing out of the back would be a training topic that implies the coordination and collaboration of more than one line, not necessarily involving the 11 side players at this stage.
Recommended activities: Build the game for your players, if the foundation of previous stages has been solid and effective, in groups of 4v4, 5v4, 5v5, 6v5, 6v6, 7v6, 7v7 with 9v9 or full sided scrimmages 11v11.
Preferred Training Methodologies: Analytical to Global, as well as OLI (Orientation, Learning, Implementation) are good methodologies to be applied at this stage. For the first method, we recommend to focus on the global stages, only using short analytical activities and preferably at the beginning of the session.
A. Ball Control: Expectations
Juggling & Tricks: At the conclusion of the U15 season, players should be able to perform all U6-U15 juggling expectations. Refer to previous curriculum for details on U6-U13.
Feet 500 Times: Juggle the ball with your feet 500 times in a row.
Thighs 300 Times: Juggle the ball with your thighs 300 times in a row.
Head 200 Times: Juggle the ball with your head 200 times in a row.
Around-the-World x5: Right foot, right thigh, head, left thigh, left foot. Continue for times in a row. Repeat going the opposite way.
Catch and Hold: Catch the ball with instep after several juggles and hold for 10 seconds. Complete with both feet.
5 Heels: Juggle the ball 5 times in a row with your heel.
10 Small Juggles L & R: 10 small juggles with the right foot. Repeat with the left foot.
Pick-Up Scoop-Knee: Roll ball back with sole, lift ball up with foot, quickly hit ball back down with knee and juggle off bounce.
Pick-Up Kick Start: Pinch ball between feet, roll ball up with right foot and quickly hit ball towards ground with heel, juggle off the bounce.
Slalom: Juggle around 4 cones and shoot off the volley. Ball does not touch the ground.
360°: Juggle the ball in a full circle in 7 touches. Once complete, turn the other way.
Ultimate Around-the- World: Right foot, right thigh, right shoulder, head, left shoulder, left thigh, left foot. Repeat the opposite way.
Spinning Ball: Put inside spin on ball with feet for 5 touches in a row, repeat with other foot. Put outside spin on ball with feet for 5 touches in a row, repeat with other foot.
No Spin Juggling: Juggle with both feet without any spin on the ball.
Around-the-Foot: While juggling with feet, move foot around the ball while ball is in the air and continue to juggle.
20 Yards in Air Foot – Thigh – Head: Punt ball 20 yards in air, then foot, then thigh, then head, repeat.
25 Small Juggles L & R: 25 small juggles with the right foot. Repeat with the left foot.
Juggle on the Run: Juggle with your feet only for 60 yards with out dropping.
Heads on the Run: Juggle with your Head only for 60 yards with out dropping.
Thighs on the Run: Juggle with your thighs only for 60 yards with out dropping.
Footwork: At the conclusion of the U14 season, players should be able to perform all U6-U14 footwork exercises with relative ease. Refer to previous curriculum for younger age groups expectations.
Sole Only: Using only sole of feet dribble the ball around, i.e. Pirouette, Roll, Drag, Top touches, etc.
Change Directions: Change directions using different moves, i.e. sole cut, outside of foot, etc.
Change Speeds: Slow, Slow, Fast.
Double Touch: Touch ball to opposite foot 90 degrees then explode forward.
Shoulder Dip, Shoulder Fake: Step hard with right foot passed the ball and dip shoulder at the same time and dribble the other way.
Fake Pass: Fake a pass then sweep the ball with the inside of the foot across your body.
Scoop: As the defender sticks their leg in, flick the ball over.
Flip-Flop: Push the ball with the outside of the foot then in one fluid motion bring to the inside of the foot.
Jump Cruyff, Ronaldo: Similar to the Cruyff, but in one motion, cut the ball behind. This move is done without breaking your running stride.
Roll, Step Over: Roll the ball to the inside foot then step immediately step over with other foot. Explode into with the ball into space.
B. Dribbling: Expectations
Shielding: The players should be able to perform the technique under pressure. The decision to “hold the ball” or get it off of your foot is made correctly.
Avoiding: The players should be able to avoid oncoming defenders with relative ease. The decision to turn away from pressure is executed cleanly.
Carrying: The players should be able to carry the ball with efficiency at 100% speed. The decision to penetrate via passing, shooting or carrying the ball is made correctly. Player can carry every other step and release a shot or pass in the same manner.
Attacking: The players are very effective on taking players 1v1. The dribbler is confident when the decision is made to go 1v1. The attacker is explosive, deceptive and dynamic. Makes the right decision. Execution of getting by the defender is not always successful, but the choice and intent must be considered. Not all players will be good at 1v1 Attacking.
C. Finishing: Expectations
Instep: The players can drive a ball with accuracy and power. Their shot has minimal backspin and has a true flight. For example, they should be able to hit a 2yd area from 18 yds. 4 out of 5 times.
Side Foot:The players instinctively use the side foot on close range finishing. Their shot from close in hits a moving ground ball and air ball 3 out of 5 times within a 2 yd. area.
Volley: The players hit a volley with accuracy and power. Their form is good and can hit a ball crossed from the flank with relative ease. For example, they should be able to hit the goal from 10 yds. 2 out of 5 times.
Toe Poke: The player can hit a toe poke with relative ease. Accuracy for example a player should be able hit a one yard area 4 out of 5 times from the post after dribbling through three cones at full speed.
Full Volley: A player should be able to hit the goal 3 out 5 times after juggling 5 times with the last juggle above his or her head. The ball should go in a designated half of the goal and enter the goal before it hits the ground.
Half Volley: A player should be able to hit the goal 3 out 5 times after juggling 5 times with the last juggle above his or her head. The ball should go in a designated half of the goal and enter the goal before it hits the ground.
Bent Ball: The should be able to bend a dead ball with in one yard of the post 3 out of 5 times from 20 yards away from goal.
Side Volley:A player should be able to hit a designated half of the goal out of the air from a cross 12-18 yards out. The player should be able to do this 3 out of 5 times.
Side Bike: Player can hit a side bike 2 out of 5 times from a cross in the goal from 10-18 yards out.
Bicycle: Player can hit a bicycle off of a cross 2 out of 5 times on goal from cross 12 yards out.
Knuckle: The player should be able to execute a knuckle ball 3 out of 5 times in a selected half of the goal. The ball should be dead and placed 18-20 yards away from the goal.
Three Toed:The player should be able to hit the far post off a moving ball from an angle from a wall pass. This should be done 4 out of 5 times.
Over Spin: The player can hit the ball with over spin from a dead ball 3 out of 5 times. The accuracy is not as important as the power and the dip on the ball. The shot is from 20 yards out and is just on frame.
D. Passing: Expectations
Side Foot: Toe is up, ankle is locked, and the rest of the body is relaxed. Accuracy of pass is nearly perfect. Considerations are made during the game on weight, deception, distance of pass, pressure from opponent, area of field, etc., for completion of passes. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 out 5 passes during competition should be completed passes.
Chip: Player can hit a target within five yards 50 yards away 4 out of five times. The ball has clean backspin and floats to its target.
Instep: Player can drive a ball with in five yards 50 yards away 4 out of five times. The ball is struck with a lot of power. The ball still has a little back spin.
Volley: Player can pass a ball out of the air with accuracy both with the instep and the side foot for example 10 yards away the player should be able to hit a person throwing the ball 4 out of 5 times with out hitting the ground.
Toe Poke: A player should be able to toe poke the ball with accuracy 5 out of 5 times after the first touch to a partner 15 yards away.
Full Volley: Player can pass a ball out of the air with accuracy both with the instep and the side foot for example 10 yards away the player should be able to hit a person throwing the ball 4 out of 5 times with out hitting the ground.
Half Volley: Player can pass a ball out of the air with accuracy both with the instep and the side foot for example 10 yards away the player should be able to hit a person throwing the ball 4 out of 5 times with out hitting the ground.
Bent Ball: The player can bend the ball to a partner 35 yards away in a 3 yard area 3 out of 5 times.
Side Volley: Player can pass a ball out of the air with accuracy both with the instep and the side foot for example 10 yards away the player should be able to hit a person throwing the ball 4 out of 5 times with out hitting the ground.
Three Toed: Player can drive a ball over 40-60 yards low on the ground with accuracy for example the ball should be able to hit a target 40-60 yards away within 5 yds, 4-5 times.
E. Receiving: Expectations
Players’ first touch is exceptional. Player can take any ball out of the air with ease and minimal effort. The ball is within playing distance of a yard after the first touch from a 30 yard ball. All body parts are efficient and fluid during the control: chest, thigh, all surfaces of the foot, and even the head are used. Players should be able to understand and execute how to receive a ball: away from pressure, 90*, outside of the foot, inside of the foot, while running or penetrating, while turning and while shielding.
F. Challenging: Expectations
Player can block tackle, poke tackle, slide tackle, sweep tackle, two footed tackle and recovery tackle. The right tackle is picked and at the right time. Tackling is done for a purpose and not done just to tackle. All challenges are powerful and explosive. The player has no fear. Able to understand and execute a challenge in the air.
G. Heading: Expectations
Player is able to head off of punts and goal kicks with relative ease from the opposition as well as teammates set pieces. Player not only wins the ball, but keeps possession by playing the ball to a team-mate.
Defending heading is clean and efficient. Player knows to clear the ball high and wide.
Player can take off with both feet and constantly jumps off the appropriate foot on redirecting the ball.
Player can judge the area in where the player can meet it at its highest point early to win the space.
H. Attacking: Expectations
Backs: Backs can create the “Half Moon” out of back. They know when to pull and give depth. Defenders join in the attack 4-8 times per game.
Central Midfielders: They alternate pushing forward. They are good passers, can tackle, head and shoot long range.
Outside Midfielders know when to check away and check back. They consistently collect the ball with the appropriate foot. They will periodically make runs to the opposite midfielder to create a 2v1 (2-3 times per game). Runs in the box off of flank play. OM should know three basic runs: when to check, clear space, and create 2v1 with other OM.
Forwards: Theoretically know the “curling run”, the “bent run” and the “flat run”. Forwards should create “I” formation. Forwards should be introduced to the three basic runs 1) hook 2) curl 3) flat. Forward should know when to show and when to pull away (checking). Forward should consciously place himself in strategic starting position while on defense not involved defensive shell.
Individual Tactics: Player knows when to go 1v1 and when to pass. He/she is proficient on the execution of the skills.
Small Group Tactics: Players should know small group tactics and when and where to apply them such as overlap, wall pass, double pass, take-over, turning skills, supporting and movement off the ball, creation of space and react to rebounds. All of these small group tactics are executed properly. Player knows all of the terms and the appropriate timing of each.
Large Group Tactics:The player fits in with the team concepts. Able to understand and perform in all basic formations.
Attacking Set Pieces (ASP): All set pieces from the flank are in-swingers; touch-stop-shot, benders. Corners are in-swingers; 6 inside the 6; players know the difference between a direct and indirect. They have been shown a proper penalty kick.
Principles of Attacking: Players know how to create space, move and support, penetrate, improvise, time runs, deliver the ball, and finish.
General: Players should face field. Introduced to 4-4-2. Players should know 3 positions fairly well. Can switch point of attack efficiently. Effective play in attacking 1/3. Team knows how to adjust play when a goal down. Transition from Defense to Offense is understood. Team and players can play from the mid third to the attacking third in a variety of ways. Team can play form back third to mid third fairly easily.
I. Defending: Expectations
Backs: Backs are strong, confident and solid. They know when to track and when to pass on.
Central Midfielders: They alternate holding the “pocket”. They use best judgment not to cross over each other.
Outside Midfielders: They work hard to track and pick the right times not to track. They pinch in on the weak side to create balance.
Forwards: Forwards start the first line of defense. They can channel the opposition the attack at the coach’s request. They transition from offense to defense immediately. They know when to stop chasing at the appropriate times.
Individual Tactics: Pressure; or first defender, on ball is immediate and under control pushing the play one way. They are tenacious and patient. Support or cover; angles and distances, maintaining the direction of pressure, inviting the pass and intercepting. Balance; staying involved, occupying the proper area with the correct angles and distances.
Small Group Tactics: The line of defense is understood and executed upon request. Back line pulls when opposition is going backwards, when there is pressure on the ball and when the ball is cleared. Players understand the back line of defense and keep the entire team compact. The team understands condensing the field versus a trap.
Large Group Tactics: Team knows how to hold a lead. The team adjusts to gamesmanship by slowing pace of the game down. The team executes very well pressing while in opponents defensive 1/3. Team knows to press when opposition is facing away; opponents throw in or sensing a weakness.
Defensive Set Pieces (DSP): The wall for set pieces is properly built in numbers and positioning depending on the area of the field were the free kick will be taken, as well as the foot profile of the shooter. The team understands the Rush Way of defending a corner kick.
Principles of Defending: Players perfectly understand pressure, cover, and balance.
General: Transition from offense to defense is understood. Player generally can play one touch on the transition when necessary. He/she thinks about offence while playing defense.
Stamina is excellent. Athlete can run 6-8 miles continuously; athlete can run a 12:00 minute two mile run. Running posture is natural and fluid. Athlete is agile.
Power/Explosiveness: Players are very powerful and explosive.
Speed Pure Speed: Athlete can run at a minimum of 5.0 a 40 yd dash.
Flexibility: Players are flexible and know how to stretch.
Nutrition: Players have a basic understanding of nutrition and the importance of nutrition. The athlete also applies it to his lifestyle. Athletes understand the importance of hydration and apply this after competition.
Resilience: Players get minimally affected by adverse situations and recover quickly. They adapt to obstacles that come across their path.
Goals: The player has established goals on an individual development plan.
Sociological: The player has a healthy approach to the game. He/she is competitive, but enjoys the game. He/she is intense, but smiles. He/she plays to win but honors sportsmanship above all else. Player has been introduced to Rush Core Values.
Players acknowledge when a coach has addressed them. The players have had a lecture on the Characteristics of Rush Players.
Passion: The player must possess a passion for the game. He/she attends training, shows up early and stays late. This player utilizes the tutor program. The player has a deep desire to grow in the game. Dedication, desire and drive are consistent terms used for this type of player
Sportsmanship: This player is a great sport both during winning and losing. This athlete leaves the game behind when it is over, makes no excuses for performance, and does not complain about the outcome.
Fear: The player is consistent in play. He/she is not bothered by a big game. Day in and day out the player performs relatively the same.
Tenacious: This player is tough mentally and physically. The attitude is selfless and intense.
General Game Knowledge and Rush Philosophies
- Attentive while being addressed. Quiet at half time. Listens and applies requests during the event.
- The player knows Rush Soccer's Mission Statement;
- Captains understand their roles and are an example for their teammates.
- Participation: Athletes are not required to attend any training sessions. They attend because they want to.
- The team is on track with the 6-3-1 found in the Rush Way Philosophy.
- Player has had a Player Evaluation completed and on file.
- Equipment: Athletes take complete care of there equipment. Training gear is established and consistently worn. Players wear shin guards unless it is a “no guard day”.