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I played NCAA Division II soccer in California with Humboldt State University until 2001. In midfield, I was their best ball-stealer thanks to my anticipation and speed. In offense, I was their main free-kick shooter thanks to my curve and ball placement. During the offseason, my team won almost every indoor tournament and I was always the top scorer and team captain. But it was in this small public clay soccer field on the Mediterranean, in my Tunisian hometown La Marsa, that I learned the meanings of teamwork and battlefield. When you play 6v6 on clay with foosball-size goals, there are no (bloody) tackles or long crosses or long-range shots, so the focus is on passing and dribbling and placement shots, similar to Brazil or Barcelona's style.
In 2017, when my 10 year old son's Kidsports coach quit, after the team lost all their 8 season games, I decided to take over the team, and the same team won 7 out of 8 games the following season, scoring 45 goals and allowing only 9. Here's a picture of the card signed by the "Seawolves" players at the end of the season. After a congratulatory letter from Roosevelt Middle School's principal (where we practiced), I got a coaching offer from Eugene Timbers, so I left Kidsports and got my USA Soccer Coach license. I've been coaching the Little Timbers (4 to 10 years old) since 2018, and my son now plays for the Eugene Timbers.
Players MUST bring cold water bottles. My lessons are designed to prepare players to join strong teams like the Eugene Timbers, and become leaders of their teams. My 60-min lessons for elementary school players are similar to the Eugene Little Timbers program. For middle school players who played in a soccer team for at least 1 year, I compiled a rigorous and comprehensive 12-lesson plan (90-min sessions) inspired by the Soccer Renegade Training. Every lesson plan has 7 parts full of drills to (1) control the ball, (2) juggle, (3) make a good 1st touch after receiving the ball, (4) pass, (5) dribble, and (6) shoot, before ending with short scrimmages to apply the skills of the day. For fast progress, it's ideal to do lessons more than once/week, and for an optimal learning curve, it's best to repeat these 12 lessons. Players can also choose shorter sessions (30 or 60 min) to focus on particular skills like dribbling or shooting. Check out the detailed lesson plan of the first 2 sessions.
Grass is slippery during winter. Turf is hot during summer. I prefer fields in Eugene that have big soccer goals, and where our session won't get relocated by school events:
* Caesar Chavez elementary school (grass): 15th/Chambers
* Churchill high school (turf): 18th/Bailey Hill
* South Eugene high school (turf): 21st/Patterson
* Roosevelt middle school (grass): 24th/Patterson (picture on the right)
(different lesson plans for elementary school and middle school players)
(when siblings attend the same lesson)
(this group meets from 6/25 to 8/6 at Roosevelt middle school)
(this group meets from 8/8 to 8/22 at Roosevelt middle school)
Cheering together to celebrate the end of a very fun Timbers summer camp for kids 4-10 years old: