Effort Alone… Especially when coaching soccer!

Effort alone, especially when coaching soccer, might get you in trouble and you don’t even know it.

Effort alone is a bad bad thing.  But it’s especially bad when you’re talking about coaching soccer, or any sport for that matter.  Think about it for a minute.  You are responsible to take a bunch of kids and turn them into Winners.  Ahhh… yikes!!!

Effort alone won’t work!  It’s like having a shovel and saying that you’re gonna go dig up some gold.  You can put in all the effort you want and dig till you’re blue in the face, but it’s not going to get you the results you want without first having the knowledge of WHERE to dig.  It’s extremely important to add the knowledge that is required to succeed.  Take that shovel and some good knowledge – and yes! – you might get to gold.

Coaching is the same way.  It requires digging (haha! and by that I mean effort!)!  AND it requires knowledge.  You can yell all day till you’re blue in the face, and yep – you’ll probably just end up being blue in the face and without the result you want.  And you might just end up with whiners instead of winners.

Effort alone simply doesn’t work.  But add knowledge and skills to your effort and boom! – you’ll have success!

Take a little time to seek out the knowledge.  Study what other coaches are doing.  See what works for them and steal it.  Stealing ideas in coaching soccer is completely acceptable.  There is very little you will have to make up.  Take the time to find the best practices and put them to work for you.  

Remember you have a big responsibility with these kids!  Do your best!  It’s your job to turn them into winners!  They are relying on you.  Add  knowledge to your effort.


Leave a comment about your best coaching tip – share the knowledge!

A little bit of Soccer Practice effort…

A little bit of Soccer Practice effort…

A little bit of Soccer Practice effort will go a long way!

It’s a little twist to a common saying – but why not?  Why don’t we stick “soccer pracitce” in there and help us understand that in order to fight against average we must do more than just average.

It’s simple really if you think about it.  And it is universal to everyone involved – from players, to coaches, to parents, refs and more… everyone.  You can really add any words in there to make it work for you.  For our kids and student athletes that means helping them see how this can work for them in sports and also with school.

One of the best things we can teach our kids is to succeed and succeed big.  This means going beyond average.  This means trying and putting in the effort… beyond average.  And it all starts with doing just a little extra each day.

The little bit of soccer practice effort comes before practice.  Get there a little early and do some extra juggling or get a run in ahead of time.  Know that every little bit of extra effort will pay off.  And teach it to your kids, they need to know it!!!

The little bit of soccer practice effort comes during practice.  Players getting in those extra touches on the ball, the extra shots.  Just a little bit extra.  And for you coaches, the little extra effort you put in to build a great practice.  Not just winging it, but a great training session for the kids.  The little extra effort to study and steal (oops I mean borrow, haha!) other people’s great practices.  Make the extra effort and then ask for it from your team.

And, yes of course, the little bit of soccer practice effort comes after practice also.  It might be taking the time for a better cool down and stretch to prevent injury.  It might be pushups and sit-ups before bed.  It might be doing a little research about your position or watching a game.  No matter what it is – it’s the effort that is important.  And that effort will become what propels you to the reward.

In order to go beyond average and win – we’ve gotta get the idea to do more.  And we have to start to believe in and sell the idea that it’s not these big impossible things, but rather just a little bit of extra effort done day in and day out in everything we do.  And all that little bit of effort will go a long way.

Just Announced

Soccer Homework Director Kyle O’Keefe takes the lead role for UPSL men’s semi-pro team Inocents FC.


“BREAKING NEWS! We want to introduce Kyle O’keefe as the new first team head coach. Coach O’keefe has more than 20 years of coaching experience and brings a winning philosophy that the club believes in. Inocentes FC is extremely excited with this hiring and have full confidence that O’keefe is the right man for the job! #NoTeRajes #DaleInocentes”

You’re the Summer Teacher

Summer is here – you need to be teaching.

With summer here and kids on a break from school, it’s your chance to spend a little extra time talking to them about the things that are important to you.

And it’s your chance to discuss some of the extra things that make a difference. Remember that within teams and a classroom, kids are taught to a middle average for the most part. They are rarely taught how to be exceptional – how to go that extra mile – the little things that make a difference.

Now’s your chance to make a big impact and show them how to find that little extra that will set them apart and make them a champion. It’s your chance to teach them success. Model it for them by doing it with them. They will cherish the time y’all spend together.

Big bonus – the Women’s World Cup is in full swing and on to the Round of 16. Great chance to sit down with them and watch some really good soccer!

Soccer Homework Sale

Soccer Homework Sale


Our biggest sale ever is here, just in time to start the New Year.

Take charge this year and Win Big!  You can win your dreams and goals – but you’ve gotta earn them.

This means studying, learning, and working.  Success doesn’t happen on accident.  You must put in the effort!

This is your year to take control, take action, and win!

Training Your Inner Conversation

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies.  A difficulty comes up or life is just being hard, and instantly we begin to run through all the problems in our head.  Our inner conversation explores all our biggest fears and our day is instantly shot.  This may sound extreme and you might be thinking that it’s never that bad for me – but even the little struggles often have a very similar effect on us.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  By training your inner conversation, you can move from being stuck dwelling on the problem to learning to focus on solutions – and this simple trick will transform your day.

Here are some ideas to help in training your inner conversation:

1.  Understand the power of your words.  Words are important!  If you are constantly putting yourself down, you might not stand a chance.  Start by being kind to yourself.  Pay attention to the words you use.  Start with understanding and being very selective in your word choice.

2.  Know what you can and can’t control.  There are some things you can control, and others you can’t.  Make sure you know the difference and be able to evaluate the circumstances.  This might be hard at times, but fight through the blame and try to get the whole picture.

3.  When you’re in a hole – stop digging!  Be realistic with your situation.  Try to identify the root cause of the problem and find ways to stop it.  Many times this requires being really honest with yourself.

4.  Decide your valuable.  It’s easy to put the blame on and feel guilty.  Don’t let this become your opinion of yourself.  Make sure you know that you’re valuable!  People need you and although there might be some problem or struggle now, you can and will get through it.

5.  Adopt solution based thinking.  Every time we make an excuse or blame someone else or even blame ourselves, that means we are still looking at the problem.  Get past the problem and start looking at solutions.  Get your focus off the issue that “was” and move on to the solution that “will be”.  Learn to find solutions instead of problems.

Training your inner conversation can be difficult, but it is possible – and can change your life!  There is this little saying, “What you think about comes about.”  Just think about it for a second.  A cake is the result of the ingredients.  It can only be as good as the recipe and all the stuff that goes into it.  If you put bad things into that cake – you’re gonna have a bad cake.  You are the same way!  If you’re constantly bad to yourself, then you’re gonna have a bad and miserable day.

Focus on training your inner conversation to put good into your day.  Look for solutions instead of problems.  Start to build a habit of seeking solutions with little problems and work your way up to the big ones.  Before long this habit will have you flying through the day, smiling, and crushing life.

Set up your Environment for Success

One of the best things you can do to get started in being successful – or keep you going strong – is to set up your environment in advance. This isn’t hard to do and the payoff is big.

Setting up your environment for success is easy to do and is a powerful step succeeding. Think about it this way. If for example you are wanting to read each night before you go to bed, then you would set up that environment by simply putting your book by your bedside. And you’re done – see how easy that was! Setting up your environment for almost anything else can be just as easy.

To set up your environment for success follow these tips:

1. Decide what you want to be doing. What is it that you are wanting to accomplish?

2. Make a list of what you need – write it down. Bullet point the items, don’t make a paragraph or a story out of it. You will want something easy to look at.

3. Get what you need! Ok so you’ve made the decision – you’ve made the list – now make the effort! Simply follow through on the list and get everything set up.

Remember that this list doesn’t need to be perfect. You can add to it or take stuff off it as you go.

Setting up your environment in advance is extremely powerful. Among the many things that it does for you, is the simple fact that these items become visual reminders of your goals. By having them out they are a reminder for you to do the work. It strips away excuses and helps you to put your best foot forward to take action towards your dreams. The easier you can make getting it done – the better!!!

Having everything ready to go will do wonders to get you started faster and easier. So plan today to set up your environment for success.

4 Tips to Making your Priorities Count

What are your priorities? Do they line up with who you want to be – what you want to do, accomplish, learn, and have? Although this seems like a simple exercise of just writing down our desires, defining your true priorities is not always as simple as it appears. If you want real impact in your life it will be important to make your priorities count.

Priorities are difficult because, just like expectations, they can be discovered in real time.

“Action expresses priorities.” – Gandhi.

The problem with this is when our actions don’t match up with what we have decided are priorities in our life. Say for example, you have decided that your health is a priority – something we all should do – but turn around and eat fast food and junk food multiple times during the week out of convenience. See your actions are showing that convenience is the priority and your health is not. So how do we set priorities and make them count?

Here are 4 tips to defining your priorities and making them count:

1. Make sure you are being honest with yourself. Evaluate your current actions. Look at what you are doing – yes! what you are actually doing and logically define where that will get you. Having a realistic approach to defining your priorities will help give you a starting point and help determine some changes you may need to make.

2. Find your passion. What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? It is so much easier to do what you love. Spend a little time to write down the things you love. These are the things that drive you. They are the things that get you out of the bed in the morning. Make your passions your priorities, you will find that it is very easy to be disciplined in them.

3. Willing to work? Ok let’s play with this one a little… If you want it to work – you’ve got to be willing to work! Do you love it? I hope so! Ok I know it’s a little cheesy, but seriously. If you’re gonna set something as a priority you’ve gotta be willing to earn it. You’ve gotta be willing to trade sweat, time, money, and a whole bunch of other stuff for it.

4. Be disciplined. This is final part of priorities. You’ve gotta stay disciplined. It is the most important part about making your priorities count.

Soccer lessons for life: Expectations

One of my favorite things about soccer is all the lessons you can learn. There are so many great things like team work, goal setting, hard work, etc. that you can take away from the game. These lessons are great life lessons that can help you your entire life.

One sneaky life lesson that we all could use a good refresher on is about Expectations. I think expectations are an important key to success and something that our kids desperately need now more than ever. Expectations are more than just wanting something, wishing, or feeling you “deserve” or are “entitled” to it (which is a very scary and real trend with lots of kids these days). Expectations go further to force you to think.

If I said, “do you want to be a great player?” Or, “do you want to be successful?” It would be easy to hear back a “Yes” response. Saying what you want is easy and a good leading question like that doesn’t require a lot of thinking. But if you follow that with the question, “Do you EXPECT to be successful?” that takes on a whole different thought process. Or at least it should…

This might not seem very clear at first but let me explain. Your expectations to achieve something must mean that you thought through cause and effect. Just think about it for a second. I am not talking about what you want. I am not talking about what you would wish for. I am talking about making this real for the kids by asking powerful questions like – Why?

Please understand exactly what expectations are. The definition of expectation is basically a strong belief that something is going to happen. But this belief must be grounded in reality. Why would you expect to be a great player? Especially if you have done nothing. Expectations are not wishes or fantasy.

They are a real life evaluation of your actions – a projection of simple cause and effect. Expectations should force you to project into the future and determine a result you want, plan a course to get there, and then start immediately today to earn that result.

True expectations can only come from evaluating your actions.

So, based on what you are doing today AND what you did yesterday – what results do you expect for tomorrow?

I believe we need to change the way we think and start making things real for our kids. Stop asking them what they want and start helping them to understand what to expect.