How can North American Players become World Class? Case Study – Christian Pulisic

North America’s first young player to have the potential to be among the best in the world was recently profiled on 60 minutes. Christian Pulisic has benefited from training and playing outside the mainstream system in North America. 

We have three 1v1 Soccer FC graduates now training at professional academies in the Unite Kingdom, Spain and Italy   

Since I began 1v1 Soccer FC in 2000, I have identified three main obstacles that are preventing young North American players from becoming world class! Canada and the US (combined population 355 million) have not produced a world class outfield player capable of playing at the highest levels of the game.

The three main obstacles are: 

1) Quality of coaching – in Spain there is 1 UEFA A or B licensed coach for every 27 players, in North America there are 865 players for every A or B licensed coach

2) Technical ability – this is the most limiting factor on what level a player ends up playing at. That is why at 1v1 Soccer we spend the most time on this! As Arsene Wenger famously said “If you have no technical skill by 14 you can forget it, you will never be a football player”

3) Training mentality – young players in academies in Europe are training 12-15 hours/week after age 12! Our players are typically training 5-8 hours/week and many do not continually develop their skills during the main part of the season. They mistakenly believe that playing games = development!

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We have a proven four step process for young players in North America so that they can successfully compete with young players in Europe and challenge for opportunities there:

1)   Supplement your team training so you can get closer to 10-12 hours /week

2)  Select a highly-qualified performance coach to work with and/or take advantage of attending training opportunities with academy coaches from professional teams

3)  Continue to work on your skills and earn an opportunity to train in Europe at some of the top academy programs so that you can get a complete understanding of the standards, the methodology to develop professional players, improve your game understanding and an opportunity to test yourself against academy players

4)  Commit yourself to continuous improvement so that you earn opportunities for extended stays at a professional European club with game playing opportunities. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the full extent of your abilities in front on academy coaches at professional clubs.

1v1 Soccer FC is now able to individually place our young players within academy programs in Europe for extended stays (2 weeks+). Players will be individually placed based upon their performance levels and will be fully immersed in the academy program of the professional clubs. Players wishing to take advantage of these opportunities will sign up for our Masters Program and train directly with myself.  MY COACHING PHILOSOPHY .

I will be training the players and monitoring the performance data of all the players. This information will be shared with the professional clubs.
Interested players can apply to join our 2017/2018 Masters Program

We will Measurably Improve the Performance Levels of 100 players in next 3 months

This week I spoke about the 3 obstacles preventing young North American players from being world class! See link

During the next 3 months we are aiming to work with 100 young players to achieve the following milestones in their soccer development

·        Get selected by English Professional club Wolves at a June Player ID Camp to travel overseas next spring

·        Earn selection by 1v1 Soccer to travel to Spanish Professional club RCD Espanyol in October

·        Get selected to attend Clarkson High School beginning in the fall and receive an additional 10 hours training/month on a sports/education model that is based on the FC Barcelona academy

·        Earn selection by our new partners Sports Recruiting USA to pursue US Scholarship and professional playing opportunities in Europe

All 100 of these players will be placed on Individual Development Plans (IDP’s) as deployed by top professional academy programs in Europe and will be tested regularly to measure performance progress       

Contact us today if you are dedicated and committed about achieving measurable soccer goals in the next 3 months – Spaces are limited and we have only 30 positions available

Free Consultation – Successfully overcome the 3 obstacles that all players in North America must overcome to be world class

Our High Intensity Technical Training Services are now more Flexible and Affordable for Ambitious and Committed players Looking to pursue European and US Scholarship Opportunities

Since I began 1v1 Soccer FC in 2000, I have discovered three main obstacles that are preventing young North American players from becoming world class!

Canada and the US (combined population 355 million) have not produced a world class outfield player capable of playing at the highest levels of the game.

There are three main obstacles preventing this:

1) Quality of coaching – in Spain there is 1 UEFA A or B licensed coach for every 27 players, in North America there are 865 players for every A or B licensed coach

2) Technical ability – this is the most limiting factor on what level a player ends up playing at. That is why at 1v1 Soccer we spend the most time on this! As Arsene Wenger famously said “If you have no technical skill by 14 you can forget it, you will never be a football player”

3) Training mentality – young players in academies in Europe are training 12-15 hours/week after age 12! Our players are typically training 5-8 hours/week and many do not continually develop their skills during the main part of the season. They mistakenly believe that playing games = development!

1v1 Soccer FC is an individual player soccer training and pathways company – we improve the performance levels of individual players and provide them with opportunities to play at higher levels.

During the last few weeks we have began to significantly reduce pricing and provide more flexible training schedules so more players can take advantage of our training services

Contact us today for a FREE consultation by UEFA A licensed coach Ian McClurg – click here

1v1 Soccer FC Partner with World’s Number One U.S. Soccer Placement Consultants, Sports Recruiting USA

We are pleased to announced our exciting new partnership with Sports Recruiting USA that will help current and future 1v1 Soccer FC players to be given unrivalled assistance in being recruited by College Soccer programs.

Sports Recruiting USA have helped 100’s of players over the years to take the next step into college soccer (and beyond) and are working with our organization exclusively in Canada to give the platform our players need to be seen by U.S. College Soccer programs.

For the past few months we have been in talks with the company about bringing their expertise and technology to our players to help give real pathways to the players who want it. So they will be offering their SRUSA Premier service at a discounted price to all our players, and they will identify the top players through that to join their SRUSA Elite service (where they individually market the players).

1v1 Soccer FC Founder, Ian McClurg commented;

 “We are delighted to be partnering with Sports Recruiting USA and improving the higher level pathways available to Canadian players. We have been evaluating several opportunities within this area for several months. However, the focus and commitment of Sports Recruiting USA towards not only providing pathways but improving performance levels in order to take full advantage of these opportunities fits perfectly with our vision and passion for continuous performance improvement with all our players ”  

SRUSA’s Head of Operations, Chris Cousins commented;

“It has been great getting to know the program in Canada that Ian and his staff run, over the past few months. We are really excited to offer our services to all players wanting to play college soccer at the club, and with what we are offering, it will really make this a unique organization in Canada, if not the whole of North America.’

We look forward to seeing 1v1 Soccer FC players continuing their careers in college, and hopefully many pushing onto the professional game after that, through the opportunities that SRUSA and 1v1 Soccer FC provide.

 

Train and Play in Europe at Professional Academies – A Proven 4 Step Process

Since I launched 1v1 Soccer FC in 2000 our vision has remained the same – to provide players in Canada with training experiences comparable to leading soccer nations.

Our players have attracted the interest of Sevilla (Spain), FC Porto (Portugal), Wolves (England), Crewe Alexandra (England) and Chievo Verona (Italy). Over 500+ players have gone through the process of attending our international player ID camps, travelling to train at professional academies overseas and attending formal trials.

Matt Roberts has subsequently went on to sign for the Swansea City Academy.

1v1 Soccer FC will be hosting a Player ID camp with academy coaches from English Premiership team West Ham United on April 28-30thLearn More

Young players in Canada face challenges that they must overcome in order to compete with their counter-parts at academies in Europe:

1)      Training Hours – After U12, the top academies in England  have 12-15 hours/week contact time with players. Young players in North America typically have between 4.5-8hours/week

 2)      Quality of Coaching – in Spain there is 1 UEFA A or B licensed coach per every 27 youth players. In North America, we have 1 A or B licensed coach per every 800 + youth player

 3)      Game Understanding – as our players do not live in a ”soccer obsessed” culture, and see fewer professional games live they need to travel to Europe (or South America) in order to gain a greater understanding of the game at the highest levels

 4)      Technical skills – Our players continue to play too many games which negatively impacts the time that is being spent on developing technical skills. As Arsene Wenger famously said – a player’s level of technical skill will determine what level a young player ultimately plays at.

 1v1 Soccer FC will be launching an academy program in Clarkson High School in the fall – this will provide Elite players (Boys & Girls) with an additional 10 hours training/week –  Learn More


  We have a proven four step process for young players in North America so that they can successfully compete with young players in Europe and challenge for opportunities there:

 1)      Supplement your team training so you can get closer to 10-12 hours /week

2)      Select a highly-qualified performance coach to work with and/or take advantage of attending training opportunities with academy coaches from professional teams

 3)      Continue to work on your skills and earn an opportunity to train in Europe at some of the top academy programs so that you can get a complete understanding of the standards, the methodology to develop professional players, improve your game understanding and an opportunity to test yourself against academy players

 4)      Commit yourself to continuous improvement so that you earn opportunities for extended stays at a professional European club with game playing opportunities. This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the full extent of your abilities in front on academy coaches at professional clubs.     

 We have been taking players to European Academy Programs for several years – read our training observations

FC Porto

Chievo Verona

Wolves

 Sevilla

At 1v1 Soccer FC we are happy to assist you as you move successfully through this four step process.

Please feel free to contact me directly at ian@1v1soccer.ca to let me know your unique training requirements and to learn about some areas that we can provide assistance in. You ca learn more about my coaching philosophy and methodology at www.ianmcclurg.com

 

FC Porto Academy Trip Observations

1v1 Soccer Players Training at the FC Porto youth academy

On March 9th eight players from the 1v1 Soccer FC Masters program learn more travelled to Portugal to train at the FC Porto youth academy. The objective of the trip was to provide our young players with the opportunity to train at one of Europe’s top youth academies.

In a series of articles, I will be highlighting my coaching observations from our visit to the FC Porto academy.

By travelling to Europe, or young players are immersed in the culture of a leading football (soccer) nation. They are able to train with some of Europe’s top coaches, assess their own abilities by training alongside European academy players and receive feedback on performance improvements.

Free Report on how to Maximize your Soccer potential

FC Porto’s playing philosophy is highlighted by retaining possession through playing the ball on the ground and using rapid sequences of short passes to create goal scoring opportunities. The club have dedicated staff at the academy to specifically focus on technical development and out players benefited from daily morning sessions that were focused on individual player technical development. In the evenings the players joined in FC Porto academy players in a series of small-sided game activities, designed to improve decision-making and game understanding.

 

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Our players were praised for their dedication to improving and their physical attributes. The areas to improve upon are consistent with feedback we have received from other European academies. North American players need to improve their technical ability. They also need to understand the game better and not always be impatient to play forward all the time.

At Porto the youth players are comfortable to play the ball back, retain possession and wait for key moments to split the opposition and break lines into midfield and the forwards using quick passing sequences.

FC Porto – Club Background

FC Porto was founded on 28 September 1893. It is one of the top three clubs in Portugal – alongside Lisbon-based rivals Benfica and Sporting CP. They are nicknamed Dragões (Dragons), for the mythical creature atop the club’s crest, and Azuis e brancos (Blue-and-whites), for the shirt colours. Since 2003, Porto have played their home matches at the Estádio do Dragão, which replaced the previous 52-year-old ground, the Estádio das Antas.

Contact us for other European Academy Training Experiences

Porto is the second most successful Portuguese team, with a total of 74 official trophies. This includes 27 league titles and they are the only team in Portuguese league history to have won two titles without losing a game – the 2010–11 and 2012–13 seasons.

At the international level, Porto have won seven trophies – the European Cup/UEFA Champions League in 1987 and 2004, the UEFA Cup/Europa League in 2003 and 2011, the UEFA Super Cup in 1987, and the Intercontinental Cup in 1987 and 2004. FC Porto is the only Portuguese club to have won the UEFA Cup/Europa League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Intercontinental Cup, and to have achieved a continental treble of domestic league, domestic cup and European titles (2002–03 and 2010–11). Together with Barcelona and Real Madrid, Porto have the most appearances in the UEFA Champions League group stage (21).

FC Porto Youth Academy

FC Porto is recognized for having one of the top youth academies in Europe. The club has invested in renovating their former stadium, the Campo da Constituição, into a brand new training centre dedicated to their youth academy. The stadium, which served as home to FC Porto from 1913 to 1952 was converted in 2008 to a training complex – named the “Vitalis Park”. This youth centre serves as anchor for the club’s project “Dragon Force”, a youth development project based on football schools and trials for children aged from 4 to 14 years old. It is designed to help produce players for the first team, by exposing young players to the club identity, developing the players playing ability and developing life skills.

Improve your technical ability in our flexible training classes this summer

The ultra-modern Vitalis Park consequently also comprises a synthetic turf 11-a-side pitch and a covered synthetic 7-a-side pitch, both of FIFA 2 star rank for football turf fields. This provides their young players with a playing surface that offers safe and predictable conditions for player development. This helps optimize the players’ tactical and technical skills development, so that they can come up with better solutions to every game-related situation. It also helps facilitate more complete and creative players, who are trained to produce a very technical style of football.

Work with your own performance coach

 

Performance Improvement Tip #35: What players aged 9-12 should focus on – a 4 corner model

ages-9-12In the future, the best players will be those who can excel in a fast-paced environment. There will be even greater demands on technique, tactical understanding and physical conditioning.  Players today are faster and cover greater distances than previous generations. Passing combinations are faster and there is an increased importance on controlling possession. More goals are scored through quick counter-attacking play and decision-making is of critical importance.

I am often asked what young players, aged 9-12 should focus on. The effect of role-models is very important at this stage of development. Young players should seek out role models and identify players and teams to follow. Young players should also begin to transition from being self-centered to being self-critical.  This is the “golden age of learning” and the most important age for skill development. This is also an important time to start to understand basic principles of play.

Technique:
It is important to establish a good strong solid base. Young players should continually work on their dribbling ability, passing and receiving and how to successfully execute individual skills under the pressure of time, space, and an opponent.
• Dribbling: Take risks! Develop your moves to beat an opponent
• Improve your ability to keep possession. Work on shielding, spin turns and changes of speed and direction to get away from opponents
• Receiving: Work on the ability to receive and have a quality 1st touch – when receiving on the ground and in the air. Receiving using all surfaces should be developed
• Shooting: Proper striking technique from different angles should be worked on and taking shots on the volley and half-volley with both feet
• Passing: Proper technique – Laces, Inside, Outside, Short and Long; Crossing
• Heading: Jumping to head
• Tackling: Proper technique, in balance, no fear.

Tactics:
Team tactics do not take priority at this age. Focus should be on knowing how to maintain balance in the team (between attacking and defending) and playing skilful soccer.
Players should be open to playing a variety of positions to develop awareness and begin to understand basic principles of play such as:
• Retaining possession
• Taking players on 1v1 in proper areas of the field
• Off the ball movement to support teammates in possession and execute combination play
• Communication with teammates
• Apply proper defensive pressure from front/behind and be able to press and channel opponents

Physical:
All fitness work should be done with the ball with an emphasis on developing :
• Flexibility
• Agility – with and without the ball
• Speed – teaching proper running technique
• Strength
• Endurance
• Balance

Psychological:
Enjoy the game and foster a desire to play. Focus in on the following areas:
• Encourage decision making
• Imagination / Creativity
• Discipline
• Good academic study habits

1v1 Soccer FC Launches New U16-U20 Program

Ian McClurg Interview

I am delighted to announce the launch of our NEW U16-U20 team program for the 2015-2016 season. It has long been a goal of mine to provide an intensive training and competitive games program for this age-group to prepare these players for higher levels of play. I will be Head Coach for this new team.
Trials will be held on Monday September 28th, Tuesday September 29th and Thursday October 1st at City View Park in Burlington (5:30-7:00pm)  Register Here

Our NEW program is committed to providing players with the technical, tactical, physical and mental training necessary to take their game to the next level. In order to successfully compete with players from other soccer countries for professional playing opportunities in Europe and North America and scholarship opportunities in the US, young Canadian players must participate in an intensive training environment that can provide the following:

  • Technical Development to improve comfort and proficiency on the ball
  • Tactical knowledge and understanding
  • Soccer specific physical training
  • Mental preparation to improve discipline and commitment

THE CRUCIAL TRAINING PHASE – Training to Compete

This training program will train players to compete. The greatest challenge for Boys aged 16 and above is to make a successful transition from the youth game to men’s soccer. The adult game is faster, more physical and there are more tactical challenges. Some players are ready to manage the transition early, while others may require more preparation and time to successfully complete this transition. For players looking to pursue professional playing opportunities and/or US Scholarships at top programs it is important that they begin to participate in an intensive training program that facilitates this transition as soon as possible.

1v1 Soccer FC will be structuring our program to optimise fitness preparation, individual and position-specific skills as well as performance. More advanced tactical elements of the game will be introduced. During this phase, high intensity individual, and position-specific training will be provided to players. Soccer specific skills will be performed under a variety of competitive conditions during training.

Development pathways 2015

 

Player Development Scorecard for North American Players

How can young North American players successfully compete internationally?

During the last few weeks I have been travelling across Canada conducting player identification camps for Wolves FC. This is my 3rd year of coaching and observing and in that time I have coached and observed over 600 players across the United States and Canada. In addition, I have coached at the Wolves National Camp in Rome, Georgia and travelled to Wolves on five occasions to observe academy training, watch academy games and work with the Wolves academy staff to continue my own education as a coach.

Coaching in GeorgiaI launched 1v1 Soccer FC back in 2000 with an aim to provide young players in Canada with training experiences comparable to leading soccer nations. During that time we have produced young players that have been invited for trial at Sevilla FC (Spain), spent extended stays at the Wolves FC academy in England, and gone on to play for Toronto FC academy, Canadian national teams and the Ontario provincial programs. Several players have also successfully pursued scholarship opportunities at US colleges.

My coaching work has always been focused on how young players in Canada can reach international standards and successfully compete at that level. I quickly identified that technique was one area that the typical North American players have struggled in comparison with their international counterparts. It is for that reason that our programs have always had a strong technical focus.

Coaching contact time in Europe far exceeds North America

Our strong technical focus has allowed our players to succeed in the modern game and train at a good level when mixed in with young academy players in Europe up until the U12 level.

GRAPH TRAINING HRSHowever, the increased coaching contact time in Europe places young North American players at a significant disadvantage. Young players at professional academies in Europe (at U12 levels and above) are now receiving 15-20 hours of quality training by UEFA “A” and “B” licenced coaches.

 

 

coaching ratio

 

 

 

Summary

As a result I am now seeking significant gaps develop between young European and North American players. I have begun to document these based upon my coaching observations and in a series of articles in the coming weeks I will begin to document what young North American players can do to close these gaps.constraints

 

 The Modern Game

The game of soccer continues to evolve. In order to provide successful direction on technical planning it is important to identify and recognize trends within the game. This defines the attributes that players must have in the future to be successful.

The game is much quicker and the technical, physical, tactical and mental demands now being placed upon players is much higher than they were in the past. For example, at the top levels of the game, players now cover 50% more distances during games than they did in the mid-1960.

Technically, the players of the future will be required to be able to pass with both feet accurately over a variety of distances. First touch control will be a key requirement for players to thrive in tighter and more congested playing areas. In order to retain possession and then beak down more organized defences, players will have to execute technical skills with greater speed and precision. Those players who are capable of eliminating an opponent through individual play or through combining with teammates will be the most successful in the modern game.

The Attributes Required to be a successful player in the modern game

Technical

  • Ball Mastery Capable of close control with quick feet to make quick changes in direction. They must learn creative 1v1moves to eliminate defenders from the game
  • Passing and Receiving – capable of playing quick one and two touch passing on the ground with both feet. Can receive on the turn with the aim of playing forward when possible
  • Turning – Capable of shielding and executing sharp turns and accelerating away from defenders into open space
  • Shooting – Capable of shooting accurately and consistently from different angles and distances

Tactical  

  • Ball Possession & Movement – Ability to retain possession playing one or two touch passing. The ball should be moved quickly and players should immediately make movements to support or receive after playing a pass
  • Transition – Players must be capable of transitioning quickly between attacking and defending situations
  • Build up play from back – in order to establish an attacking rhythm in games, players must be capable of successfully playing the ball out from the back and into the midfield areas

Physical 

  • Speed & Agility – Players must have good agility, balance and co-ordination control and look to maximize their acceleration and deceleration speeds in small-space situations
  • Endurance – Players must be capable of maintaining high levels of performances over the distance requirements of their age-group. This can be developed more at the older age-groups.
  • Strength & Power – These attributes become more important once young players reach puberty. They help prevent injuries and allow players t be more competitive during game situations.

Psychological 

  • Respect for the game – players should respect at all times their coaches, teammates, referees and opponents.
  • Cooperation – players should fully participate, as part of the team, to help make the soccer experiences of the entire group a positive one
  • Commitment to Learning – players  should demonstrate at all times a “deep thirst for learning” in order to maximize their potential

my observations

 

 

 

 

 The Way Forward for the Young North American Player

The key to modern youth player development is to engage the player and facilitate their learning within a positive environment that will ignite a life-long passion for the sport.

The fundamental requirement for successful player development is a LONG-TERM curriculum that places young players at the centre of the learning process.  True player development occurs when each player’s daily training and playing environment is of the highest quality. If this environment is consistent, with a clear vision of what lies ahead for the players, development is maximized

As we are living within a country where soccer is still considered a “new sport” for many the role of the youth coach takes on greater importance.

In a series of articles in the coming weeks, 1v1 Soccer FC will provide training content from our proven training methodology (www.playthe1v1way.com) that can help assist young North American players to close the player development gap between themselves and their counter-parts in leading soccer nations.

How to provide your Children with the best Opportunities for Soccer Advancement

During the last few weeks I have been involved in comprehensive discussions with Global Image Sports and Wolves on how young players in Canada, like ours can successfully compete with the development programs in leading soccer nations.

The challenges we face is that our men’s team is ranked 109th in the world and our women’s team is ranked 8th. Belgium with a population of 11 million is ranked 2nd on the men’s side while other small nations in the top 30 include Costa Rica, Wales and Scotland. My own country Northern Ireland, with a population of only 1.8 million is ranked 44 in the world. As it is my home country I will mention that it is the smallest country to ever progress beyond the group stages of the World Cup! We have accomplished this on every time we have qualified – 1958, 1982 and 1986!

Development pathways 2015On the women’s side we are ranked 8th in the world. However, after watching this world cup it is clear that other less known nations in the women’s game, like Holland and China, are much better technically than our players. As other nations invest in quality coaching development in the next few years, we will fall further behind.

The reason that we are falling further behind in Canada on the national stage is due to a lack of qualified coaches and development structure. This is why our young players will struggle to compete against players from other countries for opportunities in the professional game and at US colleges.

If you are a player at Wolves academy at the moment you will receive 8 hours/week contact time with your coaches up until age 10. After age 10 you will receive 12-16 hours/week.

I started 1v1 Soccer so that young players in Canada could receive the same learning experiences as other young players in leading soccer nations. That is why we have worked with Wolves and Global Image sports and will be strongly building upon this partnership in years to come.

Player ID camps like the Wolves Player ID camp that we are hosting on July 3-5th is designed to provide all our players with access to 6 hours of coaching by European coaches to improve them as a player.

Yes, some players may get selected yes….but EVERY player will leave there a better player who can compete more successfully against teammates to earn more playing time, be better equipped to succeed in SAAC games and be better prepared to take full advantage of any soccer opportunities that may come their way in the years to come.

Again, I would strongly encourage ALL players in our academy to take full advantage of this opportunity.

Learn more about this opportunity  or call us at 289-239-9602 or email academy@1v1soccer.ca