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PGS Way; Training Character

Our philosophy is “People, then Players”, but how do you put that into a soccer practice?

In every practice we have standards to develop Hard-working, Respectful, Disciplined, Independent, Humble, Confident and Innovative Leaders incorporated into intense, professional training sessions. If you discover it, you will own it. PGS coaches use guided questions and individual projects to have players discover all these concepts in their soccer interactions and in so doing, own these qualities for themselves.

Hard-working- We use interval and competition training to maximize work-rate for short periods to develop an intense play-style. Even the simplest warm-up is turned into a competitive game to maximize intensity to reinforce the standard of work rate.

Respectful- Every individual shake hands with each other player and coach before and after every practice, game and/or meeting. The utmost respect for officials and opposing teams are strictly enforced every game. After each game players walk as a team across the field to applaud for their families for coming out to support them. The concept that playing at this level is a privilege, not a right is paramount for individuals developing respect.

Disciplined- Every meeting attendance and promptness is strictly monitored to ensure players are developing to hold to their agreement to be where they said they will be, when they said they will be there. Players set their own disciplinary action for anyone who is late or missing for themselves at the beginning of the season, so they take ownership of the team, becoming self-disciplined. Every bag is placed in a uniformed line before any game or practice can start. Lastly each player has a role on the team either off or on the field that they have to be responsible for, also established before the season.

Independent- Coaches send out projects for players to work on their own on each week. They have independent roles on the team they must fulfill on a weekly basis that they chose before the season.

Humble- Players are reminded how privileged they are to be where they are and able to play soccer without worry. We do this through community service and outreach programs set up partially by players themselves. Additionally, players celebrate each goal together because it takes an entire team to score, not one person. In the same way players must take ownership of what they did to contribute to a goal being scored against us. Not only is this the way to truly developing by learning from your mistakes but also to develop by taking responsibility for your mistakes as you will in daily life.

Confident- Coaches encourage players to try and fail until they succeed. This process of experimentation where they are allowed, encouraged to try things especially if it means they will fail gives players freedom to express themselves on the field. Instead of scolding a player for trying a move and losing the ball PGS coaches use individual reference (part of the coaching toolkit) to talk to them about how they can improve next time. This means like they did on the field, off the field the young men and women understand how to pick themselves up from a set-back, learn from it and improve next time. This is self-confidence, knowing you can succeed if you put your mind to it learned through sport.

Innovative- PGS coaches routinely send players out into a training game with a goal in mind and 2-3 simple rules they must follow. The rest is up to them to figure out as they play. For example;

“Score more than the other team (The Goal). Only one player can shoot at a time and it must be behind this line (Simple Rules).”

Now players are left with how to best solve the problem. Should some players chase balls and give them to the best shooter? Should they take turns shooting? Should you defend the other teams shots? These are all questions left up to the players who are under pressure in a mental, technical and tactical overload. This means, just like in a game, players will have to think on their feet, communicate with teammates, solve problems and make decisions on their own. This is a skill ever person can use in daily life that is directly transferable from training.

Leaders- PGS give players as young as six the role of captain each week. What does a captain do? Gets handed pinnies and a team during scrimmages and is told “Sets up your team in _ formation” or given lease to make their own formation. During the break between each interval they’re given 30 seconds to a minute to speak to their teammates about what they are doing well and what they need to improve on as a team for the next period. Captains are expected to make sure things are cleaned after practice and that each player is doing their share. Additionally, players are split into groups and told to problem solve making communication paramount and forcing individuals rise to leadership roles. Players have individual roles as a member of the team, whether its leading the warm-up, making sure the field is clean after use or making sure the water jug is filled. Each has to take ownership and lead in their own right at some point each session. Coaches speak through captains during practice, guiding them how to lead. How many times have people spoken about developing leadership? PGS has steps in place to accomplish this each and every meeting.

Goal-Setting- We do this with a series of culture-building standards on each team for each season Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. At each meeting the young women and men on each team are asked to evaluate their previous goals then set new ones for each season. They are asked to set goals for themselves off and on the field as well as for their team off and on the field. Common standards the players set are GPA standards for the team as a whole, Community service and team outings. Imagine, young men and women holding themselves and each other to their own standards.

We employ varied training structures including individual technical development sessions, play-practice-play, small-sided tournament style and four-stage practices that keep players excited and engaged with each session. This style stimulates developing minds.

Lastly Premier German Soccer develops lasting skills by using fun, challenging games. Fun is a focal point in player development that is so often overlooked. PGS understands that if players are having fun they will try harder, retain more information, push themselves to greater heights and practice more on their own.

We employ varied training structures including individual technical development sessions, play-practice-play, small-sided tournament style and four-stage practices that keep players excited and engaged with each session. This style stimulates developing minds

Lastly Premier German Soccer develops lasting skills by using fun, challenging games. Fun is a focal point in player development that is so often overlooked. PGS understands that if players are having fun they will try harder, retain more information, push themselves to greater heights and practice more on their own.

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