Ranting Soccer Dad, Ep. 8: Kris Ward

Kris Ward is young, but he has a lot of coaching experience at every level imaginable, starting with rec teams in his teens, then high schools, youth clubs, a small college and ODP. He worked with the Washington Freedom before they relocated to become magicJack, then coached in D.C. United’s academy program and was one of the first assistant coaches with the NWSL’s Washington Spirit. He managed the rec operations of D.C. Stoddert, a large club in the nation’s capital, before moving to California, where he coaches both in high school and youth club soccer.

We covered a few issues in youth soccer at all levels, and then I turned it over to Kris for an extended meditation on the state of women’s soccer ...

4:00 Do the U.S. Soccer mandates apply to rec soccer? Should they?

6:00 How to coach that first rec practice.

8:30 How French coaches set up practice differently. Could a Development Academy coach use the French method?

17:20 What a “curriculum” really means. Is it dictating what you do from week to week?

20:45 The high school-vs.-Development Academy schism (Ward’s resources at his high school compares very favorably with any academy program).

33:05 How do you do “periodization” when you can’t even control what “your” kids are doing in PE class, let alone another sport?

39:15 “Pep Guardiola doesn’t believe in weightlifting.”

40:30 The state of U.S. women’s soccer

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