Educate Yourself…………

Articles, training sessions and video links now available at the coaching education website.

As an effort to reach out to more coaches, parents and players South Texas Youth Soccer Directors of Coaching will be posting articles, training sessions and videos in an effort to educate our members.

Numerous videos can be found at including the ODP Region III boys camp as well as the Positive Parenting video series. 

Don't be a ''Joystick "Coach
By Alex Kos

 I first heard the term "Joystick Coaching" a few years back. What a wonderfully descriptive term. As with video games, joystick coaches want to dictate and control the movement of all players on the field. Hence the term "joystick."

However, there is very little joy to be had by players when they are coached in this manner. 

 Joystick coaching has reached epidemic proportions (and parents are just as guilty). Why is this happening? 

ACL Injuries
American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)


APTA Releases Injury Prevention Tips in Observance of National Physical Therapy Month

ALEXANDRIA, VA, September 25, 2008 — The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is urging female athletes — particularly soccer players — to consider a new warm-up program to help lower their growing risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. The announcement comes as APTA celebrates National Physical Therapy Month this October, an annual observance designed to educate the public about the important role physical therapists and physical therapist assistants play in the health care system.

Concurring with a new study published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (August 2008), APTA says specialized stretching, strengthening, agility and jumping exercises could lower the overall ACL injury rate among female athletes.

The study evaluated outcomes of NCAA Division 1 female soccer players who performed the Prevent Injury, Enhance Performance (PEP) program, designed by physical therapists at Santa Monica (CA) Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group. Those who performed the PEP program had an overall ACL injury rate 41 percent lower than a group of female athletes who did their regular warm-up. This was one of the largest studies conducted in the NCAA with 1,435 athletes participating.

The PEP program, one example of the many physical therapy-based programs that have demonstrated an equal ability to reduce ACL injuries among female athletes, consists of sport-specific agility exercises and addresses potential deficits in the strength and neuromuscular coordination of the stabilizing muscles around the knee joint. Physical therapist and APTA spokesperson Holly Silvers, MPT, who helped develop PEP, says, "The program was created to address the deficits that are seen in female athletes, particularly weakness in the lateral hip muscles, gluteal, and core muscles." These deficits can contribute to ACL injuries, notes Silvers.

According to physical therapist and APTA spokesperson Mark Paterno, PT, MS, MBA, SCS, ATC, coordinator of orthopedic and sports physical therapy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, recent research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that ACL tears occur four times more frequently in females than in males involved in the same amount of sports participation. He says the difference in neuromuscular control, or the way our muscles contract and react, is one of four primary factors contributing to why women are more susceptible to knee injuries than men. Other discrepancies are anatomical (men and women are structurally differently), hormonal (women's hormonal makeup affects the integrity of the ligament, making it more lax), and bio-mechanical (the positions our knees get in during athletic activities).

Sample exercises athletes can perform to avoid ACL injuries can be found on the APTA Web site,

"Women perform athletic tasks in a more upright position, putting added stress on parts of the knee such as the ACL, resulting in less controlled rotation of the joint," said Paterno. "While men use their hamstring muscles more often, women rely more on their quadriceps, which puts the knee at constant risk. To combat these natural tendencies, physical therapists may develop a treatment program to improve strength, flexibility, and coordination, as well as to counteract incorrect existing patterns of movement that may be damaging to joints," he added.

Silvers notes that physical therapist-designed programs can teach athletes how to avoid abnormal movement patterns and lessen stress on the knee, which may include exercises to strengthen hamstring and core muscles.

"Whether patients are athletes or not, physical therapist expertise includes not only rehabilitation and restoration of normal levels of function, but also education regarding how to prevent further injury," says Silvers.

This year's National Physical Therapy Month theme is "Physical Therapy: It's All About Movement." APTA members nationwide are participating in observances and events that focus on the importance of movement - ranging from its effect on improving health and well-being to reducing pain and preventing injuries. For more information on National Physical Therapy Month, visit

APTA ( is a national organization representing physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students nationwide. Its goal is to foster advancements in physical therapist education, practice, and research. Consumers can visit to find a physical therapist in their area, as well as for physical therapy news and information.


[Last updated: 09/25/08 | Contact:]


US Youth Soccer Launches TOP Soccer Coaching Course

FRISCO, TEXAS (April 24, 2008) - US Youth Soccer recently launched the US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program of Soccer) Coaching Course at the US Youth Soccer Region IV Symposium in an effort to better equip TOPSoccer coaches. Sam Snow, Senior Assistant Technical Director for US Youth Soccer, will introduce the TOPSoccer Coaching Course at the upcoming US Youth Soccer Region II Symposium August 1-2.
The TOPSoccer Coaching Course addresses the essential elements in working with players which includes managing the playing environment, qualities of good coaching, prevention and care of injuries, risk management, the TOPSoccer Buddy and several additional topics.  The four and a half hour long course also includes a field presentation, which provides candidates with practical training activities for ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome.
TOPSoccer was formed to perpetuate the US Youth Soccer mission statement which is, in part, "to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition." There are thousands of children with disabilities who can be provided with the opportunity to play soccer through TOPSoccer.
The TOPSoccer Coaching Course CD will be distributed to all 55 US Youth Soccer state associations to inform, train and teach TOPSoccer coaches and administrators within their respective associations.
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with disabilities, organized by youth soccer association volunteers. The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any boy or girl, who has a mental or physical disability. Our goal is to enable the thousands of young athletes with disabilities to become valued and successful members of the US Youth Soccer family. How do I participate? Contact your local US Youth Soccer State Association office to find out more about getting involved with a local US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer program. You can find State Association by clicking here. Or, simply contact your respective US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Committee member by using the e-mail addresses listed below.
For more information on the TOPSoccer program, go to
Articles of Interest

As I run across articles that offer new insights, strategies,or training sessions that would help our coaches improve their coaching skills we will post those articles.  I encourage you to check back frequenty.