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Soccer Resume
Darren Bird
Playing experience
School soccer in Derby, England. Amateur soccer in Derby and Dorset, England and Chattanooga, TN
Coaching experience
Recreational soccer coach, Rochester, NY YMCA (1998)
Recreational soccer coach, Pittsford Mustangs Soccer Club, Pittsford, NY (1999)
Select soccer coach, Pittsford Mustangs Soccer Club, Pittsford, NY
o Pittsford Blazers Boys U9 (2000 - 2001)
Won Rochester District Youth Soccer League Division 3 (12-0 record)
Recreational soccer coach, Signal Mountain Recreational Soccer League (2001-2002)
Select soccer coach, Signal Mountain Soccer Club, Signal Mountain, TN
o Signal Mountain Storm Boys 93 (2002 - 2004)
o Signal Mountain Storm Girls 96 (2004 - Date)
Our tournament successes, including U13 Division III state champions in 2009, are shown on
our team website page
Coaching qualifications
USSF ‘E’ License (April 2001)
USSF National ‘D’ License (July 2006)
Growing up in England
I played soccer and rugby during my high school years in England. My love of watching and playing soccer has made
me passionate about coaching kids age-appropriately so they develop a wide range of skills to enjoy playing this great
game.
I grew up in the city of Derby, England and am a lifelong Derby County supporter. My grandfather played soccer at a
high level and introduced me to the game. He and I regularly went to soccer games together and he taught me a lot
about the game. During my time living in England (until 1996) I visited 30+ different professional soccer grounds with
my grandfather and friends to watch Derby County play, so you could describe me as a serious soccer (or the ‘real’
football) fan!
Coaching philosophy
As a soccer coach I am always looking for new ways to more effectively teach all aspects of this great game.
Over 8 years of coaching select soccer I have found the following to be particularly valuable and effective for
coaching youth players:
o Weil Coerver foot-skills and Horst Wein concepts for mini-soccer.
o The Dutch system of coaching, particularly the extensive use of different 4v4 games.
o Peter Schreiner’s concepts for teaching creative dribbling.
o Street soccer for the 21
st
century – a small-sided games coaching model by Larry Paul.
o The FA Soccer Stars Challenge to measure technical progress of players.
I believe that at young ages the main focus should be on developing foot-skills and good fundamental technique,
while having fun. Every practice should include some fun, competitive games where the kids learn good soccer
technique and develop good habits while simply playing games.
Composure on the ball and good first touch are important characteristics of talented soccer players which take
time and patience to cultivate. Players have to be able to learn to play the game under pressure, but if players are
put under too much pressure from an early age they do not develop good technique and never realize their full
potential as soccer players.
I believe that player development is much more important than winning at young ages. However, I do believe it is
important for a team to find the right level to play in order for a good team spirit to develop by players believing
their team can be competitive in every game. It is usually more fun to win than lose, but playing a close game and
losing where every player played well and gained valuable playing experience should be celebrated more than
winning a game big against a team of a lower competitive level.
I try to stay humble as a coach because the players are more important than me. I aim to maintain an atmosphere
where the kids are relaxed to play and do not fear the consequences of making mistakes. Everyone makes
mistakes and I emphasize that all you can do is learn from them and aim to get a little better every time you
practice or play a game.
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