RUSH WAY – DEVELOPMENTAL BLUEPRINT – INTRODUCTION
Our Developmental Blueprint is the connection between our game model and our training sessions and offers guidance to our clubs as to how to organize Rush Way Season Plans and what to teach at every developmental stage. Our age group specific guides, later on, deepen on the concepts presented here.
‘Where The Trails Of Passion & Purpose Meet, Begins The Path To Victory’ – Rush Soccer
PLAYER DEVELOPMENT APPROACH – WHAT WE BELIEVE IN
To define with clarity and to provide context to our developmental blueprint, it is important to restate our overarching philosophy to develop soccer players.
At Rush Soccer, we believe that the game is the teacher. It is in the complexity of the game where skills and creativity arise and develop, not in isolated, mechanized situations. These last can introduce a concept or a technique but can never be the core or the proposed channel for learning. It is in the game that the player discovers solutions and creativity arises, and it is the role of the coach to facilitate that environment and guide, when needed, through that discovery. It’s participant centered, not coach centered.
Stating that the game is the teacher is more than a philosophical idea. Our 70 Games Rule is the overarching expression of it. At the youth stages, we want our teams to play 70 11v11 scrimmages a year. Some will be formal and some others as part of a training session, just like some will last longer than others, but they will present the stage for learning to take place. At the grassroots level, the 70 Games Rule is expressed through the constant encouragement and club initiatives to increase the overall weekly playing time of the participant. That doesn’t mean increasing the number of training sessions (team or individual), it means providing opportunities for the players to play more time in direct confrontation.
We believe that players go through two developmental stages that are ‘playing ball’ until the age of 13, in which the game teaches and the coach’s role is to create the environment for learning to take place, and a second stage of ‘playing football’, in which the coach conceptualizes to maximize the players ability. It is in the first stage in which the nature of the game makes the diamond, and it is in the second the stage in which the diamond is polished.
To accomplish this, we believe passion is instrumental, and passion, as said before, can’t be learned but it can be shown, and it’s contagious. This is not a philosophical, romantic approach, but a pragmatic one. It is the passion of the player that drives them to play more, and the more they play, the more they learn, from the game.
OUR GAME MODEL – A COMMON LENS TO ANALYZE THE GAME
Our game model serves as a common lens to analyze and teach the game. We establish a language and a vocabulary across our clubs and teams through it. When we plan our sessions and season plans, we do it based on this adopted lens.
OUR DEVELOPMENTAL BLUEPRINT
It is instrumental to remark that the following charts and pages are merely for guidance. We are not prescriptive and do not believe in one size fits all approaches. Common sense can’t be replaced.
DESIGNING A SEASON PLAN
Having a season plan ensures that we are not reacting and keeps us focused in the process instead of the immediate outcome. Do not organize your weekly/season plan and especially your first weekly session based on your last match. If you want to do context specific training, do it on the last day of the week prior to the next game. You can incorporate flexible spaces in your planning.
Rush Way Specifics:
TRAINING CYCLE EXAMPLE – 2 WEEKS FOR A U15 GROUP
The chart below serves as an example of a training cycle reflecting the principles stated above.
PLANNING IN SMALL SIDED DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES
Our Game Model is adapted to and simplified for pre 11v11 stages. In these stages, the emphasis in transitional moments is minimal and simply reduced to regain (“can we get it back quickly?”) during the defensive transition, and “can we play forward quickly?” during the offensive transition.
TRAINING CYCLE EXAMPLE – 2 WEEKS FOR A U9 GROUP
The chart below presents an example of an adapted training cycle for a U9 group. Please note how three out of four sessions are attacking based, complying with the Rush Way 75%-25% distribution.
THE TRAINING SESSION – HOW WE COACH & THE RUSH BLUE THREAD
As you design and execute your training sessions, always remember How We Coach and The Rush Blue Thread, as it was explained on The Heart Of The Rush and restated below.
Rush Soccer is a club developed and run by coaches. Coaches are the agents of change within our organization and each coach is a reflection of their players, team, and the club overall. Therefore, all coaches should conduct themselves at all times as first class role models. The Rush Coach puts people first, and finds in every opportunity to coach an opportunity to create an environment in which the player learns. Creating these environments and pulling out the passion the players have deep down inside of them is always pursued. This is the heart of a Rush Coach.
Rush Coaches create environments for the players to express themselves. Freedom without fear, yet understanding that with freedom comes responsibility. These environments also nurture discipline, not by a constant imposition of rules but through accountability, one of our core values.
The Rush Coach is active, positive, empathetic, thinks of the club over their own team, has a strong work ethic, and is a reflection of Passion. Our coaching always aims to nurture the player’s game understanding, and our environments create challenges for these players to make decisions based on these principles: The first step is to make decisions, the second is to make correct decisions, the third to make them fast.
Exceptions apart, the following eight principles are reflected in every Rush session. This is the Rush Blue Thread: