The Flashcards serve three purposes:
- They remind me, as the coach, of the three to five things I want to emphasize each week.
- Kids readily, easily, and eagerly buy into the method of using three letters (ABM, ABT, UBG, etc.) to learn and to receive continuous coaching.
- Parents can use the flashcards to emphasize what's important to the team.
Kids have no trouble remembering all of the acronyms. You can send out a link to the Flashcards page and ask parents to quiz their kids. This does help. However, your explanation and repetition is paramount to using the flashcards successfully.
I would consider breaking the season into thirds, and then emphasizing a third of the cards at the start of the season, a third during the middle, and a third at the end of the season. As the season progresses, keep going over the cards that you have already coached around.
At water breaks during practices, you can quiz and/or deliver almost every flash card, with extra emphasis and commentary, in ten minutes. It also helps to emphasize five or six cards before the start of every game.
You can organize a drill around a single flashcard. For example, DTC (Defeat The Cross) involves setting up two defenders against two or three attackers, and then coaching the importance of exclusively defending either the left or right side of the field (in front of the net). The only way to defend against a team that knows how to cross the ball (which is the secret to winning) is to repeatedly coach your defenders to cover the attacker on his or her side of the field. Kids naturally want to chase the ball, so coaching them how to defeat the cross is one of the most important defensive strategies you can teach.
The flashcards on this site were created for nine-year-olds. However, I have found that most of the cards can be used with older kids. In fact, the older kids that missed out on some of this instruction were happy that I used the cards to get the entire team onto the same page. However, you will need to prune out any language that sounds like it was meant for little kids.