Mitch Doherty, Director of Coaching, BU10 Red & BU11 Coach

Mitch Doherty

Massachusetts Youth Soccer Boys Competitive Coach of the year 2013

Career Summary:

A lifelong dedication to sport, spearheaded by an intense passion for football (soccer) I have been fortunate to have travelled extensively throughout Europe and Oceania, which has allowed me the opportunity to learn from different cultures and approaches to the game of football. I have always maintained a keen and enthusiastic involvement in football, driven by a desire to improve and develop facets of the game, through administration, collective process, coaching, workshops, and the harnessing of resources.

Highlights of my coaching career to date, include coaching Australian, state and district representative teams, I was appointed manager (and assistant coach) of the Australian BU14’s national representative team for the 2006 Asian National youth festival in Kuala Lumpur. From 2000 to 2005 I was appointed and held the position of director of coaching for the Kings Academy, Perth WA, who were the official West Australian youth development partners of Manchester United FC.

I established a very good working relationship with the State governing body of Western Australia, Football West and since moving to the USA I have worked for the State governing body in Oregon (OYSA) and the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association (MYSA).

Qualified as an FFA coach instructor, I also hold FFA Youth, Senior and State coaching licences, Asian (FFA) “B” licence, I have qualified as an SAQ™ coach and hold a Coerver coaching licence.

I am looking forward to working closely with the girl’s team and my main focus will be on individual player development.

Positions Held:

Director of Coaching Strikers United, Acton and Boxborough, MA USA
Director of Coaching – Acton Boxborough Youth Soccer, Acton, MA USA
Director of Coaching – Roseburg Soccer Association, Roseburg, OR USA
Director of Coaching Kings Academy, Perth, Western Australia (Official development partner of Manchester United FC)
Western Australia State U14’s assistant coach
Western Australia State U15’s assistant coach
Australian BU14 National team manager and assistant coach

Credentials:

FFA “B” Licence / AFC “B” Licence
FFA State licence
FFA Senior Licence
FFFA Youth Licence
FFA National coach instructor
FA Prelim
Coerver coaching certificate
SAQ™ P-Licence

Coaching Philosophy:

Explaining ones philosophies can sometimes be tricky, even treacherous ground, if it is not done in a clear and concise manner. My underlying principles and philosophies remain constant for all players in this game and have been fine tuned over a number of years and through experience. Like most coaches starting out, I began my career in coaching with only one attitude – build a team to win games – but over time and though a learning process, that outlook changed.

First let me make clear, I have an in-built fiercely competitive nature and attitude towards most sports, but especially soccer. My background and formative years were spent in Manchester (UK), where soccer is a way of life from an early age. Competition, be it for a place on the team or between local clubs (youth, amateur or professional), is tough - the will to succeed, be first and win is endemic and tangible at every level. Therefore the atmosphere and attitudes in sport that I grew up in could be highly charged, often emotional and incredibly competitive. However experience has taught me that this can, when taken out of context, be detrimental to the development of players.

Therefore this type of competitive mentality MUST be put into perspective.

Working on the TECHNICAL aspects of the game of soccer – from a young age is, I believe, the best method for which to develop players. My aim is to implement programs for Strikers United players which will facilitate the advancement of these skills in an optimum learning environment.

When it comes to youth soccer the most important factor for children is they must have fun, they must enjoy what they are doing, and they must focus on TECHNICAL training rather than TACTICAL training. The will to win should not overshadow the first and foremost responsibility of each coach – that is to develop each player on an individual level.

Players need to master ball control, first touch and then the techniques needed to be able to execute strategic plays in matches. These techniques include, passing, heading, tackling, dribbling, running with a ball and finishing. Without basic technique it is very difficult to execute any kind of play!

Once the technical is mastered, coaches and players can then start working on understanding the tactical aspects of the game, such as roles and responsibilities of the different positions, combination plays etc.

At the highest level all of these techniques have to be learned with and without pressure and at speed, so players can replicate match conditions in training. This is where a structured and professional program becomes vital to success, training has to be intense, interesting, challenging, address both strengths and weaknesses of players and be relevant.

The aim of Strikers United is to deliver all of this to our players, expose them to a professional environment and constantly asses, evaluate and improve the individual skills.