Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Coach' started by equus, Apr 19, 2010.
"Play hard. have fun."
A very soccer feel-good weekend for me. Saturday, finished out the regular portion of our winter indoor season, playing up an age group, and won our bracket. Championship game between bracket-winners next Saturday.
Sunday, got to relax on the sideline and watch my daughter guest in a three-game indoor tournament, on a team containing a few players from the top Club in the state, and she played the best she's ever played.
PS - forgot to mention, she had a great first practice Friday night with a new volleyball team, and won a basketball tournament championship game on Saturday as well. All in all, we're still buzzing from the terrific weekend.
It's not the weekend yet and this is more about the staff but it's still funny. Some background first: Our hs teams are short on money and jerseys so between varsity and jv we have a smidgen over 30 jerseys (15 for varsity). We have about 38 girls trying out for the two teams.
Our booster club found a few more unprinted varsity jerseys and are going to pay to get them printed before our first game. Last the girls knew was that we'd be cutting some of them. Today is cut day. They chose to have me read off who made the squad so I'm just going to read all of their names in no particular order and see if they figure out that all of them got called. I'm sure I'll hear about it Monday once they all notice what happened.
We have all different skill levels so practices will be difficult but who am I to turn away someone who wants to have fun and make new friends?
You're going to kill the last 8 of 'em to be read. Once you get halfway through the list they'll start counting to see how many spots are left. You should read some of the better players near the end.
Our HS does not allow this way in announcing players who are cut, nor are we allowed to post cut lists.
First practice for my rec U8s this weekend. Nine of 11 returned. After some dribble, pass, shoot games we went straight to 4v4 SSGs for the rest of the practice to see what I have to work on. First two-goal, then four-goal, then I added the restriction of once you score you can't until all on your team score.
One of my kids, who kind of floated around during games last season, is really soft spoken and didn't engage consistently, out of nowhere moves into space, hold his arms down in front of him and yells, "BALL!" and gets a pass. I was shocked, but ecstatic. After he dribbled a bit it and went out of bounds I made a coaching point about calling for the ball and praised him.
When we played straight up, there was a little bit of swarm ball, but once that restriction was put in, the game changed completely. They tried to pass too much sometimes, but overall they got the idea of helping each other.
The two new kids jumped right in and played well. They both ran off the ball well and made runs to the goal. One has never played but you can tell he has some "soccer IQ." Not real confident on the ball as is expected, but gave him some footskill homework and he was very receptive.
My boys and I organized a little neighborhood pick-up game. We invited kids from their U10 and U12 teams and made sure to mention that younger siblings and friends would also be welcome.
I thought we'd be lucky to get 8v8, we ended up with a quite a few more.
Two best parts to the story:
I love it when kids just play for the sake of playing, It was gratifying to see so many kids come and want to stay all afternoon.
Even better, a lot of little brothers (and a couple older sisters) came to play. The little guys were all ballers, it was fun to tease the older brothers about why their little brothers could do stuff they couldn't do - when of course big brother has been playing with and teaching little brother in the backyard for years. There was one little guy (maybe 6) who was a stud, probably the smallest kid there, but weaving in and out of traffic, stealing it from the older kids and then making perfect passes with the outside of BOTH feet, awesome!
Anyway - a great Saturday afternoon. I kind of wish we could do that every Saturday and forget the organized games.
How do you do it?
They have a rose ceremony.
We have to speak to each player individually or hand out letters stating they made or did not make the team.
I read it in random order between varsity and jv. Sadly, they did count and figured it out quickly. Dirty buggers.
BTW, I completely love this thread. On the bad days dealing with admin or parents, this reminds me why I coach.
I know it isn't exactly the weekend yet but our Saturday game was rescheduled and this story is much better.
A coach from one of the high dollar travel teams contaced me and asked if we wanted to scrmmage with them. We agreed even though we are just a rec team, I thought it may be fun and possibly show mw a few of the girls' weak points which of course we'd work on in practice. Nobody realy expected us to win (I of course had hope and never let any doubt show when the girls were around). I even had a player ask me WHY we were playing against a team like THEM.
The game started just as everyone expected: the travel team pressed up high on offense but my girls defended well and after a few good chances from counter-attacks, the ball tended to stay midfield. Before long my girls were mostly on the offensive and on a good run, the girl who questioned "WHY" managed to get a good looking goal past their keeper.
Thire confidence was no longer a issue. The team played well and every one of the girls managed to do something to impress me.
So, what made this great is three things: the confidence my girls will take away from this will hopefully carry over to future games; ther were a few issues I noticed that I can take care of in practice, nothing major. And most of all, the girls all left smiling brighter than i'd ever seen some of them smile. They all had a blast.
Touch of the bitters?
Great story. Both coaches probably came away with what they needed to motivate their players.
maybe just a touch?
BUT, if it weren't for them turning her down I never would have started coaching. So, win win.
Funny...best story of my weekend is a losing effort. My U9 team is very strong. Well this weekend, they played a tournament full of teams they've beaten several times, who they know they're better than (all fairly meaningless of course at U9). Well they played like a team that expected to cruise, and they just couldn't find the net and then, when they needed to turn it on they couldn't. Disappointing fourth place finish, kids were upset, went to blaming refs, the turf, everything under the sun...until eventually they took ownership of their performance themselves. They just didn't play well, they assumed they'd win and had forgotten talent is fine but the reason they've been as good as they've been is because they work so hard. And yesterday they just didn't. They finally recognized that it was on them. And they realized that was OK - off days are certainly allowed, especially in kids - but they won't assume victory before taking the pitch again.
The best lessons are learned in losses, not wins.
Favorite quote attributed to Gretsky:
"Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard"
Thought it applied...
First games of the U8 season.
Saturday was a nightmare. The field we were on looked like it had been strafed by an F-15. Lots of flat dirt areas followed by big clumps of grass, which if you're trying to teach dribbling versus booting it long doesn't work when the ball changes direction 90 degrees while moving it up field or bounces straight up after rolling over a clump trying to set up a shot.
The ref was an "older" guy (17-18, they're usually 12-14) and he asked me if parents could be ARs (we don't use ARs), how long the quarters were, kept time on a silver band analog watch that stopped midway through the first quarter and I had to keep official time (I even offered him my watch, but he didn't want it.) Then on a handball on our team, he tried to award a penalty kick until I shouted to him that everything in U8 is an indirect kick. I was courteous and supportive of him despite him not knowing the age group exceptions, but it was tough.
Then my players -- after flying around in practice all preseason -- walked or jogged lightly and despite all but one having played ten games last season, played as if they didn't know what was going on.
I was bummed all night, not because of the loss, but trying to figure out what I didn't do and how to motivate the kids for Sunday's game.
On Sunday I brought the kids together and told them they needed to run in the game like they do in practice and have fun. Then we did some 1v1 emphasizing running hard to cutoff the attacker and running hard to get by the defender. A few helpful tips later and I think we're ready.
The kids played great, pressured the ball high, and the backs kept the shape without getting too far forward and not sticking to the penalty box. The outside backs could roam because the kids we rotated at center back held firm just behind the opposing team's most forward player. And we had the first goal from a kid who's never played soccer before. He was grinning from ear to ear with his fists in the air.
It went from the worst story of my weekend to my best in 24 hours.
Not really "best of the weekend" but I just find it so humerous that every single game I've coached from U10 through U14 at halftime/after game its always the same comments..."those girls are mean..they push and grab and elbow". Every team, every game I've ever coached! And I always give the same response..."so you're telling me those girls are playing soccer?" Too funny!
Been there. I ask back, "Did the referee call a foul?" "No." "Then you have to keep playing."
Daughter's U8 game this past weekend (I'm the coach too).
We go up 1 - 0 on my daughter's first goal of the season, and boy was it a crack of a shot. Well for u8 at it was anyway.
Then we allow two crap goals from not clearing the ball out, something we've practiced and it stays that way until the last quarter. I pull the my sub goalie and put one of my best players at forward. She scores three very nice goals and we end up "winning" 4 - 2 even though no score is officially kept.
The best part though is that I put my daughter in goal for the last quarter (she usually plays at least a half in goal for rec) and the ball is coming to her sort of from a long-ball (think kick-ball) from the other end. It's 50-50 and it's out of the box, so she runs out the box as goalie and gives it a nice whack and we use that against play to go towards their end.
The coach of the other team comes over and says, tell your goalie that she did awesome. That's great skill. I have an 8-foot long daddy pride smile as I said "that's my daughter". For that 15 seconds I wasn't the coach and it felt great.
This past weekend, my U16G were in a local tournament. Kind of rainy/overcast all weekend, but the fields were crowned well and drained nicely.
Show up for first game 45 min early and other team is warming up, very organized, look like an older team. We get our pre-game in and get set for match. Based on warm-ups, we (other coach and I) thought we may be in trouble. Set the girls in 4-4-2 to play defensively in beginning. First minute, my co-coach says to me that their two center mids play for local private HS, one is All-Whatever and other is just about as good. I can see they will try to play everything through them. Luckily, I had just completed an NSCAA class the week before and the instructor talked about him being in a similar situation. I used his tactics (flood middle of field with players, make a 'box' about 5-10 yards around the center circle a no-mans land, and play wide). Frustrated the heck out of them. They just kept at it for one half, running into a virtual wall. In second half, they tried to play wide, but the other players didn't have good enough touch and they kept putting the balls out of play (the field was slippery and really fell away near the side-lines).
We won 1-0 on a really nice goal by my forwards.
Best part, after game handshakes, the trainer/coach of the other team (who also coaches the local private HS team) grits her teeth and grunts a 'good game' to us. They (other team, coach, parents) were so sure they were going to walk all over us that their frustration was palpable.
We went on to win the tournament and they were second. Nice!!
The mom of my gk from a year ago was back in town for the upcoming holidays and she had great updates. They moved away for work to Florida and she's making a nice name for herself there. They moved after tryouts had already taken place so she had to make due with rec. It didn't take long but 4 games into the rec season and club coaches were coming over and introducing themselves to her parents during her matches. She was invited to train and play a couple of "friendlies" and they've offered her a scholarship to the club!
She was good as a smallish keeper, but apparently she's shot up to 5 ft as a ten year old. I'm sure that doesn't hurt. Good stuff!
Last night temps got cold and we were in the mids 30s toward the end of practice. There was also a constant breeze to boot. The day had been warm and sunny, so some of them didn't come dressed for the weather. Oh yeah, and there were short, intermittent bursts of light rain and sleet.
We were in the last phase of training, doing a full sided scrimmage. I looked at my watch and saw that we had ten minutes left and since it was very cold I decided to call practice a tad early. So I announced, "Next goal wins."
Thirty seconds after I make my announcement, one of my very quiet players, who hadn't done much all practice (who was actually wearing her hooded parka under her scrimmage vest) bursts out of her right midfielder spot to win a loose ball at the top of the area and fires a blistering shot into the side netting. Everyone was quiet for a second, in stunned silence, then we all just burst out laughing.
It was clear she just wanted to go home and would do anything to make that happen. It's funny what kids can do when motivated.