In order to have more time on the ball and to have the essentially slow down for you need to have the best touch on the ball. The best and most elite players have a great touch on the ball. This allows them to play the game and make better decisions without having to spend time controlling the ball and reacting to situations around them.
Unlike many other sports where set plays are drawn up and practiced in advance in the hope of implementing them in game-time situations (with stoppage play), soccer is a game of decision making where the majority of the decisions are taken by the players on the field in real time with no stoppage play. In a 90-minute game, the game will constantly evolve based on where the ball is on the field and what scenarios are presented to the players. A coach’s job is done in the weeks and days prior to the game, not during a game. Therefore, players need to have a well-developed soccer IQ in order to make proper decisions in split seconds over and over again. With that being said, how do you develop your soccer IQ? Below are certain strategies you can try-out with the aim of improved decision making in a game-time situation.
The topic of injuries and tibia/fibula fractures has come for front again in professional sport as well as through personal inquiries. That being said, I thought of sharing a few updates as to how my sporting life has been in the recent years since my tibia fibula fracture.
What has changed and or remained the same:
The Physical Side
It may be difficult to realize but there are hardly any differences in how I feel or compete in sports. I do, however, feel tingles at odd times on the side of my leg.
It took some time to regain my quickness but the bone healed and with no muscle or ligament damage I was able to recover all the quickness from before. Thanks to even more cardio training, I am even in better shape today than at the time of injury. Already being in shape and young when the injury happened did give me an advantage coming back into sport.
It was hard to believe at the time but the surgeon and physio were both correct in assessing the recovery of such an injury. I was eventually able to return to action 100% intensity in around a little over a year after the break.
Finally, I have noticed some discomfort in the leg when I go skiing in the winter, most likely due to the cold weather but this doesn’t last longer than a single session on the trails.
The Mental Side
There is no doubt that today in team sports I play less aggressive than before. It is not about fear of injury but more so that it could happen again and there is really little to gain. Therefore, it just isn’t worth going through the same or similar ordeal all over again.
I chose more now where and when I go into challenges and tackles. Many players today will willingly throw themselves into any challenge but as far I am concerned those days are behind me. Finally, it may sound obvious, but the top players are doing the same thing. They are picking and choosing the right moments to enter any challenge on the field of play. It is important to know what is at stake (tournament, major competition, recruitment, money etc.) and If it isn’t worth taking that risk.
Today, I have replaced club soccer with running, cycling, cross-country skiing and recreational sports on the side. I am still heavily involved in soccer coaching five days a week through our school program. It has worked out to be a great balance both physically and mentally. In addition, eating healthy and staying fit on a daily basis has worked wonders for my motivation, self discipline and pursuit of sporting development.
Though this blog was short, I can confidently say that many years after such an injury one can return to a healthy and steady dose of sporting competition. It can be done but be truthful to yourself. It will require enormous effort, dedication and self discipline.
Depending on what province or state you are in there are different approaches to taking your coaching certifications to the next level. In Ontario, The Ontario Soccer Association, offers numerous courses which range from introductory classes which include Soccer For Life to more in depth certificates such as your provincial licenses A, B and C amongst others. Each certificate ranges from a two day session to much longer. There are also different forms of evaluations depending on the certificate you are enrolled in. That being said, do not be intimidated by these programs. The courses can all be attained in a relatively short period of time by those willing progress in the sport.
Your team is at the opponent’s goal and is about to score a goal. A lot of players commit because the situation looks promising. Suddenly, their goalie grabs the ball and launches the ball down field. Uh oh…it is a counter attack. You begin to backtrack and realize that you and your other defender are the only two players back while they attack with 3…and here comes the 4th. What do you do?
With the 2014 World Cup now over it is time to reflect on soccer in Canada. As a Canadian it dawned on me that no Canadians spoke of Canada or its lack of participation in the tournament. Instead, the question was which country are you cheering for?` Canadians in general talk about how the sport is growing but the growth for our own players, development and national team as a whole has a long way to go. That shift in mentality for the average citizen and Canadian sports fan has a long way to go. Is it bad to cheer for another country? By all means no…but that sort of support does not happen in other parts of the world.
I watched the world cup as a soccer fan but there was no overall cheering for one country over another. I was excited at goals, individual brilliance and great teams plays. Even with many European roots and family still in Europe I still could not cheer for one country. Jumping on board for one team never seemed as a solution. However, most Canadians that did this could not even name the starting line-up or better yet a handful of players for the team they supported.
Then I heard about an article from Declan Hill, author of the Fix: Soccer and Organised Crime. Hill, shares an interesting view on the subject of soccer in Canada. Whether you agree or disagree it certainly would be interesting to see out some of his ideas. Click here or copy the link below to have a look at his article.
I’ve been reading Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography and wanted to shed light on this book. But before I begin, much has already been written about this book and the wave of interest has gone by for many. However, a great deal can be learned from this man who won so much over his career and managed some of the biggest personalities in world football.
This year I had the pleasure of training a competitive soccer team that consisted of girls 15 years of age and younger. The way I prepared for training in week 1 and the way I prepared for training in week 10, were completely different. Here is what I learned.
You’re playing on a new team with new players, a different coach and they play a different system. Now you have to force your way into the line-up. How do you do it? Unless you’re a clinical goal scorer and can impact the game greatly, you’ll likely play where the team asks you to play. And yes, this could be in a position where you’re greater strengths are not as highlighted as before. This does not have to be a bad thing but now you have to do your best to understand your teammates, your opposition and communicate this as a unit. Here are three ways you can do so: