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Soccer Player Skill Development

SenseBall…The Football Training Revolution

senseballLooking to improve your touch on a soccer ball?

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.

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Soccer Player Skill Development

A Goal Scoring Guide for Penalty Shots

Taking a penalty shot is a demanding task.  It takes courage, skill and practice. Most importantly, a good penalty shooter requires the ability to control their nerves.

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Soccer Player IQ

Soccer Secrets to Better Decision Making

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.

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Injuries - Types and Rehabilitation

Broken Leg and What It’s Like Several Years Later…

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.

Categories
Soccer Positions & Field Tactics

3 Steps to Stopping a Counter Attack

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?

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Soccer / Football Opinion

Goal Celebrations

He scores! Pandemonium breaks out in the stadium. The fans are ecstatic. His team-mates are absolutely joyous.  And he decides to do what?

Categories
Leadership

Alex Ferguson : My Autobiography

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.

Categories
Coach's Corner

Training Youth…Not So Easy

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.

Categories
Leadership Soccer Player IQ

The Magic Ratio

High performing teams have more positive interactions than negative interactions. So what is the magic ratio?

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Soccer College Recruitment

Do this in order to play at the next level…

Over the years, I have worked with all kinds of kids in soccer and the comments that I overhear at times are surprising. Many feel that they are on their way to professional careers in soccer. The «big show» if you will. Nothing is wrong with dreaming. And if you’re going to dream you might as well dream big. Yes some players are good but it goes far beyond that to play at the next level. In terms of planning your soccer future it is so very cliché but one must have other career options in their back pocket and that can start with a solid academic base. And if you don’t have that academic base it’s not the end of the world either. There are always options.  

Categories
Leadership

Managing expectations in high pressure situations

A famous sports psychologist beautifully illustrated the physiology of what happens when we are under pressure.  Place a 12 foot long 2 X 8 piece of wood on the ground, and ask one of your players to run across it. What happens? That player doesn’t even think twice.  He or she says, “No problem,” and runs across the board with ease and enjoyment.  Now take this same 2 X 8 and raise it 8 feet by stretching it across two ladders and ask that same player to run across.  What happens?

Categories
Long term player development

Winning is everything…or is it?

Winning is everything in soccer…or is it? Of course winning is important in soccer. After all, you want a competitive team that can go as far as possible in all competitions. But when it comes to kids between the ages of 10-14 in particular, I believe that player and team development is far more valuable to the learning experience than simply winning a game.