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?
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.
There’s a danger in assuming your passion and skill will take you where you want to go. I’ve seen players upon players who have the quality to become a professional simply fizzle out into the background. This isn’t true for all cases, but definitely for the majority of cases. Most players are looking for a map: here’s how you train, here’s where…
For many, sitting on the bench carries negative implications. This is especially true for parents who guide their children through the early years of competitive sports. These parents continuously criticize the coach and pump their children with false perspectives. The reality is that not everyone can start a game. The reality is some players are more skilled than others. The reality is, you don’t deserve to be on the field…yet.
Quite honestly, I’m tired of all the BS relating to soccer. The sport is constantly victim to match fixing, diving, hooliganism and bad officiating. Soccer is one of the most decorated and historic sports on earth, yet we constantly find ourselves talking about these useless topics.
Cico Kranjčar is a gentleman’s football manager. After an injury to one of the players on the opposing team, the ball was kicked out to allow the player to be tended to. Kranjcar’s visiting team gave the ball back to the keeper of the home side in a fair play gesture, but for some reason one of the forwards of his team (yellow jersey) took the ball and tried to score. A penalty was awarded after the keeper had to the bring the player down. Kranjčar then ordered his player to not attempt to score and return the ball to the keeper for an unsportsmanlike and undeserved penalty.
Positions on the field are overrated. When a player is assigned to a central midfield role, for example, he/she will limit the options to their game. The thought process goes something like this: If I’m playing center midfield, well then I can’t go there and I can’t do that. I’m here to suggest that you shouldn’t get so attached to your position. What’s more important is team movement.
In many of our blogs on Goalden, we’ve talked about the lack of a system in North America to develop players that have the calibre required to play at any level in the world. When someone tells me something isn’t good, I like to ask: ‘ok, well compared to what?’ In this particular situation, I am talking about the North American soccer system compared to the European soccer system which, without a doubt, is the best in the world. But what if we’re asking the wrong question? What if we’re comparing it to the wrong system? What if we have the wrong goals? Suddenly, things change…