Games: This weekend our U14 co-ed players competed in the Magic City tournament. On Saturday (and what a blustery Saturday it was), our team played against two Wyoming opponents. In the first half of the first game our offense generated numerous attacks on goal: many of which were a brilliant string of passes up, down and across the field. Our opponents got two lucky goals from one very large and aggressive player. Matt B. countered by scoring a penalty kick to finish the game at 1-2. In the second game of the day, the team fought a tough battle against another Wyoming team. They came up shorthanded, but learned a lot about what role attitude plays in the game of soccer. On Sunday, another hard fought battle that left us just barely at a loss: 1-2.
Practice: Though our practices regularly address a wide range of tactical and skill based drills and lessons, recently we have been working at going through the ball with the body and making decisions about positioning off the ball. As a young team, it is important for the players to learn to use their bodies effectively when winning balls and going up against larger players—not only for the sake of gaining possession, but also for winning space. Also, the players are just beginning to acquire a grounded sense of positions on the field and what each job entails. This is where positioning off of the ball has become essential to understanding what the most effective choice is for a flank mid-fielder vs. an outside back. The kids are certainly coming along well in this area.
Hot Shots: Ari B. was unmatched in soul this weekend. We talked a lot about passion and playing with heart, regardless of the score, and Ari showed her teammates what this really means. She went hard to every ball, every time and was tireless out on that field. Also this weekend Amanda played her position as right back amazingly. She has been one of the first to really enact the defensive positioning we have been learning and working at diligently. Last, but not least, Matt B. did a great job at sparking our offense through his quick and smart decision making—his leg was hurting, but he kept on and created several really awesome goal-scoring opportunities.
Homework: Come to practice with a good mindset. Be ready to work hard and improve. Attitude is everything!