Archive for the ‘Soccer Tips’ Category

Working Together

September 17th, 2008 No comments

Parents and coaches share a responsibility to ensure the best experience for young players. It really is a partnership. Below are links to sections of a web site called Responsible Sports.  It is sponsored by Liberty Mutual Insurance and supported by national youth sports organizations including US Youth Soccer.  I discovered the site today and in reading it I believe it reinforces much of what I hope we can accomplish together for the team.

Responsible Sport Parenting

Responsible Coaching

Kicking Off the Season

March 18th, 2008 No comments

Spring soccer is for trying new things. Some players may be asked to play new positions at times and we may try some new formations. Anything is possible.  All players have been learning offensive and defensive skills over the winter although they may not realize it.  Every position requires offensive soccer skills and defensive soccer skills. This picture illustrates it perfectly. After defending the goal, our keeper gained control of the ball and then sent it 40 yards up the field toward attacking the opponent’s goal.  Just as our keeper is helping get the offense started, our forwards need to use defensive skills to keep the ball up at the attacking end of the field because that will keep it out of our net. My goal is to get players to stop  thinking or worrying about whether they are playing ”offense” or “defense” and instead play them both in whatever position they are asked to play. We are getting there.

Soccer is a Contact Sport

February 25th, 2008 No comments

Some parents may have noticed an increase in minor injuries to players since they joined the Thunder. As seen in this picture of a large thigh bruise suffered by one of our players, soccer is a contact sport and as the competition increases and players get older, the chance of injury increases.  We can work together to help minimize the risk.

It is important that coaches know about any injuries, muscle strains or other conditions before your daughter takes the field at practice or games.  This will help us to better understand a player’s report of pain or discomfort while playing a game or practicing and it may help us to avoid having players participate in drills that may aggravate the condition.

We practice contact drills to be prepared for aggressive play.  Being prepared to take a shoulder charge and knowing how to use body position to gain an advantage helps to avoid injuries.  Shoulder to shoulder contact is legal when playing the ball. Also, a player in control of the ball will almost always win the call if the referee blows the whistle for some kind of contact infraction. That is why we are trying to teach the girls how to quickly bring the ball under control and to shield it from oncoming players.

Our team parents have been great about understanding the physical nature of our games and we appreciate your cool demeanor even while your daughter may be mixing it up on the field or even when it appears she has been fouled.  Also don’t be surprised if your daughter gets called for fouls more often as that too results from increased competition and age and is a common part of the game.