Monday, January 10, 2011

Winston-Salem ODP trip

I traveled with the Georgia 98 Olympic Development Program to North Carolina to play boys ODP teams from VA, SC, & NC. This was a first class experience, from traveling on chartered buses, to feeding hungry players, to the excellent soccer complex.

The weather was cold and windy but the soccer was very good. The coaches did a great job educating the boys on how they expected them to play with video clips pre and post game, and stimulating these points on field in warm ups.

The two teams won three and lost three but the important thing was they experienced different levels of play and really tried to play the way the coaches wanted them too. Not launching long balls with hopes of out running opponents, but trying to unbalance the teams defense with good ball movement and staying organized defensively.

Overall, a great experience!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Winter 4v4

4v4 Tournaments are back!
We had a very good crowd for the 2010 Winter 4v4 at SSC. This is one of the biggest social events for soccer players ages 8-14. It's a great opportunity to play and enjoy the game. There will be teams that dominate and win every game, teams that are overmatched and lose every game, teams that improve as the day goes on and teams that surprise at the end of the day. We play all day with a short break for lunch.

We had three teams that dominated all day long only to lose in the first round of playoffs. One team had not lost a game and had the number one seed. Not sure what happened but I've seen this time and time again. Teams that are losing are also strategizing to come up with a win, while teams that are winning are enjoying their successes. In the end they all end up learning a valuable lessons. Stay humble and think of ways to improve your game.

Next up: MLK 4v4 Jan. 17th.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

AFU Classic

You win some and you loose some. But we did play four games with a partial team. One of our forwards was on loan to an older age group, the other was in NY. One key player got hurt and another got sick. Sunday we show up for our forth game in two days with no subs and the sun baking down on us. This was a test of will power just to complete the game. We scored early and tired trying to keep the pressure on. By half we were down 2-1. The second half we had to slow the game down or we would be walking to the goal picking the ball out. Well we did that anyway, giving up two more goals and finding ourselves out of energy and down on our luck. So we slowed the game down taking our time on restarts and lulling our opponents to sleep. With about ten minutes to go we found a spark, scored two goals and pushed hard the rest of the way. I am proud of the boys for never giving up and almost turning the game around.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

How was the Alabama trip? - Parent feedback

They looked so good!  They came out a little tentative at first, but found their confidence very quickly.  They dominated play in every game.  They controlled the ball very well, they spread the field well, they communicated very well and their defense was strong. Walker got to play forward for a little bit in his last game and looked VERY good.  He came within an inch of scoring!  I’m sure you heard, but the teams won every game they played.  I was very impressed with how well they came together in spite of all the practice rain-outs and long periods between practices.  Our coaching staff all seem to be very good at teaching throughout the game-in-progress.
Also the parent conduct rules made a big positive difference on the sidelines too.  I wasn’t sure what to make out of the requirement to remain mostly quiet during the games, but I am now a big believer!  The contrast between the Georgia parents and the Alabama parents (who apparently are not held to the same rules) was HUGE.  I’m certain that our kids played a little bit better without all the yelling and sideline-coaching.
We missed having you there.  All us parents got way too much sun and were exhausted at the end of the day.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

98 ODP rocks Alabama

I was all the way to Talladega Superspeedway when my son called with the news. Sundays games are cancelled. GA ODP's travelled first class in Motor Coaches to Decatur AL for an sub-regional event. Walkers age group includes three teams and they won all seven games on Saturday.
Great job boys. More details to come.

AFU Fire vs Concorde Fire

Saturday I coached 5 games against Concorde Fire, including U10, U11 & U12. All 5 games included, we outscored them 17 to 7. The U10 boys rocked the house with an easy opening game, 6-0. Their second game was much more challenging. We could not dribble and hold the ball without immediate pressure. In the end we adjusted & won 4-0. My U11's had a more difficult time with the Concorde Central team. Very physical and fast paced. I thought we handled it well as our style of play is much more on the ground vs. first touch in the air and into space. Both styles are effective but kick and run makes for an ugly game. We lost 2-0 which is a huge improvement on our last game with this team. Our keeper played outstanding even though he miss judged a 45 yard kick and pray shot on goal. Those types of goals don't happen too often as keepers mature. Many of the same concorde players played our U12 Bronze which may be why they are very physical and fast paced having to play against older players too. We ended the day with a barn burner 4-3 victory for my same U11's which should give them a vote of confidence going into the break.