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.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ODP Alabama

This will be a big weekend for Walker. He is taking a trip to Decatur Alabama to play in an ODP Subregional soccer event where Georgia's  three teams will play ODP teams from Alabama and Tennessee. They will travel on a chartered bus, no parents other than coaches and chaperones. ODP is very strict about parent behavior and parent involvement. They want the boys to play at a high level, making decisions themselves, and not playing like a pupet on strings listening to parents screaming and cheering. 

This may be difficult for me since I am used to coaching young kids. But I have been practicing and so should you. It is best to cheer them on after they do something good, not give them specific instructions like "shoot it" or "pass it" or "Go, Go, Go". They will learn to think and find options and soccer is very much a thinking game. 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

U11 Boys at RYSA Spring Kick Off Classic

We started out strong against Trussville United from Alabama winning 2-1 but peppering the goal with nearly 20 shots. The second game vs. RYSA our boys decided to give them a two goal lead from the locker room. Not mentally focused and a bit confused by our formation they looked like cones for the first five minutes. They adjusted and played better but could not finish when we needed it. Third game we dominated play against PR Lions. The Lions could have actually one the game with a missed penalty kick and some outstanding play from their keeper. We had at least three goals and numerous opportunities called back due to offsides calls. We need to fix that for sure. It was a good warm up to get the season started.

U10 Boys at RYSA Spring Kick Off Classic

We played two games under the lights, which really adds to the atmosphere. 
The boys made it to the finals by defeating RYSA 4-3, playing to a 2-2 tie with a strong Macon team. Then defeating Inter Atlanta 4-1. Our schedule claims we played Galaxy instead of RYSA but we know better. That game we had our way with them and were able to experiment with playing out of the back. Cost us a couple of goals but it helped us in the other games to get play started quickly with control of the ball. The finals did not go well. We gave up a couple of quick goals and had to bite and scratch to get back in the game. Several chances were near misses and could have leveled the game. The second half went better when the referee took more control of the game. He actually apologized to me for his first half performance. He called the game very one sided and admitted it after the fact. The boys fought hard, never gave up and adjusted well to the different style of play of a very quick attack oriented team.