Sunday, September 10, 2006

Go Purple Rockets!

It's the start of a new season of soccer for Kaitlyn and Coach Daddy. We've now moved into the U6 league, and have a whole new group of kids.

Our first game was a little rough. I work a lot on trying to teach the kids basic positioning and passing, since I figure that will help them to understand and enjoy the game of soccer instead of just participating in a game of chase the kid with the ball.

The result of that coaching, both last year and this year, is that the kids look very confused for the first few games.

After the first game, which was pretty rough, Amy heard me voice my usual complaints about our particular soccer club's rules: we have only 4 practices and then it's all games and no more practices, we get all new kids every year, and now the coaches can't go on the field (which makes my complaint about no practices that much more). The only practice we get now is the 15 minutes before the game, if everyone gets there on time.

I was very happy to see that we really improved in our second game, which was this past Saturday. I could see the kids starting to "get it" in terms of where to stand and why that actually helps, plus they were learning that passing can be better than just dribbling and that they should look for that.

And in some very exciting news, Kaitlyn scored a goal! This is her second goal ever and the first of the season. Kaitlyn is the best so far at understanding that she needs to get away from the big clump of kids and move into the open, and call for the ball (since this is her second year under Coach Daddy's system, it's not surprising that she's ahead in some of the more mental aspects of what I'm trying to teach).

The video clip is here. Aunt Dana was fortunate enough to have her camera rolling, because our camera crapped out for good during the game.

Having the chance to look at it now, there are really several things to make a coach happy in this play. At the start of the clip, you'll see that one of our forwards, Faith, is in process of stealing the ball and taking it to the inside. In the same frame, you can see our two backs, Austin (#2) and Cole (#4) actually standing back and letting Faith do her thing. No, they are not quite as far back as I'd like, but compare that to the other team which is in the classic "clump". (and don't worry about the kid who appears hurt at the start here, you'll note that he's very excited to run into the goal and retrieve the ball after Kaitlyn scores! :)

Kaitlyn is not in frame here, as she's just run away from the group to the center and is there by herself. As Faith dribbles with the ball, she sees Kaitlyn, who is in process of calling for it (you'll see her raise her hand), moving toward the goal while looking back at the ball (this in and of itself is quite an accomplishment).

Faith then passes the ball up to Kaitlyn on purpose. If you pause it, you'll see that Faith sets her feet and strikes the ball with the (mostly) proper form I've been showing for passing, using the inside of her foot, but it's easier to see in the original footage vs. this compressed youtube garbage. It's a nice pass, just past Kaitlyn as it should be, and thanks to the good positioning Kaitlyn dribbles it uncontested into the goal. Whoohoo!

We have another game on Tuesday, so we'll see if we can keep this up, I'm certainly very happy to see that the kids have improved so much just over one game.


"The" Bucia said...

Way to go Kaitlyn!!!!
and Coach Daddy

Jonathan said...

Nice one Kaitlyn! Never figured you for a soccer man Jeff - keep up the good work!