'Soccer In Your Area' February 2010 - Issue 2 : Page 21

The ‘Early Cross’ From the Sept. 1, 2004, issue of The Technical Area by Jeff Tipping NSCAA Director of Coaching Education With more and more teams playing flat zone defences more teams are using the ‘early cross’ as a way of crossing the ball from the flanks. In the Academy we have normally taught that the flank player should get to the goal line and pull the ball back to the near post or the top of the penalty box. Alternately, if those spaces are occupied the flank player should cross the ball to the back post. The introduction of flat back fours frequently gives flank players an opportunity to cross the ball as they ap‐ proach the top of the penalty box. This kind of a cross is obvi‐ ously executed earlier than the goal line cross and is particularly effective when the back line is outflanked and is running back at its own goal. The technique for the early cross is quite different than that used for the goal line cross and the coach should be familiar with the important technical coaching cues which will make the cross a dangerous cross. 1. The flank player eliminates the goalkeeper by hooking the ball so that it lands in the space between the top of the goal keepers box and the penalty spot. The ball should come in at waist height or below so that retreating defend‐ ers have difficulty clearing it. To get the ball to hook the flank player must do the following: hips should keep facing forward in the direction the flank player is running 2. the ball should be struck from inside to out around the outside of the ball 3. most importantly, the big toe should be pointing up, which is essential in putting spin on the ball. It is vital that the player does not spin the hips inside otherwise the ball will be driven rather than hooked. We encourage coaches to teach the early cross and teach players to recognize when a space has opened up behind the retreating back four. This is a very dangerous kind of cross and is becoming more common as the structure of the structure of defensive align‐ ments change. Below are the questions asked from last issue Do you think the US National Team will ever become amongst the worlds top soccer nations? Explain. ‐Steve; Davie You really need to see how far we have come to know our future. Soccer in this Country has come a long way; high participation rate at youth level, improved facilities and programs for the elite, expansion of our Pro Soccer Leagues shows that we are building a strong foundation We have surprised some Countries/Teams (beating Worlds No.1 Spain in the Confederations Cup in 2009) We are competing in this years World Cup and with many of our top players playing in the worlds best leagues the US Mens National Team will be amongst the worlds top soccer nations. Coach Richard, Miami Lakes Soccer Club My son is on a good club team here in South Florida, but his high school team is not as good, but his high school coach keeps telling him that in high school soccer, the college coaches will come out and watch. How true is this? ‐Mel; Pembroke Pines This all depends on many factors; If your child is playing on a top high school team (such as: Nationally ranked American Heritage, Cyprus Bay etc) then yes, many of these col‐ lege coaches will take great interest in your progress. But this works the same as playing in a good Club team. In whatever team you play for there will be a college recruiter checking stats and progress (The higher D1 colleges look at Top High school and Club Teams / Run‐of‐the‐mill Local high school and Club Teams will be recruited by the Run‐ of‐the‐mill Local Colleges. ‐Coach Johnny, North Miami My Daughter (8 years old) just completed her second year of recreational soccer and was wondering when is the right time in terms of age should I put her into travel? ‐ Claudia; Miramar Recreational and Competitive (Travel) Soccer is not determined by age but more so abil‐ ity. What you would need to do is have a U9 Travel Coach watch your daughter play (whether they come to the rec games or you take her to the travel practice) You could also determine the ability level by watching an 8 year old travel team play, which will give you a brief idea to see if your daughter is ready for this type of competition (stricter coaches, more organized practices, competitive games and a rugged schedule); also there is a financial and loyal commitment is needed for higher level of play. ‐Coach Carlos, Kendall The below questions will be answered by Experienced Coaches for March 5th Issue. Can someone please explain to me the Offside Rule ‐ Susan; Cutler Ridge My Grandson is 8 years old (but, big for his age) what is the correct Ball Size? ‐Albert; Fort Myers How do you determine which formation is best use? ‐Pete; Collier County How do I motivate my U15 girls? ‐unknown If you have any soccer related questions; please your questions to admin@almsports.com (Subject ask the coach) If you are a Team coach; please send your answers to admin@almsports.com (Subject: Ask the Coach)

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