'Soccer In Your Area' January 2010 - Issue 1 : Page 15

Winning for the Underdog An Underdog team is a team that is not expected to win a particular game or series of games. The key to winning for an underdog is the realization of what you can and cannot improve in a short period of time. Do not be con‐ cerned about or frustrated with what you cannot improve, rather focus on what you can impact and target to be better in those areas than your opponent. Difficult to improve: Technical Skills Technical skills are formed since the first touches of the ball of chil‐ dren combined with natural ability. In younger kids, the natural ability dominates. As they get older, training and experience en‐ hances those natural abilities. If your team is low on skill compared to the opponent, accept it. Takes time to Improve; Physical Fitness This is a bit of a mixed bag. You can make significant progress in building endurance in a short time, sometimes in as little as two weeks. Physiologically, every player can improve aerobic endur‐ ance. Speed is more difficult to develop and typically only after the aero‐ bic base has been developed. Marginal improvements are possible for everyone with extensive repetitive spring exercises. Significant improvements require further professional coaching. Strength can be developed in a reasonable timeframe, about four weeks if the proper equipment is available. Quick Improvements: Mental Fitness This is an area the coach can impact very quickly through fostering team harmony, goal setting and expectation sharing. Tools such as visualization can be of help. Team toughness can be improved through exercises which at the same time help foster harmony and cohesion. Instant Improvements: Tactical Understanding Tactical Improvements are entirely within the control of the coach and the team. The keys are: ‐ Recognition of strengths of own players ‐ Designing a system of play and game plan ‐ Understanding the oppositions strengths, weaknesses & strategy ‐ Fine tuning own system and strategy to incorporate learning from opponents. ‐Sauder Consulting Inc, soccerpracticebooks HOW TO DEFEND THE 2nd DEFENDER The below questions will be answered by Experienced Coaches for February 5th Issue. Do you think the US National Team will ever become amongst the worlds top soccer nations? Explain. ‐Steve; Davie 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 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 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) FREE KICKS WITH ROBERTO CARLOS ‘Soccer In Your Area’ E‐Magazine ‐ January 2010 15.

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