Blueprint for success - Team diary
2014 - 2015
After the May try outs we put togther a squad of 24 players. This was a tough try out. 80% of the team did not have much of an idea on how to play soccer and the same percentage had a lack of discipline. The majority of these players had come from recreational soccer. The coaching staff knew that the experiment would take a lot of patience and committment from everyone, including parents.
After the first few practices it was clear to me that the traditional A and B team format would not work. I had to convince the parents that patience is the key ingredient. I also knew my top three priorities with the group where beahavior, work ethic and teaching team work.
After deciding to not play in any tournaments and just contact local clubs to play in pick up games we played our first game as a team.
Saturday 12th - Played a local team that has about 6 teams in this age group. I had 18 players available. Lost 22 - 3. The game is 8 v 8 and the other coach ended up playing with 5 players.
Saturday 19th - Played a team with less of a reputation than last weeks team, lost 7 - 0. I had 20 players available and it got a little hectic when doing the substitutions.
I carried on working with the P90 philosophy and was still adressing the top three priorities.
Saturday August 2nd - Played a local soccer team and lost 9 - 1.
I decided to enter both teams in a tournament. Both teams would play in the U10 bronze level tournament. I put togther two equal teams of ability and started to really push the practice level to a higher standard. Players that goofed around would be told to sit out until they are ready to give 100%. The boys were not bad kids just a little excited and it was causing a lack of rythymm in the practice sessions.
I was seeing a change in the group and I was curious to see what they would bring to a competitive environment.
Tournament play results
Game 1 - versus Pxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 4-3
Game 2 - versus xxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 2-0
Game 3 - versus xxxxxxxxxxxxxxWon 8 - 0
Game 4 versus xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxWon 4-2
Game 1 - versus xxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 11 - 1
Game 2 - versus xxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 8-1
Game 3 - Semi-Final xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 2-1
Game 4 Final xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 7 - 1
What a wonderful achievment by all the players. The Green team actually played the better soccer and looked more of a team. I decided to put a team in silver and one in bronze for the coming fall season. At the next practice session I told the parents that we have about 15 players that can play silver so players will have to rotate because we have two teams of 12 players. I also wanted to make sure that the bronze team got help from the better players. I wanted them to gain more confidence in their play.
The start of league play. The teams have been chosen and the boys seem pretty excited to start.
Sunday 14th - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 3-2
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 4-2
Sunday 21st - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 4-1
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 4-3
Sunday 28th - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 3-1
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Tied 2-2
After getting some good results and playing well as a team the practice sessions started to have a purpose. The boys seemed more focused and the issues of dealing with behavior and work ethic were going away. I now started to focus on the practice sessions given to me by P90. The priority now for the group was technique and decision making.
Sunday 5th - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Tied 3-3
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 3-2
Sunday 12th - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 2-1
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 5-2
Sunday 19th - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Tied 2-2
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 6-1
Sunday 26th - Silver division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 3-1
- Bronze division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 4-3
All the boys are now on a real high and we do not want the season to end. I entered the teams in a local tournament that is pretty competitive. The tournament only offered two options, Gold and silver divisions. I put Team white in gold and team green in silver. I was worried about the silver team because you can sometimes get coach's that put their team in silver when really they should be in gold. I knew if a disaster happened with the silver team, I would take all the blame and remove that from the plyers minds. I told the silver players it would be tough, but we can deal with it.
Friday 7th - Gold division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 7-2
- Silver division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 10-0
Saturday 8th - Gold division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Won 4-2
- Gold division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Tied 3-3 (This game was against the team we played August 2nd and lost 9-1)
- Silver division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 12-0
- Silver division Team Green vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 9-4
Sunday 9th - Semi final Gold division Team White vs xxxxxxxxxxxxxx Lost 6-5 in overtime
I had clearly made the wrong choice by putting our bronze team in the silver division. The first two teams we played should have been playing in the gold division. They had played in the gold division that whole fall league. I apologized to the players and parents and I took full responsibility.
What an amazing game for the White team!! This game was great. We were leading 4-2 with 15 minutes left and with 1 minute left scored to tie the game at 5-5. The game went to overtime and we conceded a goal in the last minute to lose the game. I was so proud of the boys.
We will take a winter break and play some futsal over the next few months. Futsal will be hard for them but they will get to be together over the winter and get some touches on the ball.
The first practice session we had was really good. The boys really looked ready to play so I decided to step up the level at the practice sessions. I moved to Phase II of the P90 sessions to see how they would react.
Team White has been placed in the gold division and Team Green has been placed in bronze.
Sunday 22nd - Gold division Team White xxxxxxxxx Lost 3-2
- Bronze division Team Green xxxxxxxxx Won 4-2
- Bronze division Team Green xxxxxxxxx Lost 6-2
Team Green were givien a double header. The boys did great in the second game but it was a difficult game for them. I was not happy with this group of boys getting a double header but we have to teach the players to be brave and get on with it.
After a week of practicing switching the field, it was time to put it to the test. We had a long discussion about focus and listening and told the boys that we will support them through the bad times but they also have to start giving back with more effort and focus. It has to be a two way process.
Sunday 1st - Gold division Team White xxxxxxxxx Lost 2-1 (Last two games against this team, Lost 9-1, Tied 3-3)
I thought Team white may switch the ball better with a 1-3-3 formation. I am OK with one at the back because the teams you play against barely ever have a forward. The boys did not play well in this system. At half time we were 2-0 behind. At half time I moved back to 2-4-1 and we played so much better. We really should have come off the field with a win but the boys have a habit of aiming for the middle of the goal when shoting. The GK is always stood there. Shooting practice Tuesday!!
- Bronze division Team Green xxxxxxxxx Won 5-1
Good team performance and really played some nice soccer. The boys have a spring in their step and they are progressing. Same thing when shooting, they aim for the center of the goal. Looking forward to practice this week.
Sunday 8th - Gold division Team White v Lost 2-1 (This was against the team we lost 7-2 on November 7th)
- Bronze division Team Green v Won 5-3
We had two really good practice sessions after spring break. We worked on possession and support play.
Sunday 12th - Gold division Team White xxxxxxxxx Won 1-0
The best team performance to date. The score could have been a lot higher if it was not for the opposition GK. The group were pumped up after this performance.
- Bronze division Team Green xxxxxxxxx Won 7-1
This game was easier than the past weeks but the boys still kept on playing together as a team. Sometimes in the easier games players can get a little greedy and try to do everything themselves. The pleasing thing was that they kept playing as a team. We ended up playing with 7 players to make it more challenging.
Sunday 19th - Gold division Team White xxxxxxxxx Lost 3-2 (This was against the team that beat us 6-5 in the cup)
This was against one of the top teams in the state. We were 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play. The boys certainly put in the effort but a few mental errors cost the team the win. I told the boys that the lesson they can take from this game is that even though the effort is so important, there is more to the game than just the work ethic. It is also about soccer intelligence.
- Bronze division Team Green xxxxxxxxx Lost 5-2
A very dissappointing performance. I did take away two of the better players and try them on the gold team. The green team really missed these two players. I told the team to take personal responsibility for what you do in life, not just on the soccer field. Let's hope it is a learning moment for the team.
Sunday 26th - Gold division Team White xxxxxxxxx Lost 4-2
We played against the best team in the division in my opinion. We have never come across a team that pressed the ball as much as this team did. We went 1-0 down in the first 3 minutes but then the boys figured it out and worked really hard. We stuck with our 2-4-1 formation and it was 2-2 for a while until we let in two easy goals.
- Bronze division Team Green xxxxxxxxx Lost 2-1
This was the green teams last game of the season. This was against the team we lost 6-2 against on Feb 22nd. The team played well in the first half and we were 1-0 up. The last 5 minutes the team switched off and we lost 2-1. A great improvement from the team.
Sunday 3rd - Gold division Team White xxxxxxxxx Lost 4-2
By far our poorest performance. We did not play as a team. The team has amazed me over the last 6 moths and I always wondered if we would play like the old team. Today we did. It was still a good lesson for the team and we have to look forward to try outs. I will not be cutting anyone from the group but we do have some players that will not return. I'm excited for the 2015/16 season.