#skillskooler Connor making waves for IFA

Corrigan to Captain
Connor Corrigan joins Rece Buckmaster and Bennett Kim as tri-captains for the IFA 18's.
Long time CUSC and IFA player Connor Corrigan has proven to be one of the nation's best attacking left backs. Corrigan has reached this level by putting in hours and hours of soccer since an early age. His dedication to the sport is second to none and certainly has not gone unnoticed. Last year Corrigan was starting left back and playing two-years up with an IFA team that reached playoffs for the first time since 2009. Shortly after playoffs, Corrigan accepted an offer to play for the Michigan State Spartans.

"Connor's attitude and drive every day in training meets the image any coach would want to represent their program. He comes to every training focused on getting better. He leads each phase of training with honest habits whether it be individual technique, small group functional work or team activities. Connor's daily actions are contagious within this team and set the bar high for all players to reach not only on the 18's DA, but the 16's and 14's too." Presser said.

Amongst many young players competing at high levels of soccer at a young age, Connor's goal has always been to play at the highest level he can manage. After being considered a top player for Carmel United's youth system, Connor was selected to join the academy. With three years under his belt and a college decision to play in the Big Ten Conference, Connor once again made another stride toward achieving his goals.

"My goal in soccer ever since I've been a little kid has been to be the best all around player I can. My goal is to play at the highest level possible and the academy has helped me with that because it is constantly putting me in a competitive environment every single day and allowing me to see and play against the best players around." Said Corrigan

Leadership has been described as "a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task." While Rece Buckmaster and Bennett Kim have accomplished this task in the Fall, Coach Presser feels by adding Corrigan to this leadership group would assure the team's goals for the remainder of the 2014 season of qualifying for playoffs.

"Being a captain will be a great experience for me because it gives me a chance to take on a new leadership position for my teammates on and off the field." Said Corrigan

Along with announcing Corrigan as captain, Coach Presser has announced some player personnel changes within the academy since the departure of three key attackers, Joey Bastian (Butler University), Jeff Rhodes (Sand Diego State University), and Cameron Lindley (Chicago Fire). The ultimate decision was to elevate players within the academy who had proven to be ready to play up. The 14's DA promoted center defender, Will Hirschman, to the 16's. The 16's DA promoted center defender, Jeremiah Gutjar, and left back, Spencer Glass, to the playoff bound 18's. The 18's promoted "DP" David Anderson to a full-time status after proving his ability on CUSC's 18's.

Along with personnel changes, coach Presser has made some tactical changes to the 18's to help produce more goals on the field. Future Indiana University player, Rece Buckmaster, has been pushed forward from defensive midfield to attacking midfield, and Connor Corrigan has been pushed forward from left back to left forward. These changes will help manufacture more goals on the field, but they are also changes to encourage these players development. Buckmaster and Corrigan have both been playing deeper on the field for several years. This positional change will allow them to become more familiar with game repetitions in the attacking area of the field. Presser had the following to add about Corrigan.

"Connor is an extremely gifted soccer player with a high intellect of the game. He has shown to be an attacking threat game after game in this division for 2 years coming forward out of the back. Ultimately I believe his best position is left back, however, he must continue to become more educated in and around goal in order to establish new personal goals of becoming a pro. Moving Connor to Left Forward will allow him to receive more repetitions around goal and in the attacking third."

This change has seen an immediate impact as Corrigan was able to capitalize on IFA's only goal in the 1-1 draw vs Columbus Crew this past weekend. IFA had controlled the tempo from the very beginning. After several missed shots and failure to capitalize, Buckmaster found Corrigan off a wide service in the box as he redirected the ball with his head past the GK to open up the games 1st goal.

"So far I am really enjoying my role as forward. It gives me a new opportunity to better myself around goal which I need to play at the best level, and it gives me a chance to help my team win the games and hopefully get to playoffs." Said Corrigan

Article courtesy of IFA


Got Reflexes

Think stopping free kick blasts struck at 75+ mph is hard? Parrying shots from point-blank range? Okay, how about saving footballs and tennis balls in rapid-fire succession?

There’s a reason goalkeepers are hardly envied by their peers, but at the same time, the very best at the position possess traits coveted by all athletes, most notably their unrivaled reflexes and resolute focus.

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech - winner of three UEFA Best Goalkeeper awards — demonstrated both these skills in a recent Chelsea training video, dubbed the “ultimate goalkeeping drill:”

In the exercise, Cech is alternately ambushed by footballs kicked from both sides while tennis balls are struck at him from just a few feet away with a racquet. Incredibly, Cech doesn’t fail to catch a single one. 



Never work with kids.

I said send me a pic AJ from training camp. Did not expect selfie. Your not popular enough for people to wonder what you look like first thing in the morning wearing flip flops.


Historic Goal

I scored the last goal In Twister history and now we've witnessed the first Indy Eleven goal.



To many it's why we love. To some the 'results of ' why we hate. But to all we remember. #munich #mufc


The gift of Christmas and New Year to me.

Amazes me how a lot of my more accomplished players come back to me to train. Sometimes doing so with the younger players. All simply buying in to the idea technique matters at any age and repetition is either learning or maintenance of the skill one has. It challenges me greatly. Sunday had me work with 9 kids. 2 hopeful MLS players. 1 Indy Eleven cert, 2 standout collegiate players and 4 hopeful youth talents. No problem. All working together, helping each other out, busting their butt to make 2014 a better year than last. Great session and very proud of them. I have my own wishes for 2014. 'I gotta feeling!'

Happy New Year.

Bon Voyage

удачи Софи в России. To Sophie and Paul. Good luck in Russia. I'm gonna miss a couple of my favorite #skillskoolers.



Find it on the App Store. Very good news, statistics app showing live scores, stats and lots of chat.


Obsession with childhood achievement

From the Little League World Series to American Idol, we have an unhealthy obsession with “discovering” the next generation of great youth talent in this country. This is especially true when it comes to sports. I am not saying it is bad to identify talent. Our problem lies in how we define talent at the youngest ages, how and when we select it, and what we do with our newly discovered “talent.” Unfortunately, our current system often deemphasizes all the things that might one day allow true talent to shine, and successful young athletes to become elite adult competitors. Our first problem lies in how we define talent. We sort our youth sports system chronologically, based upon arbitrary calendar cutoffs. As a result, when we start selecting all stars at ages 7 and up, research has shown that most kids selected are born within three months of the calendar cutoff date. In other words, we are selecting kids who are older and more physically mature, who can run faster, jump higher, and do all the athletic things a little bit better then the younger kids because of their relative age. The “talent” has very little to do with sport specific skill, and far more to do with age and physical maturity. As an example, an 8 year old born in January, playing a sport that has a January 1 cutoff date, is 12% older than a kid born in December of the same year, even though they are in the same age group. This is a massive difference. These kids may be chronologically the same age according to their sports league, but often they are developmentally light years apart. Who gets picked? The research of Canadian psychologist Roger Barnsley on junior hockey players shows us that in this scenario the children born January through March are five times more likely to be selected than those born in November or December! We are not identifying talent; we are identifying relative age. The second issue is how and when we select talent. We have a downward creep in our country, meaning every time we decide to start having tryouts at one age, we begin to organize kids a year younger. If we have tryouts at U11, then we start collecting and culling the U10s. Pretty soon, we say “why not just start tryouts at U10,” and then start sorting the U9s. We start making cuts at increasingly younger ages, and tell a slew of kids that they are not talented by cutting them from the select team. As mentioned above, the greatest predictor of whether a child will make the team or not at these young ages is his of her month of birth! To make it even worse, often this cutting is not done by highly trained, independent evaluators, but by moms and dads who are coaching, and have a child in the player pool. You think they are going to cut their own kid? And even when we have qualified talent evaluators, again, we are excluding far too many potential players at a time when the biggest difference between two kids might be their relative age and a few months additional coaching. Finally, let’s be honest and admit that we are selecting athletes who are likely to help us win now, with little regard to who might be the better player years from now. This leads us to the third issue, the over-emphasis of winning with our newly discovered elite athletes. After selecting our “talented’ kids, we then funnel a select few into systems with better resources, better coaching, and better competition, and exclude others. We travel further and further for games, start measuring development by wins and losses. Once this is established, coaches inevitably play the kids who are going to help them win. Let’s take a soccer coach who has fourteen families of 10 year olds paying $1000 plus per year for training as an example. If he wants to keep his job at most clubs, he better beat the local town team with the volunteer coach, or the neighboring club that only charges $400 in fees. But what if the other team has a man-child forward who can run by everyone, a man-child defender or goal keeper who can kick it over everyone’s head, and a coach who screams at everyone to kick it long? The coach trying to teach his players to actually play soccer, to pass it around the back, to use skill instead of athleticism, will likely lose this game if he does not possess his own ultra-fast growing man-children. If he has them, in order to get a result he benches his smaller kids because “they cannot compete’ with the big kids that day, and thus he keeps happy the parents of the 10 or so more athletically developed kids. Or, he plays everyone, loses, and deals with the grumbling parents who cannot understand why they pay so much to lose. Never mind the fact that if the coach is developing his players correctly, his team will win that same game 10 times out of 10 in a few years when athleticism is equal, and technique matters more. We ignore that. We have stopped thinking long term. This is problematic because at these youngest ages, sports is supposed to be about providing enjoyable activities for children, AND prioritizing the development of future players over the performance of current ones. As noted speaker, author and former NBA player Bob Bigelow says, ‘All 6th grade basketball players stink. The best player stinks, and the rest just stink worse, but they all stink.” What he means is that aggrandizing young players who cannot adequately shoot, pass, dribble or defend is incredibly short sighted. Selecting all star teams and cutting kids prior to puberty does not identify the players with the most future potential; it identifies the players that are often a little older, a little more physically mature, and perhaps have a bit more skill then the ones you cut. This can be psychologically damaging as well. Many young athletes often identify their worth in the eyes of their parents, coaches and peers in terms of sports achievement. “Johnny the great soccer player,” or “Mary the best swimmer” learn to tie their identity to their athletic success. This is great until everyone else grows, the physical differences disappear, and athletes realize that you actually need skill and desire to be successful. Many young stars never learned to work hard, never faced adversity or a challenge for their spot on the team, and never developed the proper techniques needed to succeed at the adult version of their game. They were the star; now they can no longer compete. It’s psychologically traumatic for a 12 year old whose name was called on ESPN Sportscenter to get cut from the high school varsity, and replaced by the kid who got cut from his little league team, but it happens. And once they stop succeeding in sport, their self esteem and worth plummets. If we want to develop athletes for the long run, we need to make some changes. We have to get away from our ESPN “Little League World Series” culture that is hurting more kids than it is helping. Here are a few thoughts on how to do this: 1. We need to stop trying to identify future talent so young. We have to stop cutting kids at U9-12, and thus give larger numbers of athletes’ access to trained coaching, facilities and resources. We have to allow them to develop at their own pace. We need in house, academy style programs at youth sports clubs at least through U12, developing large numbers of players, emphasizing training over games, and focusing on local, small sided competition instead of travel ball. 2. We must stop focusing on winning, rankings, etc for our teams prior to high school. We need parents who demand that coaches develop their kids, and coaches who demand that they be allowed to develop them appropriately. It is time for youth sports organizations to take a stand, to say ‘the customer is NOT always right” and do right by the kids and not the parents. Very few are doing this right now, because there is always competitor willing to focus on wins and attract families who do not know any better. 3. After their growth spurt, from middle school through high school, we can start selecting out the truly talented, dedicated, and elite athletes, as age becomes less of a factor. By doing this, we can get rid of our detrimental system that identifies players far too young, for the wrong things, one that funnels many kids out of the proper development system, and funnels the better ones into high pressure, win at all costs clubs that injures or burns out most of them by high school. Our current system is killing our young athletes’ enthusiasm and love of sports. Our identification and celebration of success at a young age, with its accompanying creature comforts and media exposure, has created a legion of doting fans of pre-pubescent athletes, before those kids have actually accomplished anything at all in sports. These young “stars” burn brightly, and then often burn out before high school. And what of the players who might truly have talent but grew later than their peers, the ones who could take their place and become elite high school, college, and perhaps even professional players? Well, we cut them years ago, because they weren’t good enough to help us win the statewide U10 “Ultra Awesome Super Duper Cup Championship” that we trained all year for. We can do better! - See more at: http://changingthegameproject.com/our-unhealthy-obsession-with-childhood-athletic-achievement/#sthash.hWGjkpsE.dpuf

Ronaldo. Crushing the hearts of many svens.

If you get a chance to watch the second half of this game.  What a performance.  What a game.  I have never been a believer that Ronaldo is better than Messi.  always thought he was too much of an individual.  But when you put a nation on your shoulders and put in a performance like this.  I have to admit.  The boys a bit special and he may be now the greatest player in the world.

Touch line Dad

Came across a fantastic read about a fathers experience on the sideline to parenting 2 soccer players and a gymnast. Great stuff.

Click here


Parenting my Soccer Player


I wish to not be an expert on parenting soccer players but I have to attest I've seen many and probably took a little from some and less from others.  My expectations come from a background of having probably too much expectation on myself at an early age.  As long as my son is having fun and continues to want to watch Barcelona games with Dad thats good enough for me.  As long as Keane sleeps with his Barca ball I think I'm on the right track.  He dreams of being 'messi', I dream of him being less messy. 

Skill Skool and Instagram

Skill Skool Soccer and Instagram

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.02.21 AM

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 10.02.21 AM

Happy to roll out the Instagram site that is getting great feedback.  In a nutshell, I have archive of archive of training videos that  I've taken through the years and will continue to innovate much of this visual learning.  Instagram has become a staple for most of the kids and so the idea is to spread the wealth of short training videos that will empower the kids to test and aid in their training.  I have challenged myself to upload 1 training video a day for 365 days.  Each individual drill different from any other.  Creation is life.  Like me follow me and as it says in the video #getitdone.