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Inspiring The Next Generation

As the last of the ticker tape gets cleaned up thoughts turn to the impact the last world cup has had on its next generation.  What we supported this past month was the result of these soccer playing women who with painted faces and loud screams cheered on their heroes 16 years ago.   A group of women, some with iconic one name status that now refer to themselves as the 99 ers.  What was cool was reading the email thread between this group of players in their support of those girls who once supported them.  Read on and lets look forward to the next generation of players inspired from their heroes past glory. 

7:13 a.m.

From: Julie Foudy

Hope you all are well. I have an idea. If the U.S. wins on Sunday, I have been charged with writing a piece for ESPN to sum it all up.

I, of course, want to do something on the joy we all have in seeing them do well because I am so tired of the narrative around us not wanting them to win. I'd like to just capture the emotions of you all to the moment if they win. I want it to be raw. As they win, soon after they win.

I just think that may be so cool to see... All I need is one to two sentences. Short and sweet summing up how you feel. If you would be so kind as to email me that reply (just to me so as not to kill all your inboxes) that would be great. I will try and wrap it into a neat piece. THANK YOU and hope everyone is well. Holler if anyone else going to be in Vancouver! We can have a little reunion...

Jules

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12:02 p.m.

From: Julie Foudy

Hi again everyone. I am actually hoping everyone can just reply all with responses as I think it will be fun to see the conversation unfold post game and for everyone to share in that. Plus, I added Coach DiCicco to the chain. Whoop whoop. Now, here's hoping the US can bring back that 3rd World Cup star dammit... I am feeling it. Get 'er done!

Jules

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4:40 p.m.

From: Saskia Webber

I have been in tears of joy since the Germany game, can't stop crying ... ok it could be early menopause lol. We haven't started the stream right lol? Go USA love u all.

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6:07 p.m.

From: Tony DiCicco

It is this team's time. They earned it and made us all proud and inspired a country. Soccer is alive and well in large part to these women! Three World Cup Championships to go along with 4 Gold Medals. Great Job '15ers!

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6:38 p.m.

From: Julie Foudy

Just reading these all and smiling from ear to ear. Love and miss u crazies so much.

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6:57 p.m.

From: Sara Hess

And away we go... LET'S DO THIS LADIES!!!

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7:00 p.m.

From: Lorrie Fair

Here we go!

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7:19 p.m.

From: Mia Hamm

Great idea, Jules. What a performance and statement by this team. You all left no doubt about who is the best in the world. Thank you for taking the game to a new level and inspiring so many of us. World Champions! Enjoy it because you have earned it. Mia

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7:21 p.m.

From: Carla Overbeck

HELL F--G YEAH!!!

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7:38 p.m.

From: Saskia Webber

Has anyone taken a breath yet? Just realized I haven't.

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7:46 p.m.

From: Carla Overbeck

Holy s---t, what a WORLD CLASS PERFORMANCE! They saved their best game for last and peaked at the right time! I am so proud of this team, they are amazing athletes, players, and people! CONGRATULATIONS WORLD CHAMPIONS, you totally deserve it!

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7:57 p.m.

From: Briana Scurry

Carli "They call me PRIMETIME" Lloyd!! Enuff said...

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8:00 p.m.

From: Tisha Hoch

Ok so I just started watching.... Holy s--t we are on fire!!!! We are so dominating!! No way we lose this game with the team we have! Go USA

Tish

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8:03 p.m.

From: Joy Fawcett

I love it !! Awesome sitting in a bar full of USA fans so fun to be a part of all the excitement!!! 1 more half, take no prisoners and make sure Japan never forgets the USA!

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8:09 p.m.

From: Tisha Hoch

S--t, it's 4-2. Sub me out quick!

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8:14 p.m.

From: Sara Hess

OMG, Tish. U are hilarious.

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8:15 p.m.

From: Joy Fawcett

Go USA!!! I love the teamwork it took to bring the Cup home! Love this game!!

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8:48 p.m.

From: Tisha Hoch

What an amazing game! That was so fun to watch! So proud of our entire U.S. Team and staff. World Champs... Rock Stars! Classy Japanese side too! Miss you freaks!!!

Tish

***

8:57 p.m.

From: Shannon MacMillan

So beyond proud of this group of women! They have inspired a whole new generation of soccer players and no words can explain how excited I am for them! They fought through so much adversity and came together in the end to win big and erase all doubts! Welcome to the World Champion sorority ladies!!!

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9:03 p.m.

From: Kate Markgraf

It's hard to be what you can't see. There are young girls and boys who will forever remember your legacy and dream of greatness themselves. Thank you for continuing to grow the game and get ready for the '15ers comments (great number by the way).

***

10:09 p.m.

From: Cindy Parlow Cone

Wow! What a statement to the world! I am so happy for this team! They deserve to be champions as it was well earned! Well done '15ers and thank you for inspiring the next generation! 

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10:15 p.m.

From: Joy Fawcett

Go USA!! I love the teamwork it took to bring the cup home! Love this game!!

***

10:35 p.m.

From: Lorrie Fair

It was a baaaaaaaaaad day to be Japan! Thanks for pulling us together for this little email pow wow. It's funny, I remember bits and pieces of our matches in 99...but more than anything I remember the awesome moments with teammates. And it was so great to feel that connection again through this World Cup. I miss and love you all! Fur

***

10:42 p.m.

From: Brandi Chastain

As the 175 girls at Region IV ODP camp erupted in joy, chills went up my spine and tears rolled down my cheeks. 16 years since that joyous day in Pasadena and for the first time in the lives of these girls, they were witness to the U.S. Women winning a World Cup Championship. What an emotional roller coaster all ending in a crescendo of gold confetti. Today I am as PROUD to wear the U.S. crest as I was in 1999!

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Technology in Training

I've started using the new Iphone 6 in training and have found it to be an amazing tool for showing kids within practice, the visual of what they are doing right or wrong and what adjustments need to be made.  All done quickly without the need to interrupt the practice for a lengthy time. The capability of the slow-mo cam allows 240 frames per second, enabling great action video that can be analyzed.  I believe this visual training is imperative to quick learning and correcting faults.  Leading to quicker development. 

Take a look at the video shot this week showing the capability of the phone shooting 1st touch,

and striking the ball.   

Work with your child.  Take video.  Break down the technique.  I'm sure if like myself getting your son/daughter to listen to your direction may be hard :) .  You may have to get your coach involved.  

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You've been benched

The use of the wall is under rated and continuing from this I've started using benches in training.  The use of benches create a moveable wall that can be moved to facilitate the working on specific skills that require the ball to rebounded back into space (away from a wall) or angled to work on a specific 1 touch, passing , finishing activity.  The opportunities are endless.  Just use your imagination.  

Skill Skool Soccer works with small groups of kids in the summer and the themes in training allow myself to be creative and use props to aid in the training environment.  Below is a couple of examples of its use in training using small groups of players passing receiving and moving in line.

Obviously the indoor space typically will provide more opportunities but be on the look out for benches beside your training field.  You may be able to use them as apart of your training assuming you keep the environment safe.  

Don't get benched.  Use them.

  

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I'm going to Disney via Oklahoma

I know, I know its way too early to speak of Disney and my coaching has me traveling to that other fun mecca Tulsa for the US Youth National Championship Series next week.  Its been a journey and I would be the first to say an uncharted territory for me at FC Pride.  Expanding myself tactically has been the challenge playing such great teams, but the memories created with this group will last way longer than remembering the wins and losses.  Like in any great team you create a  dynamic that can only be described as family. Our family is strong.  Make sure you follow our family as we take on the best of the best.   And just for the record Keane has his bags packed for Disney. 

Follow @fcpride01gelite for updated tweets (We Need More Fans)

Live broadcasts of games, daily highlight videos, photos, reports and complete results from the US Youth Soccer National Championships are available on http://championships.usyouthsoccer.org.   

 

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Private Lessons

I'm a big believer in players working with the ball outside of the training environment.  Specific needs are never met in team training so make sure you are attending to those development needs.  It may be that you ask your coach to watch a soccer game with your child. At Skill Skool Soccer we aim to provide all that need based skill training in small groups. Contact me for all your individual and small group needs. 

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Teary For Thierry

With Zidane and Bergkamp  probably the most influential players of my playing generation.  What a talent.  What I would give to watch the invincibles  play the Barcelona of 5 years ago and the Real Madrid of present.  Wow!!!!!!  Take a bow Thierry and thank you for the memories.

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Tekkers

What do you have? Ashton has started a trend. #getitdone. Show your creativity hashtag #tekkers to @skillskoolsocr

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Automatism

New buzz word in soccer Automatism.  Nice blog from the Author Christopher Cramer Explains.

AUTOMATISM vs TACTICS

It is said that FC Barcelona does not directly teach tactics to young players at La Masia, and instead they focus on automatism.  Check out this article for further background on the concept and the context.

Here is a dictionary definition of automatism:

“The performance of actions without conscious thought or intention.”

The take away for many youth soccer “experts” is that FC Barcelona does not teach tactics to young players.  Full stop.  They use this to justify their belief that technique alone should be the primary focus at the young ages.  However, to say that FC Barcelona does not teach tactics does not do the academy, it’s teams, or it’s players justice.

The idea is to design training sessions and exercises that train tactical concepts and patterns so that players are receiving tactical instruction without realizing it.

This is where rondos and positional possession games come into play.  They are used to train players what do when they have the ball, what to do when they don’t have the ball, and how to transition between those two moments.

For those that do not know, a positional possession game places players in specific spaces within the playing area to best replicate the responsibilities and situations they will face in a game.  One of my favorite positional possession games is this 3v3+3 game:

 

I decided to use this mentality to develop my own drills to help better initiate the movement and teach the responsibilities to my U11 and 12 teams.  Let me know what you think. 

WORKING WITH YOUNG OUTSIDE MIDFIELD PLAYERS

 

 

SET UP :   11 players in grid 40 by 40 (field and numbers can be adjusted ).  3 v 3 + 5.  4 of the 5 players are positioned on the outside and all 5 players are all time offense.  We are using defenders as all time offensive players to simulate movement/switching  of the ball and working the ball into outside midfield players feet. 

 

Possessional objective is to move the ball from target to target.  This initiates wide players involvement that can receive a free pass into the channel. Opponent can only enter the channel when ball is played in to it. Defensive players should be encouraged to move the ball across the back line and then choose to play to feet or look beyond the defender if the defender is too square or too close to receiving  player (in channel).  

 

The drill initiates great lateral movement and allows the play to build without the midfield player being put under immediate pressure.  Restrictions and stipulation of passes/touches can be created within exercise.

 

 

 

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Move it Move it

"Keep moving the ball but what are you moving." This season the theme for my teams is to build on an objective around possession style soccer. We have talked before about the art of keeping a ball, but what we do with it is key. My 11 and 12 year olds have the hardest time tactically transitioning to the bigger fields. In the girls game extra effort has to be made to paint the picture of where/how/why we move it.

I saw this quote today and I think it sums up what we are all trying to achieve. It's not just how you move the ball but how we move the other team.

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SOCCER MOVIE : NEXT GOAL WINS

Fantastic story and a must watch for any youth soccer coach or player. Especially those that have ever lost 31-0 or a game that may have seemed like a lot to a little. #againstallodds 

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Possession : What you doing with it?

Stats don't lie but they do sometimes paint a picture that doesn't always reflect the effectiveness of soccer teams.  It has been the vogue of late to maximize the possession stat and was very much the way of clubs like Barcelona and Arsenal that would typically have the ball 65%+.  But you can argue that unless you have a purpose or can execute in the final third than possession is simply a statistic.  Many clubs have now adapted their play to compensate for  their lack of possession and concentrate more on the pressure they exert and where on the pitch, complimenting it with quick counter attacking soccer that think less of possession and really more of what you do with it. 

Many club teams coaches are guilty of playing possession for the sake of just learning to keep a ball.  There is much value in this,  as I have sometimes played non directional possession with better teams for the simple task of playing quicker and more controlled in tighter space.  But the possession drill can be manipulated 1 million and 1 ways.  Their has to be objectives to your possession.  Areas of concern that I   preach to teams, especially young teams,  is support and communication (yes 10 year olds can talk on the field) and utilizing a thrown-in  to restart possession which most teams struggle in keeping the ball when having to start from their hands.  

Here is two drills that work on both of these objectives. 

COMMUNICATION

SET UP :   6 players in grid 20 x 20.  3 players in the middle with 1 defender.  2 players on the outside of square.  

Possession starts by players moving the ball in the area.  Defenders get out by winning ball or loss of possession. Players on the outside look for opportunities to step on to the field but have to 

1. Recognize an area of the field that they can move in to and 

2. Communicating to a player on the inside to drop out.  

Players will learn to be creative in their transition from out to inside and should look to not just replace players position but replace into a mother area of the field that the ball can be played to. 

THROWINS

Set Up

6 players in grid 20 x 20.  3 players in the middle with 1 defender.  2 players on the outside of square one has a ball in their hands.  

Possession starts by players moving the ball in the area.  Defenders get out by winning ball or loss of possession. After 3, 4, 5.... passes ball is played out to player who does not have a ball.  Player that passes ball to the outside steps out of square.  Restart with player with ball throwing in and possession resumes. 

1. Work on speed of transition of one ball to the other.  

2. Supporting players creating space in the square to receive quick throw-in. 

3. Work on the quality of the throw and the technical ability of players receiving and playing quickly out of the air. 

 

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FANTASY PREMIERSHIP

JOIN THE REST OF THE WORLD IN PLAYING FANTASY SOCCER.  WHO WILL BE THE NEXT JOSE.  http://fantasy.premierleague.com IS THE CHOICE OF MOST FANS.  FEEL FREE TO JOIN THE LEAGUE THAT MANY OF THE LOCAL COACHES PARTICIPATE IN. 

league is uindy and the code to get in is : 1209271-266858.

 

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GOT GOT GOT NEED

For many they are a key part of the World Cup build up, but it has been claimed pupils have been banned from swapping Panini football stickers in their school playground because 'it's annoying for teachers'.

The collectables, featuring stars such as Christiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar, have reportedly been blamed for a number of playground bustups between young football fans.

It has been claimed that teachers at Battyeford Primary School in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, became so fed up as their pupils' desire for the stickers reached fever pitch that they have banned them from the playground.

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Craze: Pupils have been banned from swapping Panini football stickers in their school playground because 'it's annoying for teachers', it is claimed


'Pupils were getting into fights and teachers were getting annoyed,' childminder Lisa Davies-Unger, 47, who looks after children at the school, told The Sun.

'It's a distraction so I suppose that led to the ban.'

However, a spokesman at the school said children had not been banned from bringing the stickers to school, and were even encouraged to swap the stickers as part of a school club.


'There is no ban on children bringing stickers into school,' he said. 

'Children are welcome to bring in their stickers and they are doing so with the blessing of staff. We even have a special club where children can get together and swap them in their free time.'

Panini, which has the exclusive rights from FIFA to produce and sell the tournament's official sticker album expects this year's edition to be the most popular yet, with billions sold before and during this year's competition.

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Rules: Teachers at Battyeford Primary School in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, deny children have been banned from bringing stickers to school

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Collection: Panini, which has the exclusive rights from FIFA to produce and sell World Cup official sticker albums expects this year's edition to be the most popular yet

 

Already 40million of the packets, which sell for around 50p, have been bought - and no doubt swapped - worldwide. 

And last week it was reported that a teacher in the Columbian city of Bucaramanga had been accused of confiscating stickers from pupils, and using them to complete his own Panini album.

According to local media a 13-year-old boy reported seeing the teacher in the staff room filling his album with the stickers taken from children. 

Last month Panini had to reassure fans in Brazil that there would not be a shortage of stickers after thieves hijacked a van containing 300,000 of them.

GOT, GOT, GOT, NEED: A HISTORY OF COLLECTIBLE FOOTBALL STICKERS
Football stickers are popular around the globe Collectible football cards and stickers have been swapped by young football fans since the late 1880s when they were frequently found inside cigarette packets. Italian company Panini started selling packets of football stickers in the 1960s and in 1970 produced its first World Cup album to tie in with that year's tournament in Mexico - selling the stickers outside of Italy for the first time. Football stickers took off in the UK in 1978, when the World Cup was being held in Argentina. A 1980s market research survey revealed that more than 90 percent of boys aged between nine and 11 had bought at least one packet of football stickers. And by the 1990s collecting stickers was a full blown phenomenon, with girls and boys alike eagerly trading 'shinys' as they tried to complete the set. In 1994 multiple re-prints were needed for sticker company Merlin's first official Premier League collection, such was the demand. Last November, 29-year-old Portsmouth fan and comedy writer Adam Carroll-Smith made headlines when he tracked down the six players whose faces were missing from his 1996 Merlin Premier League Album. It took him six months to trace Keith Curle, Stuart Ripley, Scott Minto, Gary Penrice, Philippe Albert and Lars Bohinen, visit them and take their pictures to fill in the gaps in his album, documenting his efforts in his book Six Stickers: A Journey To Complete An Old Sticker Album. Every year Panini prints more than a billion stickers, and as well as football stickers also print ranges featuring cartoon characters such as Peppa Pig and bands including One Direction. In the 2013/14 season Topps, which has owned the rights to Merlin since 1995, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the official Premier League Sticker collection. Topps also produces Match Attax, a trading card game which also features Premier League stars.

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PANINI STICKER ALBUM

I encourage you to log on to http://en.stickeralbum.fifa.com and have your soccer playing child start building their live sticker album.  I remember as a child myself purchasing soccer cards to put in to my album and this is a pastime that was passed on from my older brothers.  An addictive hobby that now I share with my son.  Each day you get to open up new packets of virtual cards and place them in the book.  Ensuring the child learns about all the countries participating and the players that play for them.  Duplicate cards are traded with other members.  What fun we had.  Get them involved. 

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