Saturday, May 19, 2012

U13 - Three games in Rochester, NY

Today our u13 boys were in Rochester , NY for three friendlies.  Our host was the Rush-Henrietta Soccer Club.  The opposition was good for our boys.  In Canada, U13 boys are born in 1999.  In the US, U13 boys are born Aug 1, 1998 to July 31, 1999, so we played some boys who were physically more mature.  For a boy born in December 1999, we had potential 16 month mismatches.  We had one game against an American U14 team, so we had potential 28 month mismatches on the field.

The age difference is the main attraction for me in going to the USA.  A little bit of hard opposition never killed anybody.  The grass was long and both teams were caught with dying passes, but that’s for a player to adjust to and pass with the proper weight on the ball.

We had a few simple things were were looking for today:
  • Stretch the field by getting balls in behind defenders for wingers
  • Better restarts
  • Shape of midfielders 
  • Pressuring the ball while defending
The quantitative results of today’s games were 2 ties (1-1 and 2-2) and a 3-0 loss to the U14s.

Our 11-man on-field organization is moving forward with good results and more confidence.

The team had some great moments on the field.  Plenty of crosses, lots of penetrating passes to wingers, combinations between teammates and more effective restarts.  And we discovered plenty of things to work on.

The main reason our restarts are having more success is Coach Paul's work with our goalkeeper.  He was struggling to hit a sold ball off the ground.  Coach Paul is spending time with him, hitting balls with no pressure and allowing more success and building confidence.

Today was a smash success in that every player had several strong moments, as well as exposed areas to improve, and we also got a chance to assess everybody again to determine the topics of the next few sessions.  We stay demanding on their intensity when pressuring the ball and stay patient in that department.  Being first to the ball and denying forward progress is our biggest weakness.

Our technical weaknesses derail a lot of possibilities (most opponents are the same) but that has also been getting better.  Proper technique allows you to worry about your decisions without worrying if you can execute.   No technique, no tactics, no chance.

But what do we do?  Our league is 11v11, since U11.  But at U11 and U12 I don’t feel a player has the tools to play full field effectively.  So what happens?  Systemically, across Ontario and Canada, we find ways to succeed, foregoing proper and patient development and arrive at the older ages lacking a complete technical package.  That’s why I support LTPD.  Our U13 kids will never feel it’s full effect, but we still work and expose the boys to as much technical work as possible.

Looking forward to our final training sessions leading to our season opener.

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