Saturday, December 7, 2013

Niagara College Women's Soccer - 2013 season reflection

From the first day of fitness training in March 2013, I was glad I returned to coach the Niagara College Knights Varsity Women's Soccer Team.

The in-season phase of our program ended with a last minute 2-1 loss to Lambton College on October 6 at our home field.

I was coach of the women's program from 2008-2010 then left.  I returned to the college in 2012 to coach the men, then took on both teams this past season.

We had a job to do. The team had 4 points and 3 goals combined over the previous 2 seasons.  Their combined goal differential was -64.  They had credible coaches during that time that I respect,  so I cannot speculate as to what happened.  But I did watch most of their games last season.

My first call was to Kristin Campbell, one of the assistants with us when I coached last time.  Kristin was our indoor team MVP in 2009 and has a good understanding of the game.  She is a very active 12-month player on the women's soccer scene.  She is just as passionate as a coach as she was as a player.

Gary Condon has been the assistant coach for this program for the last two coaches.  Gary has a long soccer resume, a lot of coaching experience on the women's side and a former student-athlete himself while at University. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The importance of the Quick, Early and Accurate pass

I've watched a lot of sports at various levels and I like to think I know which players are better than others.

My main experiences have been with soccer, hockey and basketball.  But over the last 3 years I've been introduced to and am enjoying field lacrosse.  This past fall, my son was a member of the University of Guelph Lacrosse team and I watched them play at least ten games plus their tournament on the way to winning a National Championship.  I used my old experiences to help me identify who the strong players were.

I always observe a player's athleticism, speed, "smarts", durability and body language.  But one thing I do appreciate about sports at a high level is how quickly the ball (or puck) moves. 

During my licensing courses with the CSA, our instructors used a term that has always stuck with me - "Quick/Early/Accurate" passing.  It's short enough to insert into your coaching and easy for players to