There is nothing better than attending a great conference to recharge the batteries and get fired up about what you are doing.
Last weekend my high school staff and a few soccer association board of directors attended the national soccer coaches convention in Indianapolis. There were over 10,000 soccer coaches in attendance at this year soccer party. The opportunity is there to talk to former national team players, current and former national team coaches, and listen to presentations from some of the top people in the game.
One of the positive things about these conventions is that you are able to hear what is going on all over the country regarding the game of soccer. Many of the sessions gave us confirmation that we are on the right track and doing the right things in Fond du Lac.
Earlier this week I received a question regarding our U14 recreation league. This past summer the FDLSA experimented with co-ed in the U14 age group, 11 v 11 and special rules for scoring and number of girls on the field. After researching player development it was decided to go back to a U14 girls league and a U14 co-ed (formally known as the boys league).
The FDLSA has made a commitment to improving player development this year and a smaller-sided game, 7 v 7, in a gender specific environment will be the best opportunity to help advance our players skill.
Boys are gaining strength and speed during this period and are often not in good control of these newly developed skills. This often makes the game a little rougher and not as fun for someone who is not as strong, there is a safety concern as well.
The association will also offer a training night for this age group to come and work on their skills and team concepts as a group. A coach will be provided to help grow their skills and the U14 team can use this night as a practice. The coach of the U14 team will be given some guidance as well, we can help this age group become better players. The board is asking you to embrace this concept and look at it as a great opportunity for player development.
During the convention this past week I was able to listen to session that featured former world cup coaches and players. They shared their stories and experiences of playing and/or coaching in a world cup. Players included, Julie Foudy, April Hinrich, Claudia Reyna, and Walter Bahr.
Time to take these newly charged batteries and get to work on this upcoming spring season and summer soccer league.
Keep on Kickin’