Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Eric Cressey's 20 Ways to Prepare Young Athletes

I've been following Eric Cressey for quite some time now.  I like the technical insights he provides for baseball training.  Here is an excellent example of his work about working with young people.

Ever feel like someone is watching your every move?

Grantland's Brian Phillips wrote an interesting piece on Maradona, arguably one of the greatest ever, at least on the field.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Making excuses for losing games

My coed Futsal team wrapped up the winter session on Saturday with a 1-5 loss.  We went the entire session without winning a game, 0-6-1 was our record.  Not many people like to lose, and I consider myself a gracious loser, always respecting the opponent.  Having said that, a win-less season is very difficult to accept.

The coed team I put together was a combination of my son's eight year old and my daughter's nine year old teams.  Both teams finished in the top half of their divisions this fall.  All of the players are pretty good for their age, some better than average.  So I wouldn't claim we were out talented.

It was our first foray into indoor Futsal and none of the kids have had any experience with the heavier, low bounce ball, on the smaller, compact field. I think the fast pace of the game also surprised them and me. 
It was seemed like every team in our division had played before.  They were quicker to respond to the action.  They dribbled less and passed more, some actually executed set plays.  They shot on goal at every opportunity.    More than once I overheard coaches say after the game, "See you at practice."

So what went wrong with my youngsters?    

My team didn't practice, we don't have the indoor space and we were driving 40 minutes for the games as it was.  We were placed in a mega division, full of veteran teams.  The five of the six teams we played were older than us, we played three 11 year old teams, and two ten year old teams.  The one team that wasn't older, took first place in the league with an +84 goal differential.  

So I'm a little stuck on how I should feel.  We learned some new things, the rules and pace of the Futsal game.  How to match up against an older more aggressive opponent.  I spoke with the kids about how much they improved as a team and individually in the short session.  We didn't score a goal in the first two games, but finished with eight goals total.     

One of them asked, "So we didn't win a game?" 

I said, "Sometimes you've got to take your lumps to get better." 

I'm not sure I believed my own response.  I'm not sure it was fair to ask us to play in such a league that we were so overpowered.  As a coach, I've been seeking answers for what I could have done better.  I'm trying not to make excuses for losing games.     

Coach Matty

Coach Matty does a great job of breaking down baseball into easy to follow steps.  Check out his YouTube videos here Pro Swing NY.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baseball Injuries

Good article on early season injuries when playing baseball.