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Warm-up involved short passing in pairs, but holding and controlling the ball for 2 seconds before returning the pass. We ran "The Beep Test" for the first time with the 11 players on hand. Denise and Leanne managed to hang on until the first stage of Level 9. The first ones dropped out at Level 6. Keep in mind that this is not a pass/fail test. It is here to provide you with a benchmark to beat next time by improving your aerobic capacity with running practice in between. We will keep records of your performance each week. I handed out a copy of the test documentation to take home. We will run the test each practice as part of our conditioning training. Fifteen minutes were dedicated to 'personal" time where players worked on a particular skill. Some seek and use coaches to help, others work on their own. We ran the bench ball game. We did our two players passing drill with one player moving backwards and doing different foot movements on the ball. Closed with a 4 v 4 scrimmage. Hoping to see more possession control, moves, running plays. Bringing practice into our games is essential. Thanks to Gus Proietti who provided new waterbottles for everyone last week. BOB T
11 players were on hand. Warm-up in threes with short passing, always watching the ball, modified to have the ball pass through one players legs, and modified again to include a stepover move before the pass. Bench ball game for 10 minutes. Discussion We sat down and had a 20 minutes discussion about a variety of topics. Taking practice into scrimmage and games. We must start to bring our practice drills into our regular play. We will waste all of our practice effort if we don't make this leap of faith. Only 2 or 3 girls are actually out there taking the chance. All agreed to concentrate on this effort. We reviewed our team preference to bring the ball out of our own end up the side. Although we always agree that's the way we do it, we seldom discipline ourselves to actually make it happen, taking the easy but less effective way up the middle. We also spent some time walking through player positioning and run timing to keep defenders off guard. We reviewed the need for a back-up goalie who will train with Cayla as well as train with the team. All those from the team who want to, will attend a tryout somewhere in early March. If our internal choices are not available or suitable I will recruit outside of the team. We discussed our ball control/possession skills and emphasized that time on the ball is the only way to improve. Find a wall or another player who will send the ball back to you. Every time you touch the ball you get a little bit better. This Saturday's scrimmage was cancelled due to player unavailability. We will have an exhibition game the following Saturday at Gonzaga from 6:30-8pm. Please be at the gym by 6 pm. We discussed and demonstrated passing to space. We often pass the ball to a player who has a defender standing on her shoes. We must use passing lanes for the receiver to run in to. Receivers must use signals to indicate to the passer where she is going. Our warm-up routines before games need to intensify. We must look and act like we are ready for "battle" and send a message to the other team that we are "dangerous" before the ball is kicked. The team will practice their 6's so on the stage they can look pumped and scary. We talked about "no more tears". We have had tears flowing lately because players get upset from missed shots, tackles and other assignments. Let's all save the tears for when they are needed. Crying robs your focus, your energy and send a sign of weakness to the other team. When we make a mistake, and we all will, many times, we have an immediate job to clean up the mess. There can be no time to feel sorry for ourselves. Our last game showed how half a game can pass before we get the confidence to stand up and control the ball with our bodies. Our pregame warm-ups must include body blocks in our 6's to try and be ready at the first kick off and not the half time kick off. We talked about "first to the ball" and stepping up in the play. We all know how to do it, we often wait half a game to get there when we do. We talked about the importance of playing soccer without the ball rather than standing waiting for the ball. We spent some time shooting crossed balls from both sides using the appropriate foot to shoot. Players were reminded not to practice 'missing" and to stay focussed on their shot until it is in the net. Ball work and shooting with the "other foot" must continue on their own. We spent some time reviewing the 6's and the variety of touches possible. We scrimmaged for 15 minutes with each team assigned a play they had to pull off in the scrimmage (using practice in our games). This needs work. I saw another player tonight take the risk and do a stepover in scrimmage. It wasn't pretty but the effort was huge and the next time will be easier. The girls were issued water bottles provided from Gus Proietti and copies of the latest "Futbol" magazine that features a spread on the Erin Mills GU14 National Champions. We had a productive practice. A reminder, I need passport size photos for those advised in my earlier mail. Make it easy on me please and save me having to chase you. Beep Test rehearsal next Wed. BOB T
HEROES “When I am called to duty God, whenever flames may rage. Give me strength to save some life whatever be its age.” These are some the words that surely run through the minds of every man and woman who is called to duty. The shrill of the alarm shatters the stillness of the night. The sound is not unknown to them or ever silent for long, but each time the alarm tolls they rise from their beds with calming speed gained through hours of training and rush to the scene of danger. Our heroes of the night. Teachers, staff and students of Divine Mercy School, My name is Cayla Brianna Avila and I have chosen to speak to you today about our fire fighter heroes. We take them for granted simply because we know they are there for us. The big red flashy truck – A three digit phone call away. Never once imagining what the life and job of a firefighter could be. The pictures we see in television movies or news clips can never truly capture the terrifying reality these brave people face on a daily basis. Have you ever been weighted down with an insulated bunker suit of fifty pounds or more while trying to pull a human life from a burning car? Have you ever felt the force of 155 gallons of water per minute pounding at your back? Or felt the intense heat of the licking flames clawing at you while doing it? Can you feel it? “Help me embrace a little child before it is too late or save an older person from the horror of that fate. Enable me to be alert and hear the weakest shout and quickly and efficiently to put the fire out.” Have you ever entered a building with smoke so thick and foul you can’t see past the end of your arm, knowing the fire is lurking behind the walls ready to erupt? Have you ever heard the cry of agony from a desperate mother who’s child is lost in an inferno? Or the wailing of an elderly wife who’s husband is trapped with crippled legs in a wheel chair? Can you hear it? It is our human instinct for safety and security that makes us run from danger and harm, but the instinct of a firefighter and protector is to run to it and fight that danger no matter the odds. Can you imagine the compassion and endurance required for such a job? Do you have it? “I want to fill my calling and to give the best in me to guard my every neighbour and protect his property.” Take a look around you. That’s you and me. The unknown face, the total stranger, we are that neighbour they have chosen to protect. They’ve taken a oath to live their lives by a set of rules only the strongest of mind and the bravest of heart ever could. We are the lucky ones, for we are able to curl up under a blanket of safety our firefighters provide for us. Have you ever ridden in that big red truck, with sirens blaring and lights flashing as it speeds through traffic headed for dangers unknown? Have you ever looked at a member of your crew and wondered if this was the last time you’d ever see them? Do you carry a mental picture with you of everyone you truly love? Or know the meaning of the phrase I’ll see you later? They do. “And if according to my fate I am to lose my life please bless with your protecting hand my loving family from strife.” These are the final words of the Fireman’s Prayer, author unknown, which hangs in fire halls across North America, and these are the words only the bravest can commit to heart and despite the risk continue to do their job anyway. For you, for me. When was the last time you visited a fire hall and looked a truly great hero in the eye? Do you want to? CAYLA AVILA GRADE 6 DIVINE MERCY SCHOOL, MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO (and past GOALKEEPER ERIN MILLS EAGLES GIRLS 1990)
Nine players were on hand tonight. We began with the usual 10 minute ball dance aerobics. Followed by short passing up and down the gym in pairs. (This still needs lots of work - lets all find a wall to play against) We played our bench ball game. (aerobics and short finish play). We played 1v1 30 second keepaway. One player had to shield the ball around the gym for 30 seconds, the other had to get the ball. The "defeated" one enjoyed 5 pushups. Partners were changed. (Trying to encourage better shielding and possession control) Everyone had a 12 minute "personal development" period. Some did keepups and some did shooting. Another short passing play followed with one player running backwards and receiving a pass from an oncoming player. Some variations with the touch. This encourages better ball control when moving and off balance. (Lot of work needed here also) Scrimmage followed. Each team was required to execute a secret planned play at some point during the scrimmage. All scrimmages will include this twist from now on so we can get the gang to bring practice into their games. We were entertained with a speech by Cayla about fire and firefighters. Cayla will provide a transcript for posting on our website page. Niki said she would also and hopefully Shari will send hers along also. BOB T
We had nine players out tonight - eventually. Late arrival is creeping in again. A reminder, I am at the gym by 6pm latest for those who want some extra time. I would appreciate being made aware of planned practice absence. I build practice programs and drills around an expected number and I worry when players are not there when they are expected. We began with our 3 player short passing warm-up drill. Short pass quality continues to be the limiting factor in all of our drills. 5 minutes with players always watching the ball and moving to space after passing. 5 minutes same drill with a step over move before passing. We played benchball (with a twist). Players raced around the goals to a centre placed ball and scrimmaged until one team scored. Hard work but everyone wanted to continue. We returned to our sideline passing drill working a ball out from our own end and adding a dummy fake to the routine. The third man running drill followed. Scrimmage for the final 25 minutes with several reminders to incorporate practice drills into game play. The team building session raised a request for more scrimmage time. This will be provided when I see attempts at new skills and plays under pressure. I still need to see more shielding of the ball and more space creation so players have more time to decide what to do. I encourage all players to find a small space at home or in a school yard where you can kick a ball against a wall and work on those small foot skills. These ball mastery skills will not magically happen. They require lots and lots of repetition. Try putting on some dance music like we do on Wednesdays and do your footskills with the music. All you need is 15 minutes a day. COACH BOB