Posted by Jeff Stiffler on Feb 17 2004 at 04:00PM PST
Marking on Opponent Players! I went with a coach friend of mine (Mark Ryan) on Saturday evening after the Rapids game on 2/14/04. Mark is a teacher, and has a student that plays soccer. The student had been trying to get Mr. Ryan to watch one of his games. Mark had called me and asked if I would like to go. Of course I said why would I want to go watch a soccer game! I guess it’s because I love the game. As I watched, I noticed something that I have seen in our teams lately. They had a very young team, and were challenging a team that had some great skills. The kids never looked upset, maybe a bit disappointed. It is very hard being a coach that is just a spectator, because you want to start yelling and helping. The problem I saw is a problem that the London Teams are having. We let our guard off of the opponent. There is the same amount of players from both teams out on the field. We must mark up on each player on the field. The keeper may be an exception and perhaps not if they are open and available to receive a back pass with no opposition. We need to make sure that we keep ourselves close enough to the opposite team, so that they cannot receive the ball very easily. We must oppose them and not allow them to gain possession of the ball. A good team that can make and receive passes, only needs 3 to 4 feet to work in. If we stay close, and not allow them to receive the ball, we are doing great. The team with the possession will usually win. REMEMBER THIS: The player with the ball is the MOST DANGEROUS PLAYER ON THE FIELD. THE PLAYER THEY CAN PASS TO IS THE NEXT MOST DANGEROUS PLAYER ON THE FIELD. If we do not mark them close, the end result will be a GOAL for the other team. The Team played very well for being a younger team. They played a team that was very well trained, and organized. It will make them better players, and a better Team, to challenge teams like this, but we all have to remember not to let the other TEAMS PLAYERS OUT OF OUR SITE. Great Job SWSA. Coach Jeff Stiffler. London Soccer. *********************************************************************


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