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Lightning 042703-0160

Posted by Jeff Stiffler at Apr 28, 2003 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Lightning Team picture 4/27/03. Frt row: Logan; Nathan; Christopher; Hunter; Cory. Bk row: Ross; Eric; Aaron; Ryne; Scott; Jonathan; Austin; Coach Dennis.image
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THROW INS....WINNING THE BALL

Posted by Jeff Stiffler at Apr 25, 2003 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
I have been watching a lot of games recently. One of the things that I have come to realize, is how often a team loses possession after a throw in. If each of you start watching very closely, I think you would come to realize how easy it is to take possession of the ball after a throw in. You must act very quickly, and swiftly. As soon as the ball has been thrown, you need to be on the go towards the player that is going to receive the ball. Most of the time you would be surprised to see how the pressure will cause them to make a mistake and lose possession. Try it in the next game you play. Coach Jeff Stiffler. *********************************************************************
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LEARNING TO KICK, USING YOUR PLANT FOOT.

Posted by Jeff Stiffler at Apr 21, 2003 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Today’s subject deals with THE PLANT FOOT. In many cases, when a ball has been passed or shot poorly the reason is an improperly placed plant foot. Let’s start with explaining what the plant foot is and how it’s used. The plant foot is the non-kicking foot (for example, if you are shooting with the right foot, the left foot would be your plant foot right before you hit the shot). The plant foot provides balance, aim and helps with power for the pass or shot. When shooting, the plant foot should be approximately 6-8 inches to the side of the ball upon making contact (this means that if you are shooting with your right foot, the left foot would be planted 6-8 inches to the left of the ball). If the ball goes to high, you frequently hear people yell “get your knee over the ball”. However the real problem frequently is that the plant foot was too far behind the ball, which makes it nearly impossible to get the knee over the ball. If the ball goes too far to the shooters left, it usually means the plant foot was too close to the ball which results in the shooter making contact on the right side of the ball. If it looks like the shooter hits the ball into the ground, most likely the plant foot is too far forward of the ball. These are some examples of how the plant foot directly effects the direction of the shot or pass. The other way the plant foot effects the accuracy of the pass is that the direction the plant foot is facing will usually be the direction the ball will go. This means that if you want to shoot towards the far post, the plant foot should be pointed directly at the far post. The plant foot also is used to generate power as well. Many young players seem to think that a long approach to the ball will allow them to pass or shoot it harder. However, it really all comes down to the last step of the approach. If the last step leading into the plant foot is a long hard one, most likely the pass or shot will be hit hard. If this last step is short and slow, the shot will be short and slow. The exception to this is if the last step leads to a plant foot with a straight knee. If the knee on the leg of the plant foot is straight as opposed to slightly bent, the momentum from the last step will be lost. Also, if the knee isn’t slightly bent, there will be some problem maintaining good balance on the shot. If you want to improve your passing and shooting, take a good hard look at your plant foot and you will probably be able to improve in a short period of time. *********************************************************************
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Team Lightning is UNSTOPPABLE!!!!!!!!

Posted by Jeff Stiffler at Mar 14, 2003 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
March 15.2003 Lightning Beats the Irish Soccer Strikers the #2 Team 3 – 2. What a game it was. I could hear the parents yelling, and cheering on the other side of the field. It was indeed a terrific game. There was a lot of intense playing out there today from both teams. Great job to all of the players and coaches. Here are some stats that I kept on today’s game: Lightning Irish Strikers (game half) 1st 2nd 1st 2nd Shots on Goal 12 10 6 12 Goalie Saves 5 14 7 6 Goals 2 1 0 2 Totals: 22 Shots on Goal 18 19 Goalie Save 13 3 GOALS 2image
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STEP UP TO EARLY DEFENDING:

Posted by Jeff Stiffler at Feb 5, 2003 4:00PM PST ( 0 Comments )
Today’s subject deals with early defending. When a player loses possession of the ball, frequently the first thing they do is to put their head down. Next they start to go back to get into a position to defend. The thing this doesn’t take into consideration is that the opposing team is probably going to be slow in making the transition from defense to offense so, if the players who just lost the ball can be quicker in making the transition to defense than the opponent is to making the transition to offense, they can frequently win the ball very quickly. The key is, as soon as a team has lost the ball they have to have the mentality of trying to win it back right away. Of course, this has to be done with some thought and if it’s not the best place on the field to do it, or because of some other factors such as spacing this isn’t realistic, than it might be better to get back and compress the field defensively. One of the keys to making the quick transition from offense to defense is for there to be a lot of communication. Since the tendency is for a player to put their head down upon making a mistake, if the players behind them can encourage them to make the transition quickly, than it will be easier for him. Also, it has to be something that is practiced on a regular basis. Whenever playing a keep away or possession game in training, when there is a lot of possession, the players that lost the ball should IMMEDIATELY try to win it back. This is the difference of doing a drill and playing the game. In a drill, when there is a loss of possession, everyone stops and does it again. When playing the game (even if it’s in training) the players have to think about these transition periods. The players and teams that make the transitions from offense to defense and defense to offense quicker are usually the ones who are successful so keep this in mind the next time you go on the field to play. Thanks Coach Stiffler. **************************************************