Soccer Team Goes From Worst To First
A great email story from one of our customers.
In Fall 2007, our boys played in the Northern
California Youth Soccer Association Boys Under 9
Competitive Level 3 division. We had high hopes
for the team because our boys are good athletes
with solid soccer skills. The boys were hand
picked from the previous year’s recreational
league and were the standouts in the league. In
addition, we hired a coach that is a former
professional player and a recently retired head
coach of the San Jose Frogs of the National
Premier Soccer League.
severe beatings in our first games, we believed
our main problem was defense. We gave our
opponents too many break away opportunities,
which put a huge burden on our under-sized
Keeper. Moving one of our strongest players to
Sweeper helped reduce our opponents scoring
chances somewhat, but we still were not clearing
the ball and most of the game was spent in our
half of the field.
On Offense, when
we were able to advance the ball, the boys were
getting chances by either dribbling around our
opponents or centering the ball to an open
player. Unfortunately, we rarely put the ball
into the back of the net. Most scoring
opportunities were concluded with inaccurate and
weak kicks that went wide or were easy to block.
Many times, their Keeper would block or deflect
the ball without securing it, giving us an
opportunity for a follow up attempt at goal, but
our Strikers had either fallen down or stopped
after the initial kick.
We finished the
season with a record of 0 Wins, 9 Losses, and 1
Tie. (GF-8 GA-38)
Later in the
season we finally realized that we had an
underlying problem that our boys were just not
kicking the ball with any power. That’s why they
had trouble clearing the ball out of their end
or scoring when they had good opportunities.
We started doing
some extra drills at practice that we thought
would increase the power of their kicks, such as
repetitively kicking the ball as hard as they
could or doing exercises such as hopping on one
foot to build up leg strength. But that didn’t
help. We later learned that it was only
reinforcing bad habits.
It wasn’t until
late in the season that we realized that most of
our boys had various problems with their basic
kicking techniques. Several boys were putting
their plant foot well behind the ball causing
them to over extend and fall after the kick.
Others had their plant foot too close or too far
away (not hip width distance) or they were toe
kicking the ball. And, almost all the boys were
just pushing through the ball, not winding up,
and therefore, not kicking with power.
We didn’t really
know the best way to solve all of these problems
and so I started doing Internet searches for any
tips, tricks, or techniques that might help us.
I soon discovered the Blast the Ball web site
and after reading some of the success stories
and watching the preview I thought it was
exactly what we needed.
The coaches and
I watched the video and decided to incorporate
one or two of Coach V’s Blast the Ball lessons
or drills into every one of our practices. We
started at the very beginning and worked our way
through most of the video. For example, for each
boy we measured the distance between their hip
bones and explained the theory behind using the
natural swing path to get maximum power. We
worked a lot on plant foot positioning and used
a round ring to force the boys to step closer to
the ball. And, of course, we practiced the
soccer hop at the beginning of every practice.
and coaches of young boys will publicly state
that the most important goal is for the kids to
have fun and develop their skills, I strongly
believe most parents (and kids) join a
competitive soccer team to compete and win and
failing to do so can cause low morale and anger
in both the parents and kids.
through a season with no wins and several
humiliating losses, we had about half of the
parents bitterly complain about the coaching,
the refereeing, and eventually pull their kids
from the team. Even though the kids had
developed quite a bit and had lots of fun at
practices and most games.
On the other
hand, in this recent spring season, I witnessed
both parents and kids get energized and excited
after winning their first few games. Parents
were friendlier to each other, volunteered to
help more, and wanted the get the team together
outside of soccer. The boys were also nicer to
each other and more forgiving of each others
I am proud to
say the Pacific Soccer Academy Boys U9 team took
first place in the recent spring league scoring
on average over 4 goals per game.
So winning may
not be the only thing, but despite what many
will say, winning is important.
I think the
Blast the Ball video is a must-have tool for all
coaches and parents interested in developing
their kid’s soccer skills.
with many years experience, like our own, may
not realize that their players are not kicking
with maximum efficiency or even if they do, they
probably don’t know the right way to teach it.
Most coaches would be wise to take advantage of
the expertise and knowledge contained within the
Blast the Ball video and use that information to
improve the capabilities of their players.
should not wait for coaches to teach proper
kicking techniques to their children because it
may or may not happen. I recently purchased my
own copy of the video to have at home. I’m going
to use it with my youngest son, who just turned
4 years old, to make sure he starts off kicking
the ball properly.
I can’t give
“Blast the Ball” 100% credit for our dramatic
turn around because the boys worked really hard
and received excellent coaching, but “Blast the
Ball” certainly was a major factoring in helping
the boys put the ball into the back of the net
with greater accuracy and power.
Thank you very
much Coach V for developing the “Blast the Ball”
PSA Boys U10 Team Manager