Our HS girls JV played in their 1st tourney of the season and the results were about what we were expecting, given the teams we were up against. As we watched and gave some adjustment advice to the players both on pitch and on bench, it became clear just how much we need to not only train but change some mental concepts of how the game is played.
Several of our girls have very little to zero experience playing the game, most have some recreational soccer experience and just a very few have played in a club environment. It does make for a unique field presence. One of the biggest struggles the majority of our players faced was an internal concept that soccer is a non contact sport, that we must be polite to opposing contests and defer to the style and manner of game the opposition dictates.
My assistant and I were speaking after one of the games when a player (who had never played) asked “coach, how long does a soccer game last and do you think I will learn to play this season..”,she went on to say she felt that everyone we faced must have been playing all their life because they looked like they knew everything.
My answer probably created more questions than relief for my player but I wanted her to begin the journey of being hungry for more in her game- I replied to her-” in our case, a game lasts 60 minutes and an entire lifetime. As far as knowing everything about soccer, I have yet to meet a player that has mastered the game. We spend our entire life watching, reflecting and working to become just a little bit more comfortable with the ball and the world it lives within, at the end of the day, the only thing we can hope to have mastered is our work rate and our attitude towards getting better”
We went on to win 1 and lose 3 matches that weekend none were complete blow outs, the worse one being a 4-0 loss against a team with some of my club girls. Our journey is just beginning and I hope it will be one of much discovery.
till I see you on the pitch