Summer is still in full swing but for both the u15 and u17 teams, it is time to get back to work. We have sort of eased back into things this year instead of where we usually just jump back in at a particular date and begin training at full intensity. I am not sure one way is any better than the other but it has been nice to see the players come out and get after the job at hand.
The u15s had a solid session last night and it went by very quickly. The girls were pushing themselves and were really trying to take advantage of the opportunity to train with purpose. One of the things that stood out last night was how hard the players went after everything, it sure makes the coaches smile. If they can maintain that type of attitude throughout the season, the take away for each of them should be very rewarding by season’s end.
Just as we ask our players to reflect and think about the things that we work on during training each weeks so that they can be realistic about what they are hoping to accomplish, coaches must do the same. For me personally, there is a sense of unrest until I take the time to daily reflect and evaluate on what was presented to the players in each session. The need to want to improve on how I present material and what I could do to be a better instructor for the players has become such a daily constant that I find myself in a state of internal unrest till I take the time to reflect on the last session. In order to grow, it becomes vital that each of us take a long, hard look in the mirror from time to time so that we may know the areas we must address.
Of course, if we are going to be honest with ourselves when we are reflecting upon our objectives, we have to be ready and willing to effect some changes. No where is that more applicable than in the game of soccer- what worked for us yesterday, may need to be adjusted or refined today. As a coach, the challenge is to be able to offer relevent information to our players in a manner that matches their growth and development at that moment. We cannot accomplish this without some serious critiquing of ourselves from time to time so that we remain on point.
It is always interesting to have discussions with other coaches as a litmus test and way to gauge our take on our methods of presenting the materials. Recently, I had an opportunity to have such a talk and was somewhat relieved to hear that other coaches go through a similar process of the mental ups and downs. We all seem to have days where we ready to leave it all behind us and are asking ourselves why we do it. BUT then there are the days, the times, the moments where a player has a break through and that private, most personal event is what we as coaches live for. While we are not in that moment with that player, we can be happy and celebrate those times in our hearts. These precious moments are what brings us back day after day and makes us smile.
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