The Mid Season Doldrums

Both teams took to the pitch this past weekend and both took away a W for their efforts. For the 15s, it was hard-fought game against a much higher ranked side. The game was extremely physical and both sides were giving as well as they were receiving. We managed to push ahead and keep a 1 goal lead for the game to end 2-1.

The 17s had a hard time finding purpose in their game as they completely outmatched their opponent. We were up 5-0 at the half and had subbed the bench onto the pitch within 10 minutes. We pulled a player during the 2nd half and put our defensive players up top to give them a fresh view of the game. While we needed the win, it was still hard to get the team up to play.

The middle part of the season is always the toughest part for me. I watch the players in their execution of the game and feel that we have so far yet to go and not enough time to get there. It becomes a balancing act during training between overreaching for new ground and maintaining player’s interest and enthusiasm. We are competing with not only boyfriends, school commitments but also other sports now for the players’ time and focus. High School soccer is just around the corner and for most players, HS soccer is why they play club soccer in the first place. As a coach, I so wish they would want to play soccer to become a better player, no matter where they find themselves on the pitch.

This is the time of the season when players that are coming out to train usually fall into one of two groups, 1,they are out there because they are motivated to improve their personal soccer skills and work diligently to do so, or 2, they enjoy the social aspect of their team and have created a bond that has meaning to them so they play in order to have that quality time together. Both have their place and both are foundations of why children play sports in the 1st place. It is sometimes hard to keep that in perspective as a coach when you can see the potential that a team is capable of playing but yet they some times fail to play to that potential.

Mid season doldrums, that is about the best description I can come up with. The teams are playing hard, they are showing up for training, the realization that the season will be over in 4 or 5 weeks will hit them soon and there will be a renewed sense of urgency to play harder, train at a higher level and such. It seems to happen every year, the challenge is be aware that it is happening and not lose sight of why we are here in the first place.

till I see you on the pitch

j

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