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Coach’s Notes for Soccer Banquet 10-26-10
1. Thanks to Parents for bringing kids – schedules, distance, gas money. (I love soccer, because I think it’s a great game that relies a bit more on thinking skills and technique than just raw athletic ability. It levels the playing field more than other sports. What I’m saying is that a young man who probably would not be playing any minutes on, say, a high school basketball team can contribute on our team if he works hard in the off-season, develops his ball skills and understanding of the game).
2. **WATCHING A SEMI FINAL GAME BETWEEN River City AND EAST INDY IT WAS IMMEDIATELY CLEAR THAT BOTH TEAMS HAD a lot of TALENTED BALL HANDLERS. The Yellow Zebras need more of this breed of animal. We need to change this, and it will happen only in the off-season. Always have a soccer ball under you feet when possible.
3. Thanks to Barbara and Susan – organizational stuff
4. Thanks to Coaches Kevin Meck and Mike Fike – missed a lot of practices for a couple different reasons so they filled in early and often.
5. Plans for improving the team next year:Kids have to work at soccer in the off-season; WE haven’t stressed this at the end of the other seasons. This is the biggest single factor in becoming more competitive. Have a soccer ball under your feet whenever you can. Get trapping practice from family or friends, and stay in good shape.
- They need to watch soccer when they are able – World Cup, Champions League, Good college teams. Often, women’s teams play better soccer than the guy’s teams.
- We will have clinics in the spring or summer. Coaches Meck or Fike, and Susan, if I can’t get it done, please push the issue.
- get started sooner with practices next year.
- Recruit guys, recruit. I’d love to have the problem we thought we were going to have at the beginning of the season with 25 players.
6. As a coach, it’s more about playing well than winning. I thought our best game might have been against East Indy – a 2-1 loss against the eventual champions. And in the 7-4 defeat of Tippecanoe our offense was completely dominant.
7. I don’t have any favorite plays, but I remember dozens of times seeing guys do what we talked about and practiced – using any means possible to bother the offense when we were in a tight spot – Fike did this nicely in one of our tourney games; settling the ball when possible, give and go’s, Good D against give and go’s, flowing to the open spot, providing good options for the man with the ball, exercising self-control and maintaining position, and so forth.
Like I told the guys after one of our losses – we only lost by a couple goals, so we could point to a couple guys who made a mistake and allowed a goal or missed a great scoring opportunity, or we could think big picture and realize there were about 200 individual missed assignments, bad passes, not moving to the correct position, not going to meet the ball etc etc that could have change the outcome even if we made a couple big mistakes.
One of my primary competitive goals for next year – a couple years ago we were able to finally beat Anderson after losing to them for a couple years. Next year, I’m not setting any limit on how many teams we can beat, but I’m really aiming for Southside. We need to take it to them next year.
Seniors (They get 2 slideshow photos each):
* Matthew – What can you say about meckanism. Very Fast, Strong, Exceptional Ball Skills, 0-60 in about 1.5 seconds. Big heart.You can’t replace Matthew with one player – it’s gonna take a better team effort to make up for losing him. Voted to the all-state team by the coaches. Most knocked down player ever, and it never broke his stride.
* Zach – Has developed into an excellent defender, Bangs people around in an innocent kind of way. Great at turning the corner with the ball; uses his arms nicely to keep opponents at bay. Contributed a lot when we moved him to forward many times later in the season. Most unusual hair early in the season, felt like I was back in the 70′s.
* Tyrone – Very Strong, great ball skills, the heart of a champion, never say die. Tyrone learned to manage his tendency toward anger into positive energy, and that made him an even better player. Provided excellent leadership for our team, and entertaining and creative ideas.
* Bo – only his second year playing, Bo kept developing throughout this year into a better and smarter player; somehow he ended up on the ground more than anyone except maybe Meck, the human bowling pin. Bo had a way of reacting to both negative and positive comments that made me think more about what I said to the players and how I said it – thanks Bo.
* Dillon – Provided a real spark whether starting or coming off the bench – he was fast, and knew how to get around people. He hadn’t played since 5th grade or so – sure would have loved having him around for more than just one season.
* Ben Fike – If you look up intensity in the dictionary, you will find a picture of Ben Fike playing defense. He is one of the few guys on the team who will give you 100%, no matter how tired, no matter the score. Toward the end of this season he was learning the deeper meaning of 75% and I think if he will meditate on that in the off-season, you will see an even better Ben next year.
* Geo – Lots of raw ability, confidence, and composure on the field. Fearless in the goal, he filled some rather large shoes left by Caleb Sanders. A great weapon on the field, it was hard to know the best place to play him. Provided a welcome infusion of energy when we subbed him out of goal to midfielder in the middle of games.
* David – One of 2 or 3 kids who always wanted to find out what he could improve on, and worked hard to get it right. David is turning into a big guy, and will probably move quite a few more bodies around next year. He understood the concept of playing physical before some of the other guys, and I’m happy to say I actually had to tell him to back off a bit. He has a great attitude, and won more cookies than the rest of the team combined.
* Braden - Great back-up goalie and skilled player on the field, I loved his attitude – he sometimes didn’t want to be in the goal, but I rarely heard about it when I asked him to play there. Replaced Adam from our team a few years ago in saying the most cryptic things of any player on the team. I’m thrilled we get Braden for 2 more years.
* Gavin- one of the most improved players, Gavin could be counted on to hold down the right mid position, switching between offense and defense. Bigger, stronger and faster than last year, he is only going to get better and better, and I’m pretty excited to see him play next year. Held his ground much better this year.
* Samuel – I like his witty observations – reminds me of myself. Sam is another player that is starting to put it all together, and I think we’ll see a much improved Sam next year, partly because he’s a smart player, and we all know 50% of this game is 90% mental, as someone once said. Kimberly, you need to feed this kid more raw meat; he needs to be knocking some sense into the opposing teams.
* Adam – Very smart and seasoned for his age, Adam is another young man with a lot of desire, and very good field awareness. I didn’t check with him, but it seems like he’s bigger and stronger than he was at the beginning of the year, and you better look out when he adds a few more inches and pounds – he will be a force to be reckoned with. His experience playing forward this year will be an integral part of our offense next season.
* Ethan – Really sad to lose him near the beginning of the season. He would have made our team stronger if he had been able to play. He played quite well tournament day, considering he hadn’t been in a game situation for about 2 months as I recall, and once we get going next year, you’ll see why I was so sad to lose him early in the year. He may be filling Bo’s shoes at Right D – time will tell where he can help us most.
* Ben Loisch - For his size, Ben is the best first year player I can remember coaching, a natural at soccer. Listens well and already understand and plays pretty smart. Good sense for finding the ball, and once we get into next year, I think he’ll be one of our better mid-fielders as we continue to develop our team concept. Gained some confidence with his minutes this year
* Joshua – With a great desire to learn and improve, I expect Joshua to be another key player next year. His field awareness and understanding of his role will only get better, and as our team latches onto some concepts better next year, I think he’ll be a great asset in the mid-field or on defense.
* Nathan – We lost him for a few practices with a really nasty respiratory something or other as the season was winding down. Nathan is yet another of the impressive freshman class – we’re only getting better, guys. Nathan can be very determined, almost scary at times, with a Fike-like demeanor – a great quality in a player.
* Nathaniel – our resident goalie-in-training, I command him to grow a few more inches in the off-season so perhaps he can begin playing some in the goal. He’s one in a long line of Monticues. He tells me there are more Monticues coming into the soccer fold in the future. His big brother Stephen will never be forgotten for his incessant “I’m ready to go in the game anytime, coach” comments before I outlawed these words.
* Ben Visser – It took me a few weeks to figure out what makes Ben tick. He was much improved over the course of the year, and the last of our freshman class. His foot/eye coordination showed marked improvement the 2nd half of the season, and that made him a much stronger player. I look for Ben to be very valuable to us next year on both defense and in the mid-field if we need him in those positions. He hates to play poorly, and that usually leads to improvement in your playing.
* Luke – Luke doesn’t have to grow very much to be the next Zach sized player for us. As an 8th grader, Luke got a lot of valuable practice and learning time in this year, and I’ll be curious to see how he comes out of the chute next summer. Luke seems like one of the more relaxed guys on the team, but then so did Zach, and look how many opposing players ended up in the ditch.
* TJ – So you do realize this young man who is about the same size I was at his age played almost every minute of every game at Left Defender? He was very reliable, played very smart,and will only get stronger and better and tougher. I can’t wait to see what he’ll become in the next few years. And we’ll certainly need his talent and heart with the guys we’re graduating.
* Graham – Graham gave us a lot of great minutes in the mid-field – good balls skills and a quickly developing awareness of what to do with the ball. Being left footed, he will be an important player on the left side of the field for us, and we may experiment with where we play him, as I could see him excelling at many positions.
* Spencer – our last player present tonight, Spencer comes from a good soccer heritage – we’re expecting great things from this young man, and he’s only in the 8th grade, so you might be surprised when you see him playing the next couple years. Maybe Trevor will teach him “The Move” – he could pull it off, and it would be like deja vu all over again to see that from a yellow zebra.
**Coaches note** We now are unoficially the yellow zebras…