Soccer Drills – Preparing Your Young Soccer Players For the Finals

I have seen on many occasions a team of gifted young soccer players go through a season undefeated, only to get to the grand final and lose their only game of the season. My son played in a team that only lost two games last season. They were the final, and the grand final. I have coached teams on many occasions that defeated the undefeated team in the grand final. Maybe you are the coach of a team that is currently undefeated and entering the finals. Or maybe you are the coach of a team that is the underdog going into the finals. How do you prepare young soccer players to play in the finals?

I hear it said on many occasions that a final is just another game. I do not subscribe to this theory. While the game is played on the same field, with the same ball, and the same number of players, junior soccer players attach a greater importance to finals. And so do senior players for that matter. I think that telling players that it is just another game is just a defensive mechanism so that they do not feel so bad if they lose. I coach players to approach a final with an attitude that this is the game of the year when they should give their absolutely best effort. It is at this time of the year that they should really aim up and show how good they really are. Encourage them to be their best and be 100 percent committed is the best way to approach a final. And, then if they lose you can comfort them with the fact that they did their best.

Finals matches are usually more intense than regular season games. There is usually less time and less space for players to work in. In the weeks leading into the finals your soccer drills should be concentrating on the first touch, short passes, passing and moving, and controlling the ball under pressure. This will help your players cope with the extra pressure placed on them in a final. Keeping possession of the ball should always be one of the major aims, so teaching your players to use their body to protect possession is also another key skill to be focusing on leading into the finals.

Are you the underdog? Are you playing against a team that you have not beaten all year? All teams have key players, and all teams have weaknesses. When I coach a team against a stronger club, I try to identify the key players on the opposition team. If you have played them in the regular season you will already know this. Shut them down. Man mark them. Play them out of the game. This may involve reorganising the structure of your team, so I like to practice this structure in a few regular season games so that the players are familiar with it. I also use defensive training drills like tagging, and drills to close space on attackers to help with this. If you can upset the game of the key players on the opposition you will go a long way to beating them.

Attack. The aim of a finals game is to win. Draws do not count in finals. So you must score goals. Team formation is a critical element in the playing style of your team. Are you playing 4 4 2, 4 3 3, or 3 4 3. I do not like to vary too much the formation that I have used during the regular season. But one of the main aims in a finals match must be to score goals.

Preparing your team to play in the finals should start at training a few weeks before the finals start. Soccer drills should encourage ball control, short passing, and speed of movement. Defensive drills should encourage tagging, and closing space. Think clearly about the formation you are going to play and how you are going to score goals. And identify the strengths of your opponent and try to neutralize them. Then before the game build your players up to give 100 percent and play to the best of their ability. That will give them the best chance to be successful on the field.

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Soccer Team Position, Soccer Team Players Position and Set up, 5-4-1 Team Set up

5.4.1,

Defense;

5, defenders,

The addition to this defensive style is a central defender who can control the play from the back line.
This defender could also be an attacking player who will feed through balls to the striker. In addition to this the play maker will help create and initialze an attack from the defensive edge of the mid-field.
It can be thought that this player is also a mid-field player when the attack is mounted.

This team has this formation of positions in order not to lose.
They do not want goals scored against them and are usually willing to have a single goal scored for them and will to play for a draw, albeit 0-0.
It is also possible that their goalkeeper is not the "best" in the league.

It is possible however that this team has also been set up to play a strong attacking team.

This would mean that the coaching staff has done their homework and scouted the opposition.
All in all this team is more prepared to defend as opposed to attack.
This team is an opportunistic attacking team and will usually attack against the run of play.
This happens when the opposing team has made a mistake.

This system and idea can also produce and utilize the positions and concepts known as "wing back".
These are the players who can make over-lapping runs from their defensive ends right to the opposing goal lines.

When communicated properly the following happens.

1) A full on attack has been launched.
At least 5 are attacking simultaneously.

2) The outside midfield has now become support, over lapping and or cutting in and out when and where necessary.

3) Positons have changed to reflect those areas (space) not covered.
The attacking team has changed the zonal aspects and created a player mis-match numerically.

4, mid-fielders are usually arranged as outside left, inside left, inside right and outside right.
The outside players are called, wingers or flank players and are also involved in striking the goal.

This would make this line up have a possibility of 4 strikers at any given time.
These wingers usually have the bulk of the running to do as they could carry the ball from the defending third and into the attacking third.

This also depends on the team strategy as outlined by the coaching staff.

The two inside midfielders are supposed to be the "play makers". These are the individuals who are responsible for carrying out the plans the coach and players have designed and used as the methods of attack and goal scoring.
These positions have traditionally played these roles. However nowadays the play making comes from anyone and sometimes all the players at any given time.
These inside players have also been more defensive in their general on field play.
This defensive idea is to stop the opposition from creating attacking options.

This team will require a midfield who is willing to strike the goal at any given time.
Usualy 2 of these players are latent strikers.
They might feel confident that the defense is solid and willing to step up into the middle third of the field.
They then work in unison with the striker / forward.

This team is usually confident of their lone striker.
The striker in this formation actually acts as a post-up player. This means that this striker usually plays with the opposing defense at his / her back.
This player will try and stretch the defense, will receive the ball to lay it back to the oncoming team-mates to close the ground / space that this striker has created.

The cycle continues until a good scoring opportunity has been formulated.

Occationally this striker will turn and attack the goal when the timing is right.
This is usually communicated to the strikers by their team-mates.
However a great striker will sense these situations based on the run of play and the opportunities that this striker has created.

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How To Take Care Of Your Soccer Cleats

If you take good care of your soccer cleats, they will take care of you in return. In other words, cleaning your shoes will make them last longer. The first thing you need to do after buying your pair of shoes is to polish them. Often, the soccer cleats are made from leather. Here is a rundown of a few tips that can help you with the upkeep of your shoes.

What You need to Do

  • After each play, don't forget to clean your cleats in order to remove dirt from the leather. Dirt can absorb moisture from the shoes. As a result, your shoes will dry out quickly.
  • After a rain, if your shoes get wet, put a newspaper inside each shoe for absorbing the excess water. This will prevent your shoes from getting over-stretched and losing shape. If your shoes dry out, polish them. This will protect the leather.
  • Use a breathable bag to store your shoes in. it should have holes in it. Make sure you don't use a sealed bag.
  • For softening or conditioning the leather of your cleats, we recommend that you use mink oil or leather food. You can buy these products from your local market.

What You Should Not Do

  • Don't put your cleats near a dryer or a heater or you may get cracks on the leather. This is very important!
  • If you are going to walk on a hard surface, such as roads for a long walk, don't wear your leather shoes. Doing so will wear down your shoes pretty quickly. You may also slip on the hard surface and get injured.
  • Avoid using products, such as silicone or wax for polishing your shoes.
  • Similarly, don't go for soaps and similar cleaning products for washing your cleats. You can use water and a piece of washcloth instead.
  • Your cleats won't dry out in sealed bags. So, don't put them in this type of bags. Moreover, the sweat from your feet may also make the cleats wet. After each play, make sure you put them in a place where they can dry out a bit.

Kangaroo Leather

Some salient features of Kangaroo leather is that it is lightweight and feels better. Moreover, Kangaroo leather can get the shape of your feet making you feel a lot better.

The downside is that kangaroo leather is not as durable as other types of leather. Hence, it won't last as long. So, based on these features, you can decide whether you should go for this leather type or not.

Long story short, if you want to buy a good pair of soccer cleats, you will need to spend at least $ 100 or more. Therefore, we highly recommend that you take due care of your cleats or you will have to buy another pair before long. Taking good care of them will make them last for several years. Hopefully, now, you will be in a better position to take care of your shoes.

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Fast Bowling Claims First Fatality in Cricket

The recent death of Phillip Hughes after he was hit by a short-pitched delivery in a local Sheffield Shield game in Sydney, Australia signifies the dangers of the modern game of cricket and the need for some changes to reduce the risks of injuries.

Hughes was hit on the back of the head in an area unprotected by his helmet. His death was an accident and the bowler Sean Abbott was in no way to blame.

Cricket is traditionally known as the gentleman's game and is supposedly to embody all that is fair and just in sport. However the commercialization of the game in the 1970's replaced sportsmanship with the principle of 'win at all costs'. This precipitated greater reliance on fast bowling as this was the most effective way of satisfying the desire to win which in turn increased the dangers to batsmen.

BODYLINE

The first major incident of dangerous short-pitched bowling was the 1932/33 Ashes tour of Australia (known as the Bodyline series). English fast bowlers Larwood and Voce, in order to counter the extraordinary skill of the great Australian batsman Don Bradman, deployed a tactical of bowling at his body on the leg side in order to get a deflection and have him taken by several fielders placed behind square leg.

This tactic proved effective but was contrary to the gentlemanly traditions of the game and over the next two decades the tactic was outlawed by the laws of cricket.

Although it was banned, Bodyline left an ugly legacy. Since then there have been numerous instances of injuries resulting from short-pitched bowling. For example, in 1962 Indian captain Nari Contractor's international career was ended after being hit by a rising ball from Charlie Griffith in Barbados. English batsman Andy Lloyd never played again after being hit by a short-pitched ball from Malcolm Marshall in 1984 at Edgbaston and England's Alex Tudor was hired by a Brett Lee delivery in Perth 2002 which also ended his career.

THE UGLY SIDE OF CRICKET

With the influx of big money into cricket in the 1970's winning became of paramount importance and teams increasingly made use of fast intimatory bowling as this was very effective in overcoming opponents. This tactic was also exciting and was seen as good for the game since it made cricket (especially one day cricket) more attractive. Teams with the most firepower always won and drew the biggest crowds.

A cricket ball consist of cork covered by leather and is hard and solid. As we saw in the case of Phillip Hughes' death it is capable of inflating serious injury if it hits a batsman in an unprotected area.

Fast bowlers bowl at speeds of 90 to 100 mph. They are strong cricketers and what they bowl amongst other unpleasant things is a delivery called the 'bouncer'. They produce this by banging the ball into the middle of the pitch with all the strength they can muster so that it rears up to chest or head height as it reaches the batsman. The purpose of it is to drive fear into the mind of the batsman so that he is convinced that, all things considered, he is better off in seeking the safety of the pavilion. You do not bowl at the jumps but aim at scalps.

In the mid 1970's the most famous pair of practitioners of fast bowling violence were Australians Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee. In two consecutive winters they humiliated England and the West Indies and propelled Australia to the pinnacle of world cricket. At home they bowled on wickets specifically prepared for them, in front of crowds that yelled "kill, kill, kill" and were aided by native umpires that wave visiting batsmen little protection.

After their 5-1 thrashing to Australia in 1975/76 the West Indies quickly learned the lesson that it was fast bowlers that won matches. They learned their lesson well. They tweaked the tactic and sinceforth deployed an all pace bowling attack working in tandem with each other with the idea that incessant pace would wear down batsmen and make it more difficult to protect not only their wickets but also their personal safety. This new tactic led to the West Indies' domination of cricket for nearly two decades.

CHANGES NEEDED

Bowling that thratens the body has become an accepted part of the struggle between bat and ball in modern cricket.

It is unfortunate that Phillip Hughes paid the ultimate price for playing the game he loved. To avoid a repetition of this tragedy new changes have to be made to provide more safety for batsmen:

First, young players need to learn how to evade or play short-pitched bowling. Because of the prevalence of one day cricket there is too much front-foot play and no knowledge of how to play faster bowlers off the back-foot or how to duck or sway to avoid a ball (ABConline – Phillip Hughes injury: Attacking focus and lack of evasive techniques putting youngger cricketers at risk of injury; by Rene Ferdinands, November 26, 2014).

Second, cricket helmets are not foolproof and their design needs to be altered to provide more protection for unprotected areas such as the back of the head so as to avoid a repetition of the Hughes tragedy.

Third, umpires need to make more use of their powers and enforce the laws of the game more strictly especially in stopping the overuse of bouncers.

Contrary to what some people suggest there is no need to change the rules and outlaw short-pitched bowling. Some amount of fear needs to be maintained as a part of the game but hopefully the price to keep it will not be too high.

Victor A. Dixon
December 2, 2014

Aiding the Spread of Disease

Mosquito borne diseases are in the headlines because of the Zika virus and many will be surprised to learn how it was spread to Brazil and why it is now a major problem. Its origin was the Zika forest in Africa and is came about as a result of an experiment which involved injecting a rhesus monkey with yellow fever. Within a short six to seven-year period it showed up in other parts of Africa and then Asia. Nothing was said about it and as there were so few cases there was no health alert.

Obviously it continued to be spread among animals as they are frequently bitten by the infected insects and ‘bush meat’, which comprises of apes taken from the jungle. The same infected mosquitoes also bit humans and transferred the Zika virus to those who subsequently travelled to other areas, including those where it spread even further. A major outbreak occurred on the Yap island in the Melanesian group in the early part of the 21st century.

It was the FIFA world-cup, however, that brought huge crowds from all areas to Brazil in 2014. This is how the epidemic started and why it is not a good idea to attend the Olympic Games. As it is also a sexually transmitted disease known to be harboured in semen and transferred to partners it is something that will have major consequences after the Games and may affect the entire world.

Religion plays a big part in the spread of such diseases because of the ignorance and ban on contraceptives and safe sex. The Catholic Church is among the worst of these organisations and Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, and other nations where the Spaniards colonised them, will follow Vatican orders.

In a world where disasters are now common place and there are signs that we are in the last days there is not much that can be done to stop it all rom happening. After my reincarnation my spiritual link grew substantially until given a commission to remove the wall of blindness. It was followed by many visions that confirmed the future end of the earth as we know it.

While there are so many authorities, governments, religious orders, and others running the world there is no hope of stopping the stupidity that is the product of money and power. It is what runs the World Order set in place by the Roman Emperor, Constantine, who established the Catholic Church in 325 AD, and it is still run on his principles and under his commands. He is 666 in Revelation 13:12-18 and everyone has heard of him.

Madrid: One of the Sexiest Cities

On the night that I arrived to Madrid, I had slowly settled in to my friend David's city center flat. I slipped into bed and cracked open the window of the guest room and a cool Spanish breeze welcomed itself in. As I breathed in the chill midnight air and released a long sigh, I thought to myself, "This place is truly wonderful."

The three months that I had spent in Spain I was able to visit a competent of cities; Madrid, Barcelona, ​​San Sebastian, Bilbao, Toledo, Alcala de Henares, Córdoba, Aranjuez, Móstoles, and Patones (for climbing). Of these cities, I've spent the major of the time in Madrid, and after the trip came to an end, I had come to the conclusion that Madrid is a seriously sexy city.

As discretion, I should add that I am in no way claiming that Madrid is "the" sexiest city in the world (although I'll probably have a few Madrileños who will tell me otherwise). I am simply stating that Madrid is one of the sexiest cities. I also know that I was not the first to visit the cities of Spain and certainly was not the first to explore the subcultures of the country, but Madrid's modern yet historical characteristics were nothing short of charming.

Of all the things I have considered, the following things on the list were the most significant:

Cost of Food:

Food is pretty cheap in Madrid, and while cheap is not often synonymous with sexy, your ability to enjoy luxuries (in some cases even like eating out,) is more probable, especially when your dollar is able to go a little further. In restaurants like "El Tigre", you order a drink and get a free platter of tapas. Granted they're not mind-blowing, you can still have a great time socializing with friends without busting your budget.

Curfew:

When I had to take an early flight to Belgium, I had to take a cab at 4am in order to get to the bus stop in the center of Madrid. I was afraid, very afraid, but also very determined.

Being the smart girl I was, I decided that dressing like I was homeless would be the most effective in deterring criminal. After all, criminals do not mess with other criminals.

As soon as I arrived to my bus stop though, I was both amazed and relieved to see tons of people sprawled all over the streets. I'm not talking 20-something partiers or ravers, mind you. The people have the mindset of work-to-live, not the live-to-work mindset that most North American's are familiar with. That mean two-hour lunch breaks as opposed to our one-hour (or even even half-hour) lunch breaks. Thankfully for me, that also meant that at 3am, all sorts of people of all ages were still out on the street. There was no stigma that only partiers or ravers were out at that hour, people were out simply because they want more time to spend with their friends. How they're still able to go to work in the morning? Do not ask me …

Fashion:

In Madrid, fashion is not reserved for the runway. I'm sorry Vancouver, but you're not winning any rewards here. From what I've observed, people dressed better in Madrid, period. The choice of clothing that was worn on a daily basis, even on a grocery store trip, would be me, trying. I'm not sure if that's knocking Vancouver's style or just my own personal ability to dress myself, but I digress. Does it help that Zara was born in Spain? Probably not.

Patios:

When I'm with friends in Vancouver, hanging out is going for a hike or heading to the beach to soak up the sun. We are after all, located in a spectacular coastal location, surrounded by stunning and chiefly pristine nature … but in Madrid, a city far from nature or the coast, hanging out more often than not intent grabbing drinks at a Patio, or " Terraza "as the locals called it. (That's pronounced Terra (tha), by the way.)

In this Spanish city, chances are there will be a terraza not far from your doorstep, and it will be quite good. It was also here that I learned the art of Patio-hopping. You see, as a North American, when I go to a restaurant to eat, I will eat, and then I will pay and leave. (We do not like to be the inconsiderate jerks that occupy an otherwise empty table.) But when you're in Madrid, you eat, and then you talk with your friends for an hour, and then you order more drinks. When you finally pay and leave, you head to another terraza and get more drinks. I will not lie, it seemed like overkill to me, but that my dear friends, is patio-hopping … (and I also solemnly swear that I am not an alcoholic).

Patio-hopping never-the-less is an art, or in my case, an art of being patient … or the art of not asking why we have to stay for so goddamn long.

Architecture:

Modern yet classical; with a country this old, it's hardly a surprise that a city as metropolitan as Madrid could stay fixed to it's roots. From the Museo Nacional Del Prado (which boasts some of the world's finest arts) to Parque del Retiro (which once belonged to the Spanish monarchy), the architecture somehow still remained relevant to this day. When you feel uninspired, you can also head to the Palacio de Cristal to get some creative stimulus.

Culture:

At the end of the day, I could only chalk it up to culture. The overwhelming feeling of unity, when Real Madrid played against Atlético Madrid in the Plaza de Cibeles during the World Cup of 2014, was enough to explain why the city was so sexy, and it all boils down to passion. Madrileños feel a strong passion towards their city, the same way that Vancouverites feel a strong passion towards the outdoors, and it's a thing I quickly learned to respect. I love my own city of Vancouver to bits, and as an overall outdoorsy girl, I would have it no other way. But after living in a city like Madrid where the allure of the city will reel you in one way or another, I can honestly say that this city will no less place as one of the sexiest cities in my books.

Cristiano Ronaldo Is the Most Expensive Footballer in the History of the Game

Cristiano Ronaldo is a professional footballer who is currently playing for the La Liga club, Real Madrid. He is the captain of the national team of Portugal and he holds the record of being the most expensive footballer in the history of the game.

He was born on the 5th of February, 1985, and started his football career with Andorinha. He moved to Nacional before joining the prestigious Sporting Lisbon. In a match where Sporting Lisbon played against Manchester United, the talent of Cristiano Ronaldo impressed the senior players of Manchester United and they urged their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the youngster.

Manchester United signed the 18 year old Cristiano Ronaldo in the year 2003. Cristiano Ronaldo was exceptionally talented in the ball dribbling department and left the defender dumbfounded with his tricks. The moves that he spent on the pitch to leave the defenders dumbfounded became a sensation with the fans and various video compilations of his moves were uploaded on the internet to announce to the world this exceptional talent. However, experts criticized Cristiano Ronaldo for the fact that he spent excessive time on the ball and this decreased his effectiveness as a player. It was a right concern and Sir Alex Ferguson helped Cristiano Ronaldo to use his dribbling skills to adopt a more productive style of football and thus, created the player that Cristiano Ronaldo is today. He regards Sir Alex Ferguson as his «father» in the game of football.

The first trophy that Ronaldo won with the club was of the FA Cup and thus, started the triumphs of the young player which kept on accumulating as Ronaldo worked hard to improve on and on as a player. He became the first player in the history of the game to win all the major awards of PFA and FWA in 2007. He has been compared to the great legends of their times and has even been cited as being better than the Manchester United’s George Best.

Cristiano Ronaldo won the Champions League with Manchester United by defeating Chelsea. It was a remarkable match in which both teams of England contested against each other in the final and fans had much difficulty in acquiring the Chelsea Ticketsand Manchester United Tickets. Cristiano Ronaldo was the highest scoring player in the tournament and won the Golden Boot for this accolade. Furthermore, he also won three of the major PFA and FWA awards that season.

In 2009, he moved from Manchester United to Real Madrid for a record transfer fee of £80 million. His contract made him the highest paid player in the world and he proved his worth when he became the highest goal scorer in the history of Real Madrid for a single season. He is the first player in the history of Real Madrid to have scored more than 50 goals in single season. He went on to become the top goal scorer in the history of the La Liga. For his achievement, he was awarded the European Golden shoes once again and this made him the first player ever to have won this trophy in two separate championships.

Cristiano Ronaldo is a prolific player who has achieved a lot in his career. His greatest adversary is considered to be Lionel Messi who plays with their league rivals Barcelona. It has now become a common to refer to El Clasico as a clash between the two great players – Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. They are one of the major reasons for the high sales of the Real Madrid Tickets and Barcelona Tickets as fans love to see the two players performing against each other.

But the biggest question that remains to be answered is: will Cristiano Ronaldo be able to help his side end the domination of Barcelona?

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