5 Things to Look For in Good Soccer Trainers – Choosing the Right Soccer Trainer

When looking for soccer lessons for your kid, group or team, make sure you know what kind of soccer trainer you're looking for. Those of you that do not know too much about soccer may fall prey to 'trainers' that do not know much (or do not care much) about making an impact on your kids' game. The following questions will give you an idea of ​​what to look for in soccer coaches / trainers:

1- Does s / he wear cleats?

As trivial as this may seem, it is an important question. Especially when working in individual training or small groups, soccer trainers should be involved in the drills rather than watching from the sidelines.

2- Is s / he licensed?

Having a license is not an absolute requirement to be a good soccer trainer. In fact, a terrible trainer may have a license, but the opposite does not occur that often. Seasoned, serious trainers will more than likely have a license. At the same time, one should not evaluate trainers by the number of licenses they have. At the end, it's not about the rank but the difference they can make in your players' game.

3- Does s / he come to practice with prepared lessons?

Beware of trainers that show up to practice and "wing it". A good soccer trainer will come to practice with a detailed plan of topic (s) of the day and drills of the day. As a parent, you can ask for it at the beginning of practice and see if the trainer did his / her homework.

4- What is his / her attitude like?

Your player (s) will learn more from an engaging, positive trainer rather than a distant one that is just going through the motions. Soccer is a game. The trainer, as well as the players, should be having fun with it. If you can tell the soccer trainer dreads being there, maybe it's time to move on.

5- Referrals, referrals, referrals …

Do ask for referrals before agreeing to anything. Testimonials on a website are OK, but you want to be able to speak with real parents / coaches who have worked somewhat recently with the soccer trainer.

I sure hope this helped! Let me know if you have any questions.

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How To Keep Your Soccer Cleats In Top Shape

Soccer cleats may not have the ability to make you a better player, but they definitely bring out the best in you because you are able to make use of your skills appropriately. There are so many cleats available in the market today and you should make the right choice in terms of fit, comfort, materials and even the features to enjoy a rewarding session in the field. But it is one thing to buy the perfect pair and quite another if you do not take care of your soccer boots. Keeping your cleats in top shape enhances durability and quality and it is not that hard to keep them in top shape.

1. Avoid the myth of hot water technique to loosen the soccer boots because it ruins the shoe even though it does loosen and expand them to give you a good fit. Instead, choosing other better breaking in techniques such as jogging in them during warm ups or prior to the game. The more activities you engage while wearing the boots, the more they loosen and the better the fit when you finally go to play.

2. If you want to soften your leather soccer cleats, then choose a high quality leather food. You can apply it to the boots after cleaning suitably one day before your game. The softer the boots the more comfortable the fit will be and the easier the movement on the pitch.

3. For natural leather cleats, polishing with creams is enough in ensuring that they do not dry out. They need this kind of conditioning to maintain softness and you can rub the cream after cleaning and drying the shoes. When they remain soft, cracking and hardening is eliminated.

4. Air dries the cleats after every game and avoid situations where you leave them in your bag till it is next practice day. You can stuff some newspaper into the soccer boats to soak up dampness inside and to hold them in shape as they dry. It is also important that you do not expose them to direct sunlight when drying or areas that are too hot because it can end up cracking them.

5. Remove the cleats out immediately after the game; the only place to wear them should be on the field. Hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt can wear the spikes down, making them less functional in offering you grip during play.

6. Clean the soccer boots as soon as possible after the game so you are able to avoid grime and dirt settling into the leather causing damage in the process. When cleaning, you need to also ensure that you clean out every inch of the boot including dented areas as a result of stitching.

7. Use gentle cleaning products that will not damage the shoe and affect the breathability. The cleaning method and the cleaning products should be as gentle as possible to keep your shoe in top shape for longer.

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Get The Right Soccer Cleat Size For An Enjoyable Performance

Soccer cleats just like regular shoes are sized to help players find snug fitting shoes that will make kicking the ball ad running as comfortable as possible. Considering that soccer cleats need to be tighter in terms of fit, you really cannot rely on your regular shoe size when buying your cleats. Soccer shoes are made from thin materials and a tight fit ensures optimal ball touch and feel.

Materials

When looking for the right snug fitting soccer boot, the material is among the things you should always consider. Cleats made from premium leather, especially kangaroo leather tends to start stretching after a few uses. High quality leather molds to feet shape and when new they need to fit snugly so that even after a few uses they do not stretch and feel too roomy for your feet. When buying synthetics, remember they do not stretch that much, hence you should buy comfortably fitting cleats compared to tight ones.

Width and length

These two elements are used to determine cleat size and using them you can be in a position to choose a pair you will love and enjoy wearing and playing in. For performance and comfort, your cleats should fit closely to end of foot, but not touch on toes; the gap should be anywhere between ¼ and ½ inch. Usually the upper part of the soccer shoe is designed narrow to keep the feet from sliding around inside as you play. For this reason, most cleats come in one width dimensions differing only in length. If you have wide feet, then you may want to check cleats designed with wide feet in mind.

Determining the right fit

When looking for the best, start by picking a pair that you actually like and from a brand you can trust with quality. Players who love their shoes tend to give better performances than those who don’t.

Next, you should figure out your size. If you have the luxury of trying them on before buying, try them on to ensure they are tight, but not so much that they hurt your feet. They should be close fitting otherwise you will have issues kicking ball properly.

When trying on the cleats, pay attention to pressure points; a snug fit does not in any way mean uncomfortable. In case you are a young player who is still growing, cleats that are a little large sized may be ideal. You can get proper socks to fill in the space as your feet grow.

Be sure to stand up and walk around a little in the cleats when testing the size. This is the only way you will be able to truly feel the toe position and how good they feel on your feet. Of course you may need a little time to break-in your cleats but even though the feel should be tight, it should feel right in every sense. You can try on as many different sizes as possible until you find the perfect one for your feet.

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Creditable or Calamitous? Reflections of a Derby Fan on a Season That Promised Promotion

As this 2014-15 Championship season races toward its conclusion, it’s hard to determine whether it represents success or failure for Derby County Football Club. Perhaps any individual assessment depends on one’s glass being generally half-full, or half-empty. As a Rams fan exiled in the Middle East, but able to see many of their games live or recorded in full afterwards, I haven’t made up my own mind on the matter just yet. This article is intended as a means toward that end.

Last season ended in play-off heartbreak. Derby were, of the play-off quartet, comfortably the form side going into the end-of-season event, and swept aside sixth-placed Brighton 6-2 over two legs. In the other semi-final, a dangerous Wigan side, who had earlier defeated eventual Premier League champions Manchester City in an astonishing FA Cup result, were edged out 2-1 by QPR, whose own form had been anything but convincing during the second half of the season. Derby controlled the Wembley final, and seemed almost certain to win when Rangers were reduced to ten men for a professional foul early in the second half; however, not for the first play-off final in their history, the Rams were defeated by a late winner, the product of two substandard pieces of defending and a wonderful finish by Bobby Zamora.

Such was Derby’s style and momentum, so impressive their individual performances – midfield starlet Will Hughes and prolific target man Chris Martin the most prominent among them – that the bookmakers installed the Rams as pre-season favourites this time around. Prospects were boosted still further when George Thorne, composed loan signing and Wembley man of the match, was signed permanently during the summer. Within days, however, Thorne – already no stranger to injuries in his short career – was ruled out for most of the season after damaging his knee in a friendly against Zenit St Petersburg. Appearing not to trust a whole season’s work to his natural replacement, the experienced John Eustace, Steve McClaren was delighted when the club’s player recruitment team snapped up Omar Mascarell, a stylish holding midfielder on the periphery of Real Madrid’s squad. It appeared to be a real coup, although all parties recognised that the Spaniard would need time to adapt to the greater speed and physicality of the Championship.

The season began with a 1-0 win over newly promoted Rotherham United, courtesy of a fine late strike from Irish midfielder Jeff Hendrick; a victory earned, in no small part, by the exciting contribution of new full-back Cyrus Christie, acquired from Coventry City to replace the solid, but now departed Liverpool loanee, Andre Wisdom. Christie’s defending was at least adequate (if not as impregnable as his predecessor), but it was the newcomer’s marauding runs that led many fans to feel hopeful that, far from the position being weakened, Derby might attain to greater attacking impetus from defence this season.

Of more concern, with Eustace out of favour, was the decision to play Hughes in the team’s apparently non-negotiable holding midfield role. While the player was undoubtedly good enough to play there, it was clear that neither of the more advanced players – Bryson, who many had expected to begin the season playing his football for a Premier League team, and Hendrick – could do exactly what Hughes was capable of further up the field. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the slight Hughes was not as comfortable with the physical side of the position as either the stocky Thorne or the guileful Eustace, and found himself almost sharing the position with substitute Mascarell from very early in the season. The Spaniard’s passing and energy did much to compensate for the evident weaknesses that many had predicted in his game: opponents gave him little time on the ball, and he quickly found himself on the receiving end of some rather combative challenges.

There were warning signs for Derby in a spirited but disjointed second league match at Sheffield Wednesday, which ended goalless. A first defeat followed in the next match, as stylish Charlton outplayed their more fancied guests, winning 3-2 and leaving many to wonder when the Rams would hit the performance levels of the previous season. They were encouraged by a merciless second-half display against Fulham, as Derby pummelled the plummeting Cottagers 5-1. Welcome to the Championship.

The Rams then embarked on an unbeaten run that spanned twelve games, including wins against expansive Bournemouth (2-0), Blackburn (3-2), Bolton (2-0) and Reading (3-0) (the latter three away from home); and resilient draws against early leaders and local rivals Nottingham Forest (1-1), and Cardiff (2-2) at home, a match in which the Rams had trailed by two goals. Derby’s comeback that day was begun by a debut goal from a new season-long loan signing from Liverpool: the fleet-footed and direct Jordon Ibe, whose contribution, with hindsight, seems as significant in Derby’s fortunes as was his premature return to Anfield in January.

That unbeaten run was curtailed by dogged Wigan, who belied their poor early season form by coming from behind to win 2-1 at the iPro Stadium. Derby then played two games in West London, hitting Fulham for five again (this time in the League Cup) before once again throwing away a lead against Brentford who, it seems, have never looked back since their last-minute win that day, courtesy of a fine goal from Stuart Dallas.

Derby needed to find their form – and find it they did, deservedly seeing off Huddersfield 3-2, before arguably their finest performance of the season in the annihilation of Wolves, 5-0 at the iPro. In the next match, Craig Bryson, who had so far struggled to reproduce his high standards of the two preceding seasons, scored a beauty to edge out Watford on their own turf. Suddenly Derby looked ready to seize their opportunity and run away with the league, just as their East Midlands rivals from Leicester had done the previous year.

It wasn’t to be so straightforward, unfortunately. The Rams went into their away match at Leeds, a team Derby had beaten for fun in recent seasons, seemingly unprepared for the grit and graft that would be needed to return with the points. They were outfought, and defeated, 0-2. But Steve McClaren prided himself on a team that could bounce back from disappointment, and Derby erupted out of the blocks against Brighton, winning the game with three first-half goals. In the opposing eleven that day was loanee Darren Bent, a wily, seasoned striker unable to convince then manager Paul Lambert of his right to a place in the Aston Villa side. Derby fans would be glad to see more of the discarded Bent very soon.

The following week, Derby were conquered at the summit by Middlesbrough, after a dour display in the North East demonstrated the worst they were capable of; Boro were organised and clinical, and undid Derby in their first attack, with former Rams loanee Patrick Bamford celebrating his opener gleefully – much to the annoyance of Derby fans, who had always had to overlook his affinity for their hated rivals, Forest. The Rams showed more fight and no little skill against a tidy and pressurising Norwich City side a week later, but were fairly denied a win when they conceded another late goal. The pattern of the previous season, in which Derby had become famed for their indefatigable spirit and late goalscoring, seemed to be shifting in the other direction.

The Rams began the festive period with a thumping win, 4-0 in the Birmingham snow. That was backed up with a revenge reversal of their 2-0 defeat at Leeds, and an excellent 1-0 win at Ipswich. John Eustace, hardly a fixture in the team, was immense in front of the back four, but his late dismissal and injury – from which he has yet to return despite two operations – would lead the Rams into the East Midlands derby once again relying on the unconvincing Mascarell. Even Forest fans approached the match fearfully. Their side had lost the previous season’s fixture 5-0, and the early season pacesetters now found themselves on a run of eight games without a win. Derby, fortuitously ahead but easily the better team before the break, gave a sickening validation of the phrase «game of two halves», and Forest exulted in a deserved shock win that would prolong the tenure of manager Stuart Pearce for a few more weeks. (This represented a bright side for many Rams fans, who were convinced their rivals’ progress would remain stagnant with the former England legend at the helm). Stunned at forfeiting local bragging rights, Derby fans demanded better, and were rewarded with three straight wins against Blackburn, Cardiff and Bolton.

The January transfer window had brought Bent in without a recall clause for his parent club, as well as Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, and Hull City’s Tom Ince, who made an instant impact with a fabulous brace in the 4-1 destruction of Bolton. Leeds United captain Stephen Warnock, still not fit after being injured in the Rams’ 2-0 win over his side, came in to «add experience» to the squad, and presumably to spur the unspectacular Craig Forsyth to higher performance levels. An interesting further addition was the Spaniard Raul Albentosa, who Derby’s recruitment team appeared to have been stalking for some time, and who arrived in Derby having bought out his own contract with La Liga team Eibar, for whom he had offered some impressive performances throughout the season. Unfortunately, a niggling injury would delay Albentosa’s league debut for over a month.

Ince found the net again in an encouraging 2-2 midweek draw at top-of-the-table Bournemouth, where the most significant moment of the match would prove the early replacement of nineteen-goal Chris Martin. He would not return for eleven games; suddenly Bent’s loan signing seemed very important indeed, although a slightly different system of attack was needed to accommodate the latter’s style. The Rams approached the following midweek match at struggling Rotherham knowing that a win would take them back to the summit. Yet, once again, they failed to take their chance, with only a spirited fightback earning them a 3-3 draw, having trailed 1-3. Inspired by the return of George Thorne after seven months on the sidelines, Derby then won back-to-back home games against Sheffield Wednesday and Charlton, and found themselves on top of the league for the third time this season. Despite having repeatedly failed to press home the advantages they had gained, the bookies still made McClaren’s dangerous Derby side favourites for the title. They were to be proved emphatically wrong.

What followed resembles the stuff of nightmares for Derby fans. It began with a lacklustre defeat at Fulham, in which now pivotal loan signing Bent limped off, forcing the industrious and vastly improved Johnny Russell to assume a central striking role that he would retain for the next four games, without once finding the net. In addition, Thorne was again out of action, replaced in West London by the still-misfiring Mascarell. Typically, after the Fulham defeat, McClaren demanded a response. He got one, but not a result; the Rams battered Brighton but somehow contrived to lose the match 0-2. The focus intensified on Derby’s defence, arguably culpable for both goals. A performance and a win were needed when Birmingham came to the iPro, and the Rams picked them off easily, strolling toward a 2-0 victory as the match entered the third of four added second-half minutes. A few hearts were aflutter when the unspectacular Blues won, and converted, a penalty; Rams fans redoubled their whistling for full-time, the match length having already surpassed the additional time indicated. Nevertheless, a team with pretensions of winning promotion would surely be able to see the game out. Birmingham equalised in the seventh minute of injury time. The day ended with four teams on 66 points, separated by goal difference. Derby were still «in the mix», but nobody was quite sure how they were going to stay there on current form. And the games were only getting harder.

Derby went to resurgent Norwich the following Saturday with assistant Paul Simpson vowing that it was time to «win ugly» if necessary. Realistically, most Derby fans would have taken a draw, and when debutant Jamie Hanson’s corner was spilled into his own net by England goalkeeper John Ruddy, that’s exactly what they got. Hanson retained his place for the crucial midweek home match against Middlesbrough. Derby were toothless, loanee Lingard missing the best chance to fall to a white shirt. Once again, Boro were resolute; once again, it was Patrick Bamford, object of fear and loathing in Derby, who settled the match with an excellent finish. Derby were rocking.

The final game before the latest international break would take them to Wolves, hapless victims of the Rams’ finest moment of the season to date. McClaren and Simpson warned that the returns of Thorne and Martin may not be risked before the international break, but Bent was back to take his place at the centre of a truly astonishing refereeing controversy. Through on goal, the returning striker was fouled by Wolves captain and last man Danny Batth. Ince swept the ball into the net. The referee, who had already whistled for the foul, disallowed the goal and awarded a free-kick just outside the area. Rams fans watched in horror as the official, smiling sickeningly, refused to find any card in his pocket for the offender, much less the red one he clearly deserved. In some sort of grotesque tribute to John Ruddy, the normally reliable Lee Grant punched the ball into his own net to help Wolves wrap up a 2-0 win and move to within two points of Derby, who were slipping further from automatic promotion with every match. Fans picked the team apart, looking for an XI who could win the next match at home to high-flying Watford, thereby dragging the Rams’ promotion wagon back on track. Full-backs came under fire most of all, and here it was difficult to make a case for the defence. Left-back Forsyth, far superior defensively than in attack (perhaps surprisingly for a former midfielder), had compounded the injustice at Wolves by facilitating their first goal, inexplicably passing the ball to an opponent in a dangerous position. It was by no means the first time the Scotsman’s distribution had been found wanting during the season.

On the other side, Cyrus Christie was a nerve-shredded shadow of his early-season self. His first-half gift to Watford’s Vydra was cancelled out on the stroke of half-time by a Bent penalty, as the Rams’ opponents were reduced to ten men. Christie would not re-emerge after the break. Sadly, nor would George Thorne, attempting his second comeback of the season but lasting little more than twenty minutes. Once again, Derby contrived to throw away a winning position; Watford celebrated their 2-2 draw with delight, strengthening their own push for automatic promotion, while Derby retained their play-off place only on goal difference. The solitary silver lining seemed now to be the brief substitute appearance of Chris Martin, to whose absence so many had attributed the Rams’ slump.

On Easter Monday, with over four thousand Rams fans roaring them on, Derby finally picked up their first win in eight matches, as the talismanic Martin came off the bench to sweep them ahead at lowly Wigan. A typically opportunistic strike from Bent wrapped up the victory, leaving the Rams fascinatingly poised before the following weekend’s home match with Brentford. On paper, it seems the most difficult of the Rams’ remaining five fixtures, of which three are to be played at the iPro. However, with second-placed Norwich already five points ahead, and Watford and Middlesbrough much better placed to take advantage of any slip by the Canaries or leaders Bournemouth, only the most optimistic of Derby fans could reasonably expect automatic promotion at this stage. On the contrary, with Wolves in the best form of the current play-off place occupants, and Brentford able to overhaul the Rams with a win in their head-to-head, Derby still face a fierce battle to ensure their own place in the end-of-season competition that has already caused them so much heartache.

How has it come to this? And does the season represent a success or a failure for the Rams?

On reflection, it is important to consider the weight of expectation that has hung over the team all season. It is true that Derby were formidable during the latter part of the 2013-14 season, playing some scintillating football, and with an embarrassment of (injury-free) riches among their playing personnel. Yet arguably only Hughes and Russell have improved on their performances of the previous season; the immaculate Thorne has managed only three starts; Martin’s contribution has been blunted by the disastrous timing and duration of his injury; and the likes of Hendrick and Bryson have failed by some distance to match their performance levels of the previous season. Some loan signings have contributed much – particularly Ibe – while others have offered mixed fortunes: the injury-hit but prolific Bent; the frequently fantastic but oft-frustrating Ince, whose ball retention has been disappointing but who has scored some wonderful goals; and Mascarell, possessing all the vision and passing prowess one would expect of a Madrid graduate, but without ever providing a satisfactory solution for the role he was brought in to play.

Most attention has centred around the defence. In stark contrast to last season, during which the names of Andre Wisdom, Richard Keogh, Jake Buxton and Craig Forsyth seldom left the team sheet, McClaren has constantly tinkered with his defensive personnel this time around. Some fans have shown little patience with captain Keogh – possibly something of a hangover from his Wembley shocker – but in reality, the full-backs have proved a weaker link for most of the season. Christie, especially, seems particularly low on confidence, while the more self-assured Forsyth perhaps remains optimistic that his own form is solid enough and will improve still further; however, those who have endured his substandard performances throughout the season will likely have been glad of Warnock’s competent league debut at left-back in the victory at Wigan.

Another bone of contention relates to formation. While Derby have been more than a little unfortunate to experience long-term injuries to three holding midfield players (Thorne, Eustace and Mascarell), the lack of alternative playing styles and formations have also been mooted by fans as sources of frustration and failure to overturn teams that have set up defensively against the Rams and gained their rewards by doing so. The recent switch, through necessity, to a 4-2-3-1 has only added weight to this argument, not least because the defensive contribution of Mascarell has been questionable all season, and has almost certainly exacerbated any problems among the defence personnel. The use of Chris Martin behind Darren Bent has been used only fleetingly (albeit injuries have undoubtedly reduced the scope for this), while there is also a strong case for positioning the incisive passing of Hughes behind the front man, a move that has not been tried at all. This is not to suggest that the fans know better than McClaren; yet fans are certainly in a position to recognise what has not been working for long periods of the season. Managers, like players, can be «lucky» – not just in what they and their teams do, but in how they are perceived. Most things McClaren touched last season turned to gold. Such has been the man’s redemption since his ignominious England denouement, perhaps supporters had become over-confident in his ability. His true managerial performance, perhaps, lies somewhere between those two extremes of appraisal.

The mantra from the club, and the local press, remains that a Derby side returning to their best form are capable of ensnaring a promotion place this season. Some will fear that the likes of Will Hughes will be heading to the Premier League very soon, irrespective of how the Rams fare from now until the end of May.

It is never an easy ride being a Derby fan; one cannot sit back and get comfortable.

Derby have never been about coasting, but the rollercoaster.

Using Outdoor Enclosures For Fun In the Backyard

No matter if you are installing an outdoor TV in your backyard to watch the 2014 world cup, or putting a monitor into a factory environment, the monitor or screen needs protecting, without suitable protection the flat panel display will have to be replaced sooner than expected.

Cost savings using an outdoor LCD enclosure.

We all work harder than we did a decade ago, so we try and spend quality time, kicking back in our backyard with the folks. With the price of regular domestic grade screens falling to an affordable level, this makes putting a TV outdoors in almost every household’s reach.

Previously, expensive dedicated outdoor TVs were and still are available, but the problem is apart from the cost, if anything goes wrong with the components within the sealed display, you will find the replacements are usually on a long run in period, so you will certainly be without your backyard TV.

Businesses looking to attract new customers.

With businesses vying for every single customer, the more people that see your product or service will increase your chance of increasing the bottom line. So business owners are now installing outdoor digital signage enclosures, these accommodate a commercial grade screen that can run 24 hours a day, every day! The display an be mounted in portrait to showcase products better while a TV designed for home can only display content in landscape.

Industrial Monitor housing.

Used in factories to display production targets for employees, sometimes these can be interactive so the operator can input data without too much trouble and without having to remove gloves etc.

Waterproof LCD housing.

Designed to be outdoors or washed down, these provide the best all year round solution, so you do not have to be concerned if you have a sudden rain storm.

Outdoor projector enclosure for home use.

These are made from steel as are the above units, but specifically designed for projectors, with the new 4K projectors being used more and more in high end homes, these protective housings will certainly protect the hardware from the weather and potential vandalism. These units even have a separate compartment for media players and DVD players to be fitted. Putting an outdoor projector enclosure in a backyard will certainly add value to the home as well as allowing the home owner to spend more time outdoors with family and friends, just kicking back.

Simple to install and fully protected, these protective outdoor units are the most affordable solutions compared to purchasing dedicated outdoor hardware, that requires special installation and servicing. The dedicated hardware components will also be on a lengthy lead time.