Improving Dribbling Skills for Soccer Players and Coaches with Concurrent Goal Training – Article 6

Just about everyone can dribble a soccer ball when there is no resistance coming from an opponent. Obviously however, there will be great resistance during competitive matches. So the objective here is to properly get young players comfortable and confident with dribbling while an opponent is applying pressure by endeavoring to gain possession of the ball. If any field-soccer player wants to improve, this skill is paramount.

These are the basic objectives that must be developed for young players and possibly others for maintaining possession of the ball.

1. Dribbling the soccer ball must be kept close to the feet around opponents. This is obvious.

2. But what may not be obvious is that the sense of balance of the body, needed for rapidly changing directions, must be developed.

3. Looking out around the field for open players and open spaces is another necessity. It can only be accomplished by keeping one’s head up while dribbling. This of course will not happen with newly introduced players into the game, but it is one of the dribbling objectives.

4. Another necessity for retaining the ball while dribbling is to shield it from one or more opponents.

So what is the optimum approach to improve the dribbling skills for young players?

1. In general, precious soccer practice time should not be spent on dribbling drills. Dribbling should be practiced away from the soccer practice. But, there are some exceptions:

  • (a) The youngest players must be taught the basics via dribbling drills at soccer practices. There is nothing new here.
  • (b) After say two soccer practices, end the dribbling drills at these practices. Valuable training time is needed for spending on kicks, trapping, defense, shielding, endurance etc.
  • (i)Without endurance, soccer players cannot perform to their maximum abilities
    and will make more dribbling and other errors.

    (ii)A professional should be consulted on the optimum level of endurance training.

  • (c) Then, assign homework drills. Drills that are designed to teach
  • (i)the young player balance while turning

    (ii)control of the sensitivity of touch on the ball

    (iii)players to keep the ball near the feet when moving with the ball.

  • (d) Coach demonstrations and player demonstrations should be performed so the players understand their assigned homework drill.
  • (e) At each subsequent practice (after a drill has been assigned), players should be asked to demonstrate their homework skills for about 30 seconds each. Say two players at a time–to conserve training time. After each player has shown his or her skill preforming the drill, a demonstration should be repeated by the best young dribbling player. This acts as a teaching-aid to the others.
  • (f) Every player is to own and bring an identifiably marked ball to practice. While on the subject, water and warm clothes in cold weather should also be a requirement.
  • 2. During scrimmage games, insist that players dribble with their head up and with the ball close to the feet when near opponents.

    3. The importance of shielding the soccer ball from an opponent cannot be overemphasized. Shielding properly keeps one, or possibly two or three opponents from dislodging the ball from a dribbling player.

  • (a) Various drills are designed to elevate shielding skills from its most elementary level on up. Start with little opponent pressure, as the players develop expertise add pressure to each advanced drill.
  • (b) In addition, there is another drill especially designed apply the shielding technique. It is a variation of the monkey-in-the-middle drill. When done right and constantly overseen by the coach, players properly learn to shield the ball from aggressive opponents. Furthermore, players also learn to make safer passes to «teammates».
  • The following notes should add clarity to this article.

    Note 1: Very young «talented» players often make «breakaways» and dribble the ball towards the goal unimpeded. Before taking the shot at the goal with only the goalkeeper in front, these players push the ball about two to three yards (or two or three meters) out in front of them. At this distance the ball is in an ideal position to kick it at the goal. Often these young players score against an unskillful very young goalkeeper, and of course the parents of the scoring child are elated. However, this may or may not indicate that this child will go on to be a great soccer player. That «skill» just witnessed is not a skill at all, because it was not learned. As the children progress up in age, opponent defenders ordinarily do not allow an attacker the room of two or three yards to set up the ball for the kick on goal. On older teams, this «tactic» is no longer a tactic. So what point am I making?

    Competitive soccer players need to discipline themselves in keeping the ball near their feet when opponents are near. This is a necessary skill that must be learned for dribbling as well as when making attempts at scoring. It takes training both with dribbling and while employing the various types of kicks to be competitive as a player goes on up in years.

    Note 2: Advanced players must also develop the ability to lunge in one direction while flicking the ball in the opposite direction. There are several of these feinting moves that a skillful soccer player must master, but they are beyond the scope of this article.

    Note 3: What do the young goalkeeper(s) do while the field players are training for their skills? They need to be developing their skills. They need an assistant coach to train them on defending the goal, to practice diving and punting. The coach must instruct the assistant coach in proper goalkeeping-training techniques while overseeing these techniques until the assistant coach gets it right.

    Note 4: Much of the above training information can be learned from good soccer books containing further descriptions and applicable drills.

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    Ten New Albums To Anticipate In 2018

    The past year saw several memorable fiftieth anniversaries, topped off by Sargeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band by The Beatles in June and the Monterey Music Festival in July. Perhaps in 2067 music fans will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of some of the records released last year, such as Colors by Beck or War and Leisure by Miguel.

    This coming year also has some anniversaries to look forward to, especially of another great record by The Beatles. There will also undoubtedly be some great records to come out in 2018, and here are ten of the most anticipated artists scheduled to release new albums within the next 52 weeks.

    Franz Ferdinand

    Always Ascending is the title to the follow up to 2014’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, and it is due to hit record stores on February 9. The title track, as the first single, has already been available since December.

    MGMT

    «When You Die» has already been released as a single, and the album titled Little Dark Age is set for a February debut.

    Brian Fallon

    After much success fronting the Gaslight Anthem, Fallon delivers the follow up to his first solo album Painkillers. The sophomore effort, called Sleepwalkers, is set for a February 9 release.

    Belle and Sebastian

    Stuart Murdoch and his indie rock outfit plan to make their next album a trilogy of EPs, the first of which came out in late November with the catchy single «We Were Beautiful.» The second of the series will be released January 9, and the final EP will appear on February 16 along with a two-disc vinyl edition. In the meantime a second single, «I’ll Be Your Pilot», has been receiving airplay on college rock stations.

    Brandi Carlile

    After spending much of 2017 appearing with other artists like the Old 97s on Graveyard Whistling, the indie sensation will deliver her next solo disc, titled By the Way, I Forgive You, on February 16.

    Owl City

    After a somewhat disappointing Mobile Orchestra in 2015, Adam Young hopes to recover some of the success he enjoyed with early hits like Ocean Eyes and The Midsummer Station. His fans will find out if the old magic is there when Cinematic arrives on record shelves on June 1.

    Jack White

    Now a well-revered veteran of indie rock, the fabulous guitar-playing innovator has scheduled his Boarding House Breach for a release in the spring.

    Loretta Lynn

    Just two years ago the queen of classic country made Full Circle, a near masterpiece that featured the likes of Elvis Costello and John Carter Cash. She is back again with Wouldn’t It Be Great, a question that fans will most assuredly answer in the affirmative.

    Arctic Monkeys

    The British alt-rockers have not been heard of since their last tour and album way back in 2014, but they have announced that their so far untitled sixth record will appear at some point in 2018.

    The Fratellis

    Costello Music introduced the British indie group, and they have done nothing but produce gem after gem since that debut album. Now over a decade and a half dozen records later, they will launch In Your Own Sweet Time on March 9.

    ICC World Cup 2011: India, England, Head To Head In World Cups

    Co-hosts India are among the favourites to win the ICC World Cup in 2011. Interestingly, England have also emerged as possible contenders following their title winning exploits at the T20 world cup earlier this year.

    Let’s take a look at how the teams have fared against against each other in past world cups. The sides met for the first time at the event in its very first edition in 1975. The match was played at Lords; England won the toss and elected to bat. They piled up 334/5 in 60 overs, on the back of Dennis Amiss’s 137 supported by fifties from Fletcher and Chris Old, apart from cameos by John James and skipper Mike Denness. Fast bowler Chris Old’s fifty underlined the weakness of India’s bowling in which Ghavri gave away 83 runs in 11 overs.

    India’s reply was nothing short of a mockery of the game, thanks to a baffling innings of 36 not out in 60 overs by Gavaskar, who took 174 balls to complie his runs. India finished at 132/3, and the 202 run margin of defeat stood as an ODI record for several years. Gavaskar’s innings sparked off debates as to the real motivation behind the opener’s innings.

    The sides were placed in different groups in the 1979 edition and did not meet at all as India got knocked off at the group stage. Their next meeting came in the 1983 edition that India eventually won. England won the toss at Old Trafford and electing to bat managed just 213. Kapil Dev was the most successful bowler snaring three wickets and he got good assistance from Binny and Amarnath who got two each. India knocked off the runs required with more than five overs to spare, with Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Patil notching up fifties.

    India co-hosted the next cup along with Pakistan and England and India met in the semi-finals. Once again, England got lucky with the toss and elected to bat. Graham Gooch scored a brilliant hundred as England posted a challenging 254/5 in 50 overs. Maninder Singh with three wickets was India’s most successful bowler. In reply, India collapsed to 219 all out. Azharuddin top-scored for India with 64 runs, while Eddie Hemmings took four wickets for England.

    Th next world cup meeting between the sides was at Perth in 1992. England batted first once again and scored 236/9 in their 50 overs with Gooch and Smith scoring fifties. India fell short by just nine runs, despite a 63-run opening stand and a fifty by opener Ravi Shastri. For England, Dermot Reeve and Botham were among the wickets.

    The two sides were in different groups in the 1996 cup hosted in the subcontinent, and with England crashing out at the group stage, they did not meet each other. Their next cup meeting was at Birmingham in 1999. India batting first managed 232/8 in 50 overs. Dravid top-scored with a fifty and was well supported by several cameos. When England batted, the Indian bowlers were equal to the task and the hosts were bowled out for 169. Ganguuly with three wickets was the most successful bowler; Srinath, Kumble and Mohanty got two each.

    The last world cup encounter between the sides came in 2003 at Durban. India batting first managed 250/9 thanks to fifties by Tendulkar and Dravid. When England batted, Nehra took six wickets to send them crashing to 168 all out – an 82 run victory in which Flintoff with 64 was England’s only saving grace.

    Thus, England and India are tied at three games all in world cups. With the two sides placed in the same group in the 2011 edition, their next meeting is scheduled take place on February 28, 2011 at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens. Who will win that one?

    Liverpool FC – The History Of The Badge And The Meaning Of The Crest

    Liverpool Football Club are one of the most successful teams in English and European football history, and the club not only has massive support in England but also around the world, the club probably has many millions of fans. Liverpool were founded in 1892 and have won 18 League titles, seven FA Cups and famously, they are five times winners of the European Cup and Champions League, combined.

    The club badge or crest, is the epitome of this famous club, and the badge on their shirt is often kissed by the players when celebrating a goal or a victory, as a sign of loyalty and love for the club. The badge has changed considerably since the formation of the club well over a hundred years ago, but today’s crest has much significance about the history and tradition of this famous football club.

    The club badge is predominantly based on the city’s famous Liver Bird, which has represented the city for many centuries. The mythical bird, which many believe to have been derived from a cormorant, can be seen on the top of the clock towers on the Royal Liver Building, where two famous Liver birds sculptures dominate the building and overlook the River Mersey, and they date back to 1911. Many modern myths have evolved regarding the origin of the Liver bird, but it is widely accepted that they watch over and protect the people of Liverpool and myth dictates that should they ever leave, the river Mersey would burst its banks and flood the city.

    The Liver bird dominates the centre of the Liverpool badge, which is placed inside a shield. The image of the Liver bird on the badge has a short head and curved beak, which is more usually associated with a bird of prey rather than a cormorant, but it retains the sprig of laver, a type of seaweed, in its mouth.

    In 2008, Liverpool FC attempted to claim copyright for the Liver bird image, but they failed in their attempt as it was deemed that the Liver bird belonged to all the people of Liverpool and not one company or organisation. The Liver bird image is also used by several other organisations.

    Above the shield is a representation of the famous Shankly Gates, which were erected outside the Anfield Stadium in 1982, as a tribute to Liverpool’s former and most famous manager Bill Shankly, who had led Liverpool from Second Division mediocrity, to win three League titles, two FA Cups and the UEFA Cup. Bill Shankly is regarded by most fans as the greatest Liverpool manager, by the way he transformed the club.

    Across the top of the Shankly Gates, and portrayed in the badge, are the words You’ll Never Walk Alone, which is the title of the song by Gerry and the Pacemakers that has been adopted by Liverpool fans as the club’s anthem, this again stems during Shankly’s time as manager, and is still sung reverently by Liverpool fans today.

    The twin flames either side of the shield are symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically died in the Hillsborough disaster of 1989, when the fans were crushed due to overcrowding during Liverpool’s FA Cup semi final against Nottingham Forest, 766 fans were also injured in the disaster.

    The date of the formation of the club is clearly displayed below the shield, and while the club crest has changed a number of times over the years, it symbolises some of the most important events in the history of the club, the badge is worn with honour and pride by both players and fans alike.

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