Soccer Coaching – Practice Players Vs Game Players

Ever notice that there are some players whose performance in practice is fantastic, but they are not contributors at game time? There are also players who do not seem motivated at practice, but are extremely effective during the game. Why is this?

I think it has to do with psychology. Some players are very comfortable with the practice environment, because they know the players around them. There is an element of security and familiarity that is not present on game day. Some players also suffer from performance anxiety, so they think too much about the outcome and not enough about the task at hand.

It is also common for players to have mental blocks, so they associate failure with certain scenarios. These players typically stress after a mistake and it takes them very long to recover. Some never do and their performance deteriorates as the game progresses.

Then we have the player that coasts through practice and is your best player on Saturday. This is also a psychological issue. This player loves a challenge and rises to the occasion on game day. He / she is confident and wants to prove to himself / herself as well as to the opponents that they can play. This player is not motivated at training because they have the incorrect interpretation of its purpose. To them it is just practice and they do not see the need to go all out against their teammates.

There are pitfall with both players. The player that works at practice, but can't translate this to game time has to overcome their personal fears. This takes time and experience. Some coaches do not have the patience and these players are left out. Especially at the higher levels. I know you are thinking how does a player with the ability, not translate it to the game? Well here is a possible reason. This player may have played for a coach when he was very young that stressed results … a screamer. This coach probably took players off every time they made a mistake and never offered a solution.

The game player is really no better off in the long run because they never get to full fitness. The training habits begin to catch up with them as their talent alone will not see them through at the next level. Training habits and discipline are key to success, so unless this player gains an appreciation for the intangibles, then they too will be left out eventually.

How is this type of player created? Here is another possibility. He / she was always physically gifted and the team relied heavily upon them for success when they were younger. He / she never had to push themselves at training because they were way ahead of the rest, so it was acceptable to the coach. This player played the entire game and was the focus of the team. They got the ball to him / her at all times regardless of outcome.

Obviously this player gained tremendous confidence, because of the treatment received from the coaching staff. The sad thing is that when these players become part of team where everyone is treated the same and is expected to work at all times, they sometimes fail. They now have to perform a function clarified at practice (an environment they have never taken seriously) and the game no longer revolves around them.

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Features Of Today's Soccer Cleats

Soccer cleats manufacturers are required to satisfy the needs of today's soccer players. And for this purpose, they are required to integrate those concepts that were reserved for only the elite class of soccer players in the past. Although casual players don't play as vigorously as the professional players, the soccer cleats of today have almost all of the important features that can be found in the soccer cleats of the past. The two common features are comfort and support. Let's know some other important features.

Functional Requirements

Soccer cleats should offer total freedom of movement to the player in addition to functioning properly. Besides, the shoes must provide support and comfort. Unfortunately, it's difficult to get a pair of cleats that would offer the same level of support and comfort at the same time. The cleats that offer the best level of control don't offer the best level of comfort and vice versa. Manufacturer should design "hybrid" cleats.

Basic Structural and Functional Features

Over the years, manufacturers have been trying to design shoes that offer a lot of functional and structural features. As a result, the cleats have seen significant improvement. However, excessive functionality can cause some problems like tendonitis and blisters. Actually, there should be a balance between functional and structural features.

The External Last

Actually, the external last provides the basis for the structure of the shoes. Moreover, the global tri-dimensional design of the cleats refers to the external last. As a matter of fact, lasts can be curved, semi curved or straight in shape. The purpose of the external lasts is to target the various foot contours and shapes.

If you have a flat foot, you should go for the curved or last. On the other hand, if you have high-arched feet, we suggest that you go for the lasts that are slightly curved.

The Internal Last

One thing that has a lot of impact on your performance is called the internal last. Another term for it is the footbed construction. As a matter of fact, it's the internal last that gives a pair of cleats the best level of flexibility and stability. Moreover, quality internal last offers the right level of support to your arch.

The Heel Counter

This is another feature that holds the back of your heel. Usually, it is bounded to the outsole of the cleat. After a lot of use, the heel counter shouldn't bend. Instead, it should maintains its vertical or parallel position when looked at from the back of the cleat. So, this is another important feature that a good pair of soccer cleat must have.

The Upper

The top part of the soccer cleats is known as the upper. Aside from a good advertising spot, this part of the shoes is also important from the protection perspective. This part of the shoes is firmly bounded to the cleats outsole.

Aside from this, the upper maintains the stability of your feet during the play. This part may be made from leather or synthetic. However, synthetics are rising in popularity but are making the cleats more expensive.

Summary

So, choosing the right cleats based on your foot type is a good idea, as it will give you an edge as far as comfort and performance goes.

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Gerald Green Dunks Or How To Increase Vertical Jump

Ok, Gerald Green finished second this year in the Slam Dunk Contest (2008). His birthday-cake-dunk was sick, but the one between the legs with no shoes on wasn’t necessary – he can do better!

But have you seen Gerald Green’s 2005 summer league dunk where he – just like Vince Carter at the 2000 Olympics – jumped over a 7 footer for the dunk?

What about the 2005 McDonald’s All-American Slam Dunk Contest that he won? And in case you forgot, Green won the NBA Slam Dunk contest in 2007!

In this contest, Green first made a two-handed slam on an alley-oop pass off the side of the backboard from teammate Paul Pierce. Then he jumped over fellow finalist Nate Robinson while wearing the No. 7 Celtics jersey of 1991 dunk champion Dee Brown – and shielding his eyes in the crook of his elbow in an homage to Brown’s memorable no-look dunk.

«I knew they were going to be tough, because those guys had the creativity and the dunking style,» Green said about the famous judges Michael Jordan, Dominique Wilkins, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter and Julius Erving.

«I tried to come out with something they never did before, and hopefully they could give me a score.» – Gerald Green

At the end of the contest, G-Money effortlessly leaped over a 3-foot table for a windmill jam.

«That boy has some serious hops,» Nate Robinson said after that dunk, eyes wide. «Kid can fly.»

Actually, Gerald Green has the highest vertical leap in the NBA by now – 48 inches!

The 6’8»/ 200 lbs. shooting guard jumps so high, he has to watch out not hitting the rim with his head! On one occasion in high school, Green went higher than expected and cut his head on the rim.

«If you’re trying to glide, you want to get your footwork right,» said Green. »If you don’t get your footwork right, you won’t accelerate as far or glide as far or get as high as you need to get. Then, at the height of the dunk, you want to reach your peak. That’s where you want to get the ball where it needs to be. Sometimes I don’t reach my peak. I dunk and then I seem to go a little higher then I fall down. It has happened before. I’m just trying to put the ball in a certain area.» – Gerald Green

By now, you may think:

So what? It’s great for him that he can jump that high,

but how can I increase my vertical?

Well, besides the excellent, but common exercises like jump rope, calf raises and squats, there are some very effective exercises only few people know about:

Thrust ups:

Starting position: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and close your knees. Then jump up only using your calves, only bending at the ankles. When your land, go jump again as high as possible.

Burnouts:

Starting position: feet shoulder width apart, knees closed. Now go up on your toes und jump up only using your toes.

Laundry Jumps:

Take an object – a bag or something like that – and try to jump laterally over it. It can be between 10 and 20 inches high. Try to jump as high and far as you can back and forth over object.

Power Skip

Jump and try to bring your left leg up to your chest. Then do the same with the other leg.

For more exercises and crucial things to know about vertical jump (f.e. why often what you «don’t» do is more important then what you «do» do) please take a look at this page I strongly recommend:

http://www.howtodunk.org

p.s.

Did you know that Green plays with only four and a half fingers on his shooting hand? He ripped his ring finger on a nail when he was about eight and doctors were forced to amputate down to the knuckle.

p.p.s.

In case you haven’t heard yet – the 22-year old Gerald Green was released by the Houston Rockets…

For more infos, take a look at this page:

http://celticsgreen.blogspot.com/2008/03/gerald-green-released-by-rockets.html

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