December 12, 2006
That Slow, Week By Week Improvement - The Key!
Koach Karl - Here's what Coach John Anagnost thinks of Coach David Rice's latest post…
I read David Rice's latest blog yesterday, and he gets an A+. Now he's got it. Super, super post.
The key thing is to improve week by week. In the games, watch to see if whatever it is you worked on the practice the previous week or weeks get better in the game. If you can see that, then by the time you get to the end of the season, you'll always be pretty good. It doesn't mean you'll be the best team, because there are so many other factors that come into it (such as overall talent and age), but you'll always be good. That slow, week by week improvement is really the key. Even if that improvement is something simple (keepers rolling the ball better, defensive balls better to the touchlines), those small, incremental improvements are how your teams become good.
I also enjoy watching other teams at the end. It's amazing to see that the other teams inevitably have the same mistakes that your team no longer has. For example, at the end we had no more "ball blasting" which was such a prevalent theme early in the season. Instead of random kicking like we were doing the first half of the season, our girls controlled the ball, dribbled the ball, and then released the ball under control. Even at the end, most of the other teams were just blasting it, playing a game of kickball, not soccer. Those games were typically won by the individual effort of the "star" player who would dribble the length of the field and score. You can't always do a lot about that (of the last 10 goals scored against our team, 8 were from outside the penalty box), but it is fun to see that your team is actually playing soccer, playing as a team. When I see those other teams and the obvious mistakes piling up, at least I know I did a few good things.
Again, great post by Coach Rice. He's definitely a member of the FUNdamental soccer coaches club now! He should be congratulated on a fine season. When you lose 5-0 but are still reasonably satisfied because the team played well, that's when you know you're a FUNdamental coach. There have been times I've been happier with a 4-0 loss than a 4-0 win, just because in the one game I saw improvement and the other I didn't.
Take care - John Anagnost