ERIN MILLS EAGLES GIRLS U16: Parents/Players Page

A FINAL NOTE FROM THE COACH
This note will serve as my last entry to this 7 year diary of my coaching experience with the 90A girls - young women now.

I take my hat off to this determined goup of athletes who stayed the course and produced the proud result of their 2006 season.

In the end, as is consistent with most team issues, adults determined the team's destiny by both negative interference, and in some cases lack of positive interference, support and contribution.

Some coaches reach this point far sooner than I have for many of the same reasons.

My running theme has always been "Have faith in your coach to do the right thing".

Decisions made by a coach are often difficult and are driven by a complex set of circumstances.

Those circumstances often involve the private issues of individuals that are no one's business but those involved. Hence "faith" and "trust" is paramount.

My role as coach is to protect and nurture the development of each and every young athlete in my care through the considerable influence that I control in their lives.

Secondarily my role is to protect the team entity and encourage and develop the team to a positive competitive result.

This year I was put in a position where I had to put all of this at risk to correct a very wrong situation.

Perhaps one of the least popular decisions I have ever made - but it was "the right thing to do".

Essentially I was damned if I did and damned if i didn't - and all driven by the failure of adults focussed on narrow (and sometimes selfish) goals.

I have served as a volunteer in several organizations over many years, and I haven't felt more disappointed, more abandoned, and more disrespected as this year brought from the adults (both team and club) who influenced the "rewards" in my role.

I have always kept an open door policy and accepted criticism readily. This is the only way that I can manage misunderstandings.

A locked communication door builds bombs and I developed a very thick skin to manage opinions.

Everyone is entitled to their opinions, and never has a player suffered because of adult issues.   

I have never wavered from my fundamental principles.

Some can live with those and some cannot.

On the premise of those principles I elected to step aside rather than have my reputation further trodden on.

In the end I am satisfied that I did my job - albeit at great final cost.

My only regret is the abandonment of my players, all of whom I hold dear, and especially those who got caught up in "adult issues", invisible to most.

Lastly, I have always encouraged my players to develop their own coaching skills and carry on the game to new players through their adulthood.

To my players, I hope that you have learned from me and enjoy the rewards that await you.

I look forward to watching you excel in your soccer and as adults building a better world.

BT


Wednesday, July 26
TRUST
When I hear about lots of parent chatter behind my back I can only imagine that there is a lacking of trust in your coach.

Everyone has to trust me to do the right thing for the benefit of the team entity.

If anyone has trouble with this it’s time to arrange a personal meeting with me at a mutually agreeable time.

Some issues that need to be understood…….

90% of what we do is training. Players deliver their commitment, their passion, their confidence, their learning, and skill development during training.

We take our training into competitive games (10% of our program) – essentially a stage play for which we have rehearsed long and hard.

The best performers go on stage. The best performers are those who have given me and our coaching staff the confidence that they are ready and confident in their roles.

More challenging games will involve a different balance of playing time for some than games that are easier.

I am challenged to help our team win games and our league with the resources available to us. Playing to lose is not an option.

I am challenged to help our players continuously improve in their skills and in their game play . Players who don’t improve fall behind quickly as others speed by.

Under the direction of Vince, we have changed our game style – much to the better – providing a more entertaining game for spectators and a more satisfying game for players.

Sometimes decisions made by the coaching staff may seem inconsistent with your “preferences”.

You have to trust our decisions that are often made with factual knowledge that you are not privy to.

Your coach does not play favourites. Your coach cannot be “bought”. Players NEVER suffer from the earnest opinions of parents or themselves.

Passion for the game, hard work and confident performance in training and games (especially training) will find players earning the most time on the field, not because they just show up, but because they have confidently developed the required skills.

Players who hide performance affecting injuries from me cause a number of problems:

Under-performance will get a player yanked from the game field, especially in the hot spots when we are pressured, before we get stung.

A hidden injury could be incorrectly viewed as lazy, or just plain unable to do the job – generally a negative impression.

A hidden injury can be aggravated from short term recovery to long term complications.

A hidden injury can cost your team a positive result.

I have a long standing rule that I want to know about every hangnail…….I am getting annoyed with the number of hidden damaged players risking their team’s result.

Finding out later why a player should not have been chastised (because of injury) is too late.

Running is a basic component of the game and an essential component of our training. I know of few serious soccer teams that don’t focus heavily on distance aerobic training and short distance anaerobic training.

Serious athletes don’t need to be driven to add additional running on your own.

The theme of our program this year is “Intelligent Soccer”. Everyone is seeing a growing improvement in our overall game intelligence, but we have a long way to go still.

Player performance also involves that intelligent component beyond root ball skills. When to make a run, where to make a run, when it’s OK to leave your position, two way play, vocal leadership on the field, proper positioning, reading the other team’s shape and so on.

Soccer intelligence is much like chess where the player has to think several moves ahead to be most effective. Our players are developing this skill at different rates.

Other expectations….

Does a player “make a difference” on the field – making things happen or just reacting to what happens.

Does a player contribute to scoring opportunities if in a striker/mid position?

Does a midfielder control her space? - games are won and lost here.

Does a defender prevent dangerous crosses most of the time and clear the ball effectively.

Does a defender follow the play forward and contribute to attack shape?

Does a keeper provide confident leadership from the rear and make good decisions in position and ball distribution.

The list goes on.

As a team we have played 7 exhibition/tournament games so far with all players getting decent playing time.

We are now in our “real” season. As in any competitive team, we will use the roster and other resources we have to what we feel is in the best interests of the team.

Some will play more than others – the flow of the game will determine how we use our bench.

The two things that irritate me the most – I repeat this year after year – lateness and lack of effort.

I can live with a lot of other shortcomings including losing as long as we did our very best with determined preparation.

Lastly,

Your coaching staff will adopt a calmer demeanour on the bench effective immediately.



Bob T



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Friday, April 21
SCHOOL SOCCER
School soccer training is well under way and competitive games have begun.

It is no secret that school soccer is not high on my recommended list but I recognize the reality that your skills are in demand and you want to participate in school athletics.

I encourage you to be extremely cautious in the school soccer program.

We have a long and challenging season ahead of us and we need everyone healthy and performing at peak levels.

Make every effort to avoid unnecessary hard tackles. Don't hold the ball too long....keep the ball moving on the field and don't invite someone to take your ankles out.

Play "smart".

Many players in school soccer are less skilled and only know the physical approach to get the job done.

Many school games are played on less than desirable fields, so walk the field ahead of time and know where the danger spots are.

Lastly, school soccer is your choice and I expect everyone to respect your Rep team priorities.

Do not use school soccer as an excuse to miss your team training sessions.

Good luck to all.

BT



ADP PROGRAM JAN TO MARCH 2006
Eagles,

The following details the team's ADP program to the best of my knowledge from now until April 1.06

Our mandatory team practice continues on Thursday's at Fallingbrook School from 8:30 to 10:00 pm (may start a bit earlier pending confirmation)
This training session to the end of March carries a base registration fee of $100 per player payable to the Club.

Those training for the March Break ADP Tour of America are required to train at the clubhouse every Monday from 8 pm - 10 pm.
This represents a $50 add - on to your base ADP fee.

Friday nights at Thomas Street is available for those who want more time on the ball from 8 pm -10 pm.
This is an additional $50 add-on to your base fee.

There is training time at the Erindale College gym on Saturdays from 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm.
This is an added $50 again to your base ADP fee.
Players should approach this session with caution on days where we have scheduled games, and should focus on light training if you participate on game days.

Add up your planned ADP participation and register/pay at the Club this week please.

The team will continue to train at Mind to Muscle every Tuesday from 8 pm - 9 pm for strength and agility development.
This bears a cost of $100 per player plus tax payable to M to M directly by next week.

I will only post the Thursday, M to M and Tour training dates on the team web site.
All other schedules are available at the Club web site www.erinmillseagles1990.com

There are lots of opportunities to develop your personal skills and each player needs to balance their personal schedules in such a way that academic loads are manageable.

The most dedicated and successful elite athletes that have passed through the Club focus on school, soccer training and go light on the "social" distractions.

Life is full of choices.

BT


OPENING SCHEDULE FOR 2006
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL !!

I trust that everyone has had a good Xmas holiday renewing family ties and enjoying your friends.

We have a busy schedule over the next week as we prepare to re-open our OISL season and the Indoor Cup round robin.

Tuesday January 3 - ADP training at the Clubhouse with Joe Corapi. 12 pm - 2 pm ($10 per session)

Tuesday January 3 - Mind to Muscle Strength and Agility training at Iceland arena - 7 pm - 8 pm

Wednesday January 4 - Team training at the OSA Centre indoor from 10 am to 12 noon (We'll do a team lunch at the OSA following).

Thursday January 5 - ADP training at the Clubhouse with Joe Corapi. 12 pm - 2 pm ($10 per session)

Saturday January 7 - game at 10 pm vs North Miss. - on site by 9 pm or sooner please.

Sunday January 8 - Ontario Indoor Cup - all day - please be on site by 10 am - pack lots of water and suitable nutrition to nibble on throughout the day. The full day's schedule is on the web site calendar.

All of the above details are on your team web site.

Nicole Chircop will be contacting you to make sure you are up to speed with the schedule.

If anyone is transportation challenged please let me know and we'll try and sort out some car pooling.

We need confirmation that everyone is continuing with the Mind to Muscle weekly training beginning January 10.
The Tuesday 7 pm slot is confirmed and we are pending a possible change to 8 pm if another group bows out.
The fee will be determined by the numbers attending ($160 per team session for 10 weeks)
This will be payable to Mind to Muscle directly one we have the confirmed number.

With the new year, we enter Phase Two of our training program.

The season consists of 4 "PHASES".

The first phase was Oct-Dec which was essentially a cool down period from the summer/fall with some competitive indoor games and practice play. We will stay primarily focussed on root skill development and start defining the standard fitness tests like the Beep Test.

The second phase, Jan-March, continues with the skill focus but steps up the physical fitness demands with the Beep Test, other test measurement and expectations of additional personal training.

Our third phase April-June will put fitness demands first while continuing to develop our soccer skills.

Outdoor play and training will begin as soon as possible along with team runs and lots of non-stop scrimmage.

Tournament play will begin in May for preparation for Ontario Cup and the beginning of our all important league play.

We will enter our league play in the best physical shape possible so we are ALWAYS first to the ball at the opening kick-off and still first to the ball in the dying seconds of every game.

The fourth phase, July-Sept, will see our fitness focus taper off to maintenance levels achieved mainly through tactical practice sessions.

"Germans" will be an important measure of our outdoor fitness as will the occasional Beep Test outdoors.
If I see our fitness levels dropping we will "top up" with some extra Germans.
(Germans are timed figure 8 full field runs)

This fitness surge will be a lot more FUN for those who take it seriously and work hard.


BOB T



PASSPORTS AND OUR 2005 SCHEDULE
The news today continues to emphasize the probable need for a passport to enter the United States.


We currently don't have any US travel in our schedule but that doesn't mean that we won't consider something down the road.


Our schedule is impacted by two primary date points.


The first is April 16 when the OSA "draw from a hat" to determine who plays where for the first round of Ontario Cup. We may need to travel, we may not.


The second is May 13 when South Region publishes our league game schedule.


The combination of these two dates affect a large number of potential game dates that have to be kept open as long as we progress in our winning in Ontario Cup and League Cup.


The chronic, general shortage of fields across our league geography will drive some regular league game play into weekends as well as mid-week nights.


We certainly experienced this last year in rescheduled games that were rained out.


Our focus on our league competition must remain the number one priority. Ontario Cup runs a very close second priority.


Everything else we do around these priorities is directed at training, preparation, and of course some social fun to reward everyone's hard work.

Our first tournament warm-up competition will be the COVI (City of Vaughan) event on May 27-29.


Our last tournament of the season will be the Eagle Cup, our own, on September 24-25.


We may involve ourselves in a couple more tournaments depending how our calendar fills out in May.

Back to passports.....

I encourage all players (and parents/family members who plan to travel with the team) to have a valid passport in hand as soon as possible.


This suits both your personal travel needs at the family level, allowing you to leave "on the next plane" as well as the team needs if we decide to head into the States on short notice.


There may be call-up opportunities for players to travel with teams going into the US.


We may get invited by a US based team.


Certainly any player who intends to qualify for the "Tour of America" trip next spring will need a passport.


We'll be asking everyone shortly whether you have a passport in hand or not - just so we know where we stand.


Have fun.



BT





FUNDRAISING ON THE TEAM WEB SITE
I have added a link on the web site to the Eteamz fundraising mechanism whereby benefactors can contribute on line via a credit card.

This isn't intended for our traditional sponsors, or our parents of course.

The link provides an opportunity for relatives for friends of the team anywhere in the world to contribute to the team's coffers.

Eteamz keeps 6.5% for their trouble and send us monthly cheques made out to the team account.

Perhaps it will work, perhaps not - nothing to lose and everything to gain.

You will see my name tracking on it - I put some money up just to see how easy it is - and it is a very simple process.


NON-PLAYING PLAYERS ON THE BENCH
Eagles,

From time to time we will have players who attend a game, but are unable to play.

As long as you are on the game roster you are welcome to be with your team on the bench. I encourage you to be there.

There is only one exception - when you are suspended because of OSA discipline (hopefully never on this team)

There are some expectations however,

Firstly, you are expected to dress like the team, at least in your tracksuit. No street clothes.

Secondly, while you are on the bench you will be expected to be cheering your team on, providing positive encouragement to your team mates, and being genuinely helpful.
Your coach may give you an assignment to record specific stats during the game, for example.

Thirdly, no cell phones or chatter with the crowd.


.....and anything else that might be invented.

If you feel you cannot discipline yourself to be with your team - you are welcome to sit in the stands with the fans.


DEALING WITH INJURIES/ILLNESS IN TRAINING AND GAMES
To our Eagle athletes,

In a perfect world we all hope for a full roster of healthy athletes 365 days of the year.

Our reality is far from that perfect world.

Two weeks ago we would have only been able to field 6-8 players - a clear awakening to me that we needed to bolster our troops.

You are the best judge of your "health" and you are personally responsible for reporting any physical/emotional limitations that you have to the coaching staff on any given day.

Training and playing any sport, whether it be with your Eagles team or any other group, while you are sick or injured, puts you at risk for long term problems.

(Should a player who declares herself unfit for Eagle soccer training be playing school or other sports?)

By not properly resting or overtraining/playing with injury you risk the long term quality of your team, and most importantly your SELF.

Your coaches cannot read your mind.

We are in the beginning of very demanding training and no one is going to force you to train with problems you have identified.

You must speak up right away !!!

We want you to rest, do whatever is appropriate to heal in rehab, and return to active duty as soon as possible.

As far as practice goes, you are best stay at home and heal rather than contribute to distractions at training. Let your coach know in advance.

Having said that, there is another reality.

What you put into your training, both personally and with the team, will define what your contribution to the team can be in game play.

Therefore, careful management of your health and speedy recovery is critical to your team.

I don't know a single sport where a coach would put a player or a team in jeopardy with poor preparation of his athletes and this extends to any cause of absence.

This reality is important for you to accept and especially important for you to take personal charge of.


THINKING AND ACTING LIKE CHAMPIONS
Last night (JAN 18.05)I was able to secure the clubhouse field at the last minute.

The new ADP program had not yet kicked in and the field was available. They owed us some time for the problem we had with the cardio room last week.

For those who were able to respond to the late call we worked on some turning/shooting drills.

Our scrimmage focussed on pass back scoring plays although this still needs work.

We still have a lot of difficulty getting players to make the run to set the play.

Wednesday will continue on this theme.


We are back on track with ADP, however we must get our payment ($135/player) into the club by Thurs.

Wed team gym practice from 6:30 - 8:30

Thurs Team ADP at Fallingbrook from 8 - 9:30

Friday Thomas Street is available for ADP from 6:30 - 8 pm

Saturday ADP is at the U of T gym running from 12 - 3 pm (ages 14 +)

Sunday ADP at Clarkson CC from 4 - 5:30 pm

Monday - no activity

Tuesday - Cardio at the clubhouse - the Club expects to have a cardio trainer on board by then.


As soon as we are past the exam crunch I will begin holding weekly team classroom meetings where we will begin our off field training on leadership, goal setting, nutrition, fitness, a session with the head referee, and of course social activity planning for the team.

A reminder to all players........you have built yourself an extraordinary reputation as a skilled, determined, competitive machine.

You have a great deal of personal responsibility to protect and develop that reputation.

Your 2005 goal must be no less than winning the Elite Division. Those who watch you play week after week are convinced that you are capable of doing that.

Achievement of your goals begins with your personal acceptance that you are playing on the best soccer team around. This is not just hype.

This is not a time to boast, brag or get overconfident.

This is a time to "THINK AND ACT LIKE CHAMPIONS", "THINK AND ACT LIKE A TEAM", "PROTECT EACH OTHER", "SUPPORT EACH OTHER", and "LIFT EACH OTHER UP WHEN YOU FALTER".

A very large part of our strength is due to the respect, the friendships, the caring and the examples that you provide to each other.

This is hard work to maintain and strengthen, and each and every one has a direct responsibility to make sure we all look after our "family".

As long as we stay focussed on this we will have the most fun of any team in the province and, I am convinced, the best success.

Be proud of what you have built .....and turn it up.


THE 4 PHASES OF OUR SOCCER SEASON
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Nov 1 began Phase 1 of our 2005 soccer season.

The season consists of 4 "PHASES".

The first phase was Oct-Dec which was essentially a cool down period from the summer/fall with some competitive indoor games and practice play. We will stay primarily focussed on root skill development and start defining the standard fitness tests like the Beep Test.

The second phase, Jan-March, continues with the skill focus but steps up the physical fitness demands with the Beep Test, other test measurement and expectations of additional personal training.

Our third phase April-June will put fitness demands first while continuing to develop our soccer skills.

Outdoor play and training will begin as soon as possible along with team runs and lots of non-stop scrimmage.

Tournament play will begin in May for preparation for Ontario Cup and the beginning of our all important league play.

We will enter our league play in the best physical shape possible so we are ALWAYS first to the ball at the opening kick-off and still first to the ball in the dying seconds of every game.

The fourth phase, July-Sept, will see our fitness focus taper off to maintenance levels achieved mainly through tactical practice sessions.

"Germans" will be an important measure of our outdoor fitness as will the occasional Beep Test outdoors.
If I see our fitness levels dropping we will "top up" with some extra Germans.
(Germans are timed figure 8 full field runs)

This fitness surge will be a lot more FUN for those who take it seriously and work hard.


BOB T


DRESSING CORRECTLY FOR TRAINING
Coach's Rule....

All players are expected to arrive and depart from training and games dressed for the weather.

So there is no confusion.....minimum is a full track suit pants and jacket when below 15C. A winter overcoat should be worn when the temperature drops below 0C.

Indoor soccer footwear should be carried in and out of soccer activities.

Players should be conscious of snow, rain and mud they may be tracking into soccer facilities and "weather" should never be tracked onto our gym area. This will avoid dangerous slippery spots in our training area.

Keeping your muscles warm after workout will help you recover faster from the exercise done.

There is always some un-noticed bruising and strain damage to your muscles in training.

Staying warm during the early recovery period will substantially improve how you "feel" the next day.

A simple 5 minute cool down jog after your events adds to this recovery benefit also.

Arriving for events "cold" slows down your muscles' ability to prepare with quality warm-up and stretching.

Just for incentive....any players I see outside with inappropriate clothing will enjoy 5 minutes of shuttles at the next training while everyone else cheers you on.

Stay warm and look after your "machine".

You have a responsibility to yourself and your team to manage your health correctly.



2004 SEASON IN REVIEW AND GOING FORWARD TO 2005
The 2004 season ended on a high note, although not easily.

Our undefeated League season (17-0-1) remained intact but only after falling behind on the scoreboard briefly for the first time this year.

I was glad to see the gang actually celebrate their win after the Burlington game in spite of the ugly weather that ended the game.

Looking back, we ran our team in an unusual fashion in 2004.

Your coach bought into a plan designed by our Club Head Coach to hold the core strength of the team together and to use resources within the Club to recover our Elite position.

The League pushed us (and Mississauga) down last year, feeling we needed to regain our confidence, win some games and try and rebuild.

We managed to excel and Mississauga continued to spiral downward without an attractive league position. By comparison Mississauga had no resources to draw from.

We are a very good example of the depth that Erin Mills has in the Rep program and how prudent team work can achieve team goals.

We must recognize that 25 players in addition to our roster gave their time and skills to us from other team resources. We tapped our 14B team, the 13A, 13B and Select teams to accomplish our goal.

Each and every one of those girls can proudly say that they made a difference in our championship run.

They will be duly recognized at our team party. Details TBA.

Those who played with us would not have been there without the blessing of their own coaches who risked their own team performances for our benefit.

What might have happened had we done this a year ago........?

The nightmare of sorting out who was available from where on an ongoing basis was a significant challenge I won't be quick to repeat.

Our Eagles never lost a league game throughout the season. We opened up with one of those nightmare games where we completely dominated, delivered 60 shots on net, and never buried one of them..a 0-0 tie that would come to haunt our "perfect" season.
This game brought back haunting memories of last year when we had so many close, but losing games.

Mount Hamilton gave us our toughest competition of the season when we logged a 1-0 win in our first meeting. I fully expected Hamilton would be a big challenge through the season. A good team wasted with poor coaching.

As time passed we got stronger and stronger. The player confidence on the field was at an all time high and stayed there for 4 long months.

The short bench strategy backfired on us at our Ontario Cup round. Just one or two more quality players would have likely taken us to the next round.
Lauren and Ivana filled out our bench to 12 players for a long and hot weekend in Kanata. We fell one goal short of advancing in what will be remembered as the most gutsy performance this team delivered all season.

Our run for the League Cup was played with 6 "illegal" Select players. (We didn't know they were illegal at the time). According to a silly SRSL rule, players in League Cup must be on the team's actual roster to play.....no call ups whatsoever. I have asked SRSL to fix this at the Annual General Meeting and adopt Ontario Cup rules.
In spite of the lean muscle on the bench, we were leading the game 1-0 with 10 minutes to go with best efforts from all.
If we could rewind this game I would have defended differently and perhaps advanced the team to the next round.
We would however been required to play with our actual 10 active rostered players.(according to the current rules)

We accomplished our primary season goal - and won the Premier division to recover our lost Elite spot by whatever means we needed to use.

We won with convincing confidence with second place 20 points behind us.

Finalists in the London spring tournament and the Cambridge event.

The Oscar was a bit disappointing where we got the toughest draw while having a limited bench to boot. We learned that Elite teams are nothing to be scared about.

We took our Eagle Cup championship with the help of three Woodbridge guest players.

Our reputation was slow to get around because there is little attention to the Premier Division while the OYSL/Elite struggles get the limelight.

Fortunately we are once again an attractive destination and new talent is knocking on our door.

While we continue our quiet and methodical rebuild there are a number of over-ambitious teams getting torn apart. Brams A has been decimated. Our Oakville competitor of last year is folding. Mississauga is folding. Many are jumping from Kitchener to Mississauga teams. This havoc around the league is going to displace a great many talented players, some (or many) may not find a competitive home in 2005.

We will continue to focus away from all of this political turmoil around the leagues and stay on our track of continuous improvement.

We will see some changes on the team this year.

Ivana, who faithfully brought her passion for the game to our team, will be stepping down to play at a lower level better suited to her. I am forever grateful for her contribution to the team and I think fondly of how much she developed through the season as an under-ager on the roster.
She has an open invitation to train with us whenever her schedule allows.

Lauren, who played double duty this year on her Select team as well as with us, will also be continuing at a lower level where her skill potential can further develop.
I hope that Lauren will also be able to train with us when possible.


Both Lauren and Ivana were key to our season success. We will count on their skill development that will return them to our roster one day.


New Additions

We welcome Danielle Soiero and Jessica MacSween from our sister B team. Both bring strong skills to bolster our midfield and backfield.

I am pleased to introduce Felicia Turone from the Brams A team.
Felicia brings strong distribution skills to our midfield.

I am also pleased to introduce Andrea Ingraham who also hails from the Brams A team bringing solid defensive skills to the back line.

We can expect new additions to be announced as players are identified who will bring strength to our team going forward.

At this point I am still looking for one more defender and one more striker to fill out the immediate roster. We will only bring high quality on board.


Remembering...

Our opening season was anchored by Sarah Rahman who left our team in July with a family move to the US. Sarah was one of the original faithful and is just beginning her new soccer season in Connecticut. We wish her all the best and we miss her dearly.
I am sure we will see her again in the near future.


THE WINTER PROGRAM


The team is already registered for the Ontario Indoor Soccer League (I put up the funding) and we have been rightfully placed in the Provincial Division.
This assures that our games will all be played at the OSA Centre. Some changes to the posted division teams are anticipated.

The cost of our OISL program will depend on the participating number and will be advised shortly. I anticipate about $140 per player.
In order to ensure reasonable playing time I only want to have a max of 11 players on the bench at any game. It is my intention to rotate the roster through the games.
Those sitting out at each game will be in charge of videotaping the games, recording stats, and preparing a critique of the game. We can include these players on the game sheet if there is any urgent need to join the bench.

Our winter team practice schedule will include a Wednesday (to be confirmed) evening from 6:30 pm - 8 pm. The gym we will use is being finalized.

The balance of the team's winter development will be via the Club's ADP program. This program offers training up to 7 days a week for the most ambitious.
I have no expectation that anyone will train to this extent. Academics and some lifestyle balance must stay in focus. The option is there however.
I would like everyone to participate in this program when it fits your schedule. you can come and go as you please.
The cost of this program from now up to mid-Jan is $2,000 for the team or about $140 each. I am expecting some credit from unrealized training from last spring.

The program is expected to start again from Jan - April at a similar cost.

We expect to play in a few tournaments, at least the Xmas and March break events at the OSA centre.
If it suits the team's schedule we may find another event out of town to consider.
Each of these events costs about $250.

There is discussion of a US university tour in April which our girls may be invited to join. I will keep you informed as that develops.

The cost impact of our activities can be lessened with the development of fundraising activity and sponsor funding. I will be counting on the parent body to generate whatever good fortune can offset our budget needs.

We will be having a full parents meeting some time in late October when we can all address the big picture going forward.

Our 2005 season is limited only by imagination and funding.


Thanks for listening to this long diatribe.


Coach Bob
Erin Mills Eagles Girls 1990
www.erinmillseagles1990.com
416-347-0037

To compete you have to be strong. To win you have to be smart.


PLAYING IN DIFFERENT POSITIONS
In the run to our division championship I will, from time to time, move players into what I feel is their most effective position against the opponent of the moment.
We are fortunate to have a number of players who have a familiarity and comfort in a variety of positions on the field. This must be the goal of every player on the field (including the keeper).

There are several reasons why this is important....

Firstly, one-position players make it difficult for a coach to make changes on the field for injury issues, absence issues, or just changing the strength in a particular area of the field. Position-limited players will find themselves on the bench more often than if they were able to fulfill other roles on the field.

Secondly, part of your own personal development is learning new things - every day - this applies also to your soccer skills.

The fear of moving into a different role on the field is driven by lack of experience. If you never try - you never get the experience, the comfort and the skill.

Thirdly, as your soccer career progresses, and you play soccer (hopefully) well into your adulthood, you will have opportunities to play on teams that may not have your favourite position open.

You will be able to say "I can play anywhere" or "I can only play in this spot". Who will have more opportunities to play?

Fourth, as you enter adulthood I am counting on all of you to return my investment in you and become coaches for our new soccer youth.

Your ability to coach will be greatly improved if you understand the roles of every position on the field from first hand experience.

Lastly, your position flexibility is the greatest gift that you can give to your coach and more importantly, to your team.

Take the challenge and ENCOURAGE YOURSELF to learn what you need to know - by doing. Practice is the place to try new things.

As I said before, sometimes things will need to change on the spur of the moment in the middle of game.

Make the change with a smile and be determined to do what your coach has faith in you to do.


Coach Bob
Erin Mills Eagles Girls 1990
www.erinmillseagles1990.com
416-347-0037

To compete you have to be strong. To win you have to be smart.


Tuesday, June 29
TEAM RESPONSIBILITIES
To Parents and Players,


After practice tonight I was asked by several players if it was Ok if they went to Wonderland on our Monday game day.

The question caught me by surprise and generated some thinking on my part.

There are a bunch of reason why this didn't get my resounding endorsement....

I thought everyone was clear on the critical importance of our league games and the need for maximum performance derived from peak energy levels.
This means everyone needs to be well rested, well fed with nutritionally correct foods, well hydrated with lots of water intake for 2 days before and just plain focussed on the task at hand.

Any amount of time out in the sun is guaranteed to rob players of energy reserves, likely cause dehydration and lastly, draw away from the concentration of the game result required.

These are requirements and responsibilities of high level soccer performance.

Having said that....

I also made it clear to these players that I do not run their life. Each player is free to follow whatever distractions they feel are in their best interests. Life is full of choices.

More than once I have said that Rep level sports requires sacrifices within these choices. Players can decide whether they are going to choose the "social butterfly" route or choose the "business" of soccer.

Players decide what they eat, what they drink, how well they sleep.

As your coach I have gone out of my way over the years to help you understand the demands of the game, help you focus on your strengths and weaknesses, and help you make those difficult "choices".

You are all old enough now to decide what is most important to you. More importantly, you are old enough to understand what is important to your team's success.

If you think a sleep-over before game day is a good idea - go ahead. When you don't perform from lack of sleep, plan on not playing.

If you think swimming all day on game day works for your team...think again.

If you think a late night out at the movies (or any other sleep-robbing social function) is good for the team...think again.

If you think your team can get along with only half of your energy level...think again.

If you think good nutrition and high volume water consumption isn't for you...think again.

When you are less than your best, the team carries an anchor around on the field.

As your coach, I suggest you plan your personal activities away from the soccer schedule.

I understand that will be tough because we are a busy team and you are all "social".

This is the life you chose as a Rep soccer player. I know Rep teams that are a heck of a lot busier than we are.

You decide how effective your team will perform each and every day.

Life will always be full of choices.

What's your choice?

In future I don't need to provide "permission" to any player for her planned activities.

Soccer should never command ALL of your attention. Enjoy your youth - but keep the balance.

I will count on everyone to make the right choices at the right time that are in the best interest of your team.

If anyone is uncertain of what a healthy balance is I will gladly discuss your challenges in private.

Have fun with your soccer - this is my contribution to your youth, but it comes with certain expectations from you.


Coach Bob


RESPECT FOR GAME OFFICIALS
I will begin this discussion with an example that occurred last season with one of our boys' teams at the last game of the season.

One of the Erin Mills dads came to the last game of the season - his only appearance at his son's games all season.
He decided to spend his time at the game relentlessly riding the referee, moving up and down the field sideline.

After some time the referee asked this individual to leave the field because he was distracting his work and the game in general. He continued to bother the referee who finally went to the coach and asked him to deal with the dad.
After the coach's intervention the dad left the field and the game continued to the end.

(Had this person not left the field the game would have been called right then and there)

Following the game the referee wrote an incident report identifying the person, the team and the Club.

The Club and coach were dragged into a South Region discipline hearing (both are considered responsible for this dad). The coach was declared innocent but the Club was fined $325 for our failure to control this parent.

Needless to say the fine was assessed to the team who in turn collected the amount from the offending adult.

The worst part of all was the embarrassment I had to bear on behalf of the Club in front of our league and a wasted evening for both me (as Rep Director) and the coach of the team involved. The father's son was also seriously embarrassed by this behaviour.

******************************

Last Saturday we shared a game with the B team in League Cup.

Everyone will likely recall one individual in the spectator group who was being unnecessarily vocal in his constant negative comments directed at the officials.
I do not know who this person was - my eyes aren't that good from the player's bench, but everyone on the other side does.

I don't believe this individual was attached to the "A" team.

We are fortunate that this spectator was not ejected from the game and the scenario described above repeated.

The referee association is clamping down hard on this behaviour. I know several referees in our own area that would have dealt with this issue swiftly and decisively.

We must all help our spectator peers maintain their perspective.

The world is full of good, bad and better referees. Referee judgement varies from one individual to another regardless of their credentials and experience - a fact of life.

Imagine yourself in the middle of the field listening to someone or several badgering you relentlessly. How well do you suppose you would be able to concentrate on your job? How long would it take for you to decide to make your team pay for your behaviour when 50/50 calls are decided?

One of the most common comments coaches get at the bench is "would you please teach your parents the rules of the game". Many spectator disagreements begin because of poor knowledge of the game.

There is only one way to beat a "bad" referee - score more goals than the other team.

In the meantime, enjoy the event, share in your player's successful game moments, and stay relaxed.

Emotional outbursts, more often than not, create the opposite result than what you were expecting.

Remember that a referee has "control" of his environment from the time he/she arrives until the time they drive away, so commentary after the game can still be "misunderstood" if delivered the wrong way.

For those who think this is overkill - last week there was a game at South Common where the entire opposing spectator group for the opposing team was ejected (Boys 13). One of the individuals was carrying a baseball bat as he walked toward the ref. 911 was called and the police arrived shortly after this individual left.
This all began with trash talk from out of town parents to our players, parents and eventually the referee.

There are teams in our league that cannot play unless they have hired police on duty to provide security to the refs.


Hence the expectation of Zero Tolerance".


Sorry for the lengthy diatribe but this is important to me, the Club, the officials and especially the players.

Have fun.


TEAM UPDATE JUNE 15.04
I have been remiss in my usual commentaries.

Our first league game against Burlington was a quality effort by everyone and supported by our primary supporting cast from the U13B team.
It was clear that we were the dominant team that day although we couldn't bury one of the 60 or so shots we have on the Burlington net.
We had to settle for a tie and the forfeit of two precious points in our goal to dominate and win the league division.

Fortunately there has been some other key ties in other league play in the meantime.
I have no doubt that we will finish the job on our next meeting.

Our Niagara game was rained out but to date has not been rescheduled.

Mount Hamilton took Niagara 5-0.

The Bread and Honey run was a good outing for all. Everyone finished the race and several ranked high in the finish. Full team time results will be posted on the web site shortly.

We were fortunate to be hosted by the Leavitt's for a pool party and
barbecue following the race.
A very special thank you to Pam, Randy and Shari for the hospitality and of course for the birthday recognition for the coach.

The June 12 game against our B team was the first step in our run to win the League Cup.

Another terrific and gutsy effort by everyone.

We are grateful for the added support of Natalie, Jessica and Lauren from our U14 Select Team who provided critical bench relief to the core.

The 6-1 victory clearly showed that we do know how to get the ball in the net.

Our superior fitness won the game.

Everyone must stay absolutely focussed on continuous aerobic training.
Most
are able to make a full game contribution without running out of gas but we still have some work to do.

Our approach on the bench this year is somewhat different by maintaining our core group and using the many resources that we have available to us from
the U14 B team. U13A and U13B, U14 Select, All Star and other house league players who have left the competitive ranks for a slower lifestyle.
I also recently discovered some 1990 potential playing on the U15 Select team that may be able to fatten our ranks.

We have the luxury of a great deal of resources while we exercise our
patience in building the right team moving into next season.

We can call up these players as often as we want (and they want) for day to day league play
and tournaments.

We are limited in our resources for League Cup and Ontario Cup play because our other Rep teams are also playing Cup games in their own divisions.
A player may only play for one team in Cup play even if they get knocked out.

As Head Coach Josef constantly reminds me - stay absolutely focussed on winning the league and worry less about Cup rounds and tournaments.
Dominant success in our league play will recover our Elite status in 2005.

We are blessed to have the talent and resources to make that happen.

We must all stay focussed on the road to that goal and drive everyone around us in the same direction.

Everyone must contribute. Everyone must make a difference.

Keep up the good work.

For competitive reasons I have not yet publicized our participation at the
Cambridge tournament on the July long weekend. We have commitments from the
13B team to fill out the roster for the event. I expect to see a schedule in
about a week.
You can also watch out at www.cambridgeyouthsoccer.com


I will miss practice on Tuesday. (My boss is in town from Chicago). Coach Steve will be conducting the practice at U of T.

We will meet again at King's Masting on Thursday in preparation for our task in Kanata on the weekend.

I am particularly proud of how our team has been welcoming our visitors at practice and games.
We must always make sure that our team is a warm and friendly environment. Word gets around quickly.
Watch for new faces and go out of your way to help them relax and learn our routines.

I am confident that we have a good shot at winning this Ontario Cup round provided we all show up determined to win.

We are home team for round 2.

Everyone keep your ears open for unhappy quality players around the city.
Players can transfer from one team to another up to July 31.



SCHOOL ATHLETICS AND INJURY POTENTIAL
We once suffered from an unusual increase in player injuries, mostly muscle pulls and joint pain - and most not even from soccer related play.

Please make sure that everyone is doing a proper warmup (5 min run) and a full set of stretches before you get involved in your play. This is especially important at school team functions where the warmup focus may be missing altogether.

Each one of our athletes knows better and I am counting on everyone being healthy and contributing at full potential for our opening league game in a couple of weeks.

As our players get older their muscles require more training to avoid painful injury.

We must be careful.

This includes no big ball shooting at practice or anywhere until you have stretched out.

Each player has a personal responsibility to her team to deal with this.

Also those who are playing on school teams beware of the "hacker" athletes that get on some of these teams. I know some teams (like Lyndsay's) forbid school team play because the injury risk is so high.

I don't think we need to go to that extreme but please be careful.


BT


DEALING WITH MOSQUITOS
It's getting close to mosquito time , this information may come in handy.
Use Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets...Best thing ever used in Louisiana..just wipe on & go...Great for babies.
Bob, a fisherman, takes one vitamin B-1 tablet a day April through October . He said it works. He was right. The odour the tablet gives out through your skin (YOU can not smell it) repels mosquitoes, black flies, and gnats. It does not work on stinging insects.
He hasn't had a mosquito bite in 33 years. Try it. Every one he has talked into trying it works on them. Vitamin B-1( Thiamin Hydrochloride 100 mg.)
NPR reports that if you eat bananas, the mosquitoes like you, something about the banana oil as your body processes it. Stop eating bananas for the summer and the mosquitoes will be much less interested.
This is going to floor you, but one of the best insect repellents someone found (who is in the woods every day), is Vick's Vaporub.
Plant marigolds around the yard, the flowers give off a smell that bugs do not like, so plant some in that garden also to help ward off bugs without using insecticides.
One of the best natural insect repellants is made from the clear real vanilla (not the grocery store vanilla extract which is mostly alcohol). This is the pure vanilla that is sold in Mexico or the Dominican Republic.
It's cheap there if you know of someone that lives there or in the US close to the border. If not, health food stores usually carry it or can order it for you. Use half vanilla and half water, it works great for
mosquitoes and ticks.
"Tough guy" Marines who spend a great deal of time "camping out" say that the very best mosquito repellant you can use is Avon Skin-So-Soft bath oil mixed about half and half with alcohol.
Or mix your own:
20 drops Eucalyptus oil
20 drops Cedarwood oil
10 drops Tea Tree oil
10 drops Geranium oil
2 oz. carrier oil ( such as Jojoba )
Mix together in a 4 oz. container. Apply to skin as needed avoiding the eye area. Keep out of reach of children. Test on a small area of skin for sensitivities. Experiment with different percentages of
essential oils.
Fight West Nile...pass this along to all your friends in skeeter land!!!
Natural earwig repellant - 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part oil, well mixed and placed in a shallow container where you know them to be. Neither toxic nor harmful in any manner to other creatures.


PREPARING FOR THE FIRST OUTDOOR PRACTICE

All play is at Kings Masting Park unless otherwise advised.

A reminder to all that "ON TIME" is essential for team discipline. Latecomers miss out on warm up routines with the team, end up doing them alone, and disrupt the flow of the practice. Please aim to be 10 minutes early so we can ease into the practice schedule quickly and on time....and yes I do understand that there will be times when late is a reality.

About soccer boots.....

I expect to see all players coming to practice and games with clean boots, and a clean outfit. We may go home far less than clean, but we ALWAYS arrive looking our best.
If I see players show up with muddy soccer boots I will have them sit out and clean them before they play.
Elite athletes always make sure that their tools are clean and ready before play.

EMSC uniforms and track suits are not required at this time of year.

I encourage players to clean their "tools" right after play. Let your shoes air dry - never with hot air, then apply a thin film of "Dubbin" or other suitable waterproof treatment.

Players should have a can of "Dubbin", a small scrub brush and a rag to clean with in their bag with them when travelling.

Wet shoes can be dried inside by stuffing with newspaper, waiting ten minutes, then removing the wet paper and replacing with dry paper again. This also helps to maintain the shape of your shoes while drying.

On the grass......

Our first day on the grass reminds us that the ball does not run as true on the grass as on the gym floor or indoor carpet.

The Beep Test will start every practice for the foreseeable future. The target is Level 11.

Germans will be the training run for the team and eventually the Germans run will be timed with a minimum time expected. The farther below 11 we sit on the Beep Test, the more Germans we run.

Players having difficulty, and who do not run distance and speed sprints on their own, will have a difficult time keeping up with the team's goals.

Players who are not working on personal ball control, keep-ups, first touch control and 1 v 1 skills will also have trouble keeping up.

Players who did not participate in the full indoor program this winter need to accelerate their personal ball control practice.

Only 30 minutes a day dedicated to these activities will bring tremendous improvement.


I will provide the opportunities to train and improve. The players have to bring the DESIRE and the GUTS to push through discomfort.

I guarantee that the team's expectations will not come free.

I don't plan on screaming and yelling or repeating this over and over - this has to be self driven and managed by the players themselves.

Players must learn to adjust their style when something is not working. Players need to watch those that perform certain skills better than they do - try and copy what they do.
Watching professional soccer on TV or videos is an excellent way to study the game.
Players have a habit of taking their shot then not paying attention to what is going on.

Other reminders...

BRING LOTS OF WATER
SUN SCREEN

If your hands get cold in cold weather, bring gloves (dark). I do not want to see players pulling their sleeves down over their hands to try and keep them warm.
There are actually soccer field gloves with special fingers for handling the ball if you look in the right places.

Players should consider having 1 or 2 white turtle neck shirts to wear under their game uniform shirts in cool weather. Please do not wear colours other than white.

New socks will be coming with the new uniform kits. We have also purchased additional socks and may get more as needed during the season.

Every player needs to review their sock inventory and get rid of socks with holes or those that have worn away in critical blister areas.

BOB T


Monday, December 27
PLAYER EMOTIONS
This note is primarily for Moms and Dads, although I encourage discussion on the topic with your player.

We are entering a very big year. There will be more pressure than we have known in the past. Most of this pressure will come from the players themselves as they compete in a tougher environment.

The reality is...we are not playing in a league that we can't compete in. The difference will simply be that we must EARN every game. There will be no freebies like last year.

Our job as adults, (coaches and parents), with our girls will be the careful management of player emotions.

Girls are different than boys. PERIOD.

A recent study in education showed that boys can be "encouraged" with hands-on, loud discipline and actually gain positive results.

Girls, on the other hand, require a more delicate approach. If girls are encouraged in a tough manner, the result is often the reverse of what is expected.

We must all accept the fact that every player comes to the field with the best game they have in their pocket.

Too much instruction and pressure on our players before a game will only serve to confuse players and decrease their effectiveness.

Our players must know they have only two people to impress - themselves and their opponent.

Additionally we must accept the fact that every player has done their best in the end and that no one came to deliberately deliver a poor game performance.

I need everyone's help to remove as much unnecessary pressure on our players as possible.

Be supportive in both the good and the bad.

Encourage them to be fit.

Let me be the focal point for whatever pressure they need to feel as a team and individually with their soccer.

This has to be fun - for everyone.

Make sure that you are doing your part to make sure your player has a fun and rewarding experience.

If we can get this far I will guarantee you that the team will move a huge step forward.

I bite my tongue all the time...., count to ten sometimes, leave the area, etc;

I've learned to live with what I have and I have fun with it. It takes work though.


BT


PLAYING TIME ISSUES IN INDOOR PLAY
Parents and players,

I have received some comments (always welcome) about playing time at the Thursday tournament event.
Here is the best explanation I can offer why some field time was limited.

Our Tuesday tournament was easy from a logistics viewpoint. We had eleven players allowing for a complete, balanced field change every 4-5 minutes.

On Thursday, a new challenge arose.

We had 12 players, one more than a full field change.

How do we move one "extra" player into the games while at the same time keep our team balance in shape.
We continue to have too many players with limits in their ability to play various positions.

We had four defenders on board to fill two defensive positions, with no effective options to move them around without messing up another part of the field.

We had 4 forwards running up front to fill two striker positions.

This left us with 3 of our strongest players filling the sole midfield spot.

The front and back was intended to rotate on a 5 minute schedule and the 3 mids were to change every 3 minutes because of the extra work involved and to keep rotating 3 shifts as quickly as possible.

Of the 3 games we played, the following total playing (on field) time should have been realized.

As we can all see the per game average time is not much.
We videotaped the first two games and our actual playing time on the 25 minute "game" was actually 12 min.

Shift 1 - Forwards/defenders - 40 min
          - Mid - 22 min

Shift 2 - Forwards/defenders - 35 min
          - Mid - 28 min

Shift 3 - Mid - 25 min


Changes do not happen on the second we plan. Sometimes we are a bit early because the moment fits. Sometimes we are a bit late for the same reason.

The final game was not running in our favour. As the game was closing with 6 minutes to go we were down 2-1, and desperate for a goal.

I "loaded" the field with the most confident, productive feet we had on board at the moment and let them stay out there for the balance.
As close as we came, it didn't work out, and to boot we were scored on again with 12 seconds to go.

We lost our advancement on that goal differential.

I think everyone understands that I don't, as a rule, mess with reasonable playing time. Unfortunately some did get robbed of precious on-field minutes, but I hope everyone understands why.

Having gone to this tournament with the "largest" indoor bench that I have experienced (12), I have no idea how teams cope who show up with 15-18 player rosters.

We do try.


BOB T


SCHEDULING FOR THE SUMMER
I have been asked by several for the tournament schedule so that summer vacation plans can be made.


Just so there is no confusion.....


The most important games we will play in the summer are our league games mid-week.

Tournaments are low priority.

If I could dream, all players will be available for all of these league games, especially considering the lofty goals that the girls have set for themselves.

I know that 100% attendance from everyone is an unrealistic expectation, although not an incorrect one.

With the exception of Ontario Cup, tournaments are "amusement/training only" and should not be considered as the important games to work vacation schedules around.

LEAGUE GAMES ARE THE ONLY GAMES THAT REALLY, REALLY MATTER.

Ontario Cup is the #2 priority. We have those dates available already.

We will not have our League and League Cup schedule until early May.

I need to understand vacation plans of players.

If I see big holes in our roster with too many players away I will need to consider other resources available to us.

Players who meet their attendance responsibilities in a reasonable fashion will benefit with maximum field time.


BOB T


COMMUNICATING WITH PLAYERS
There is still a problem with some players not having access to my email notes.

I find myself talking to blank stares about things that should be common knowledge among everyone.

Please make sure that ALL players actually SEE and READ what I send around.

I can direct mail to any numbers of addresses to make sure we get everyone in tune.

If there is some catch-up to do most of the material can be found on the team web site.

The girls have bitten off a big target this year and staying tuned in is going to be very important for the players' development.



BOB T


ATTITUDE AND COMMITTMENT
I have talked about "The Attitude" that defines the difference between ordinary and excellent.

I am pretty sure that everyone on our team "wants" to be part of the pursuit of excellence. I am not sure if everyone is committed to "doing" what is expected to get what they want.

I'll call this just an observation for now, but I am seeing an increase in the amount of team time being set aside for other social events that are in the control of the player.

In other words - the player is choosing social over soccer.

I want everyone to think hard on this over the next couple of weeks.

Our change of division status shouldn't require a change in "the attitude" but it appears we need to make it happen.

I cannot make the players develop their commitment, this has to be self-driven, but I can encourage it.

It all boils down to how I encourage it.

There are several options......




Monday, December 27
BALANCING HOMEWORK, SOCCER AND OTHER STUFF
This note is addressed to all players.

Your are reminded that your school homework is priority number one during the school year.

I don't expect to hear from anyone that their school work is suffering because of soccer activities.

You have all heard me say (more than once) that your soccer participation at this elite level is the same as having another school subject on your calendar.

If you are involved with other athletic,artistic or academic programs that also demand the same kind of time, each of those also represent another school subject.

There are only so many hours in a week to accomplish your ambitions. Your week has to also include some personal time so you can rest, do your own thing and keep your mind organized.

You are in charge of balancing your time. You must decide what time you have to give to each of your responsibilities, including the responsibility of some fun time.

Doing your homework consistently is essential.

Our winter program will involve two week nights and Saturday afternoons/evenings. This should not impose on your homework demands.

Those of you who plan a university or college education might be able to use your soccer skills to gain some scholarship money to reduce the costs. In Canada, your superior soccer skills may help you get selected to a university over someone with a similar academic record.

You must have excellent grades to be considered. University soccer is VERY demanding. Consider 3 practices PER DAY.

You had better be very, very organized in your study habits STARTING NOW.

Once in university your scholarship continues only if you keep your grades up - and you can't use your soccer schedule as an excuse.

So, to make a long story shorter, you will need to sacrifice some of the fun things you do to handle all of the responsibilities you take on.

Each of those responsibilities involve homework - including soccer.

If you do not work on your ball skills and conditioning on your own you will not improve.

If you do not have the time to do some of your homework - whatever it is - it is time to rethink your schedule. Sometimes you just need to reshuffle the order things are done. Sometimes something has to be dropped.

If you need help with your schedule, work it out with Mom or Dad's help. I'm sure school counselors or teachers would be glad to discuss your load with you.

School first. Your education controls your future.
Soccer can help you get there if your grades are top notch.

BOB T


PLAYERS' DECLARATIONS FOR NEXT YEAR
This is my annual call to all players and parents to declare their intentions for next year.

This note is going around because I want to make sure that any planned changes by players are on the table and to make sure that no one needs to sneak around.
In the past we have had messy situations that I prefer to avoid.

Each season since this team was U9 there has been some change on the team.

The reasons for departure have been varied. Some felt they did not have the skill or conditioning to continue. Some retired from soccer altogether. Some were unable to maintain the busy schedule of a Rep team. Some felt they could improve better elsewhere. Perhaps some left because of the coach.

Whatever the reason, a decision was made. As a coach I am always concerned when players leave the team, but I acknowledge that sometimes change is inevitable.

I need to begin planning the team shape for next year and it begins right here knowing who does not intend to return.

This is what I ask.

If you are planning to change (or look around for something better), or leave the team please let me know now. I will keep that information confidential between you and I
until the Eagle Cup is over.
You have my support whatever your decision is. I want you to be happy in your soccer.

But...

If I find out that anyone is trying out for any other team - at any time - without my knowledge (and I probably will - it's a small community), that player will be released from the team immediately - forever.

I extend respect to each player and parents and I count on the same respect in return.

Your early declaration will help me and the coaching staff get a head start putting together next year's roster.

I expect to hear by Sep 3 or sooner.

After that, your intentions will be considered to survive team tryouts and remain with the team through winter training and the 2005 summer season.

I traditionally like to have my "next year" team in place by mid-October.

Life is full of choices...........



BOB T


FOLLOW UP NOTE ON TIMELINESS
Our Aug 18 2002 game preparation at Mohawk was chaotic at best.
With the team expected ready to play 45 minutes before game time I had only half a team present.
Half an hour before game time league officials wanted to check players books against the game sheet and I was still missing 4 players.
We were still getting books checked and game sheets verified with 10 minutes to go before kick-off.
In the meantime Dixie snuck in their game balls (our privilege as home team). I managed to fix that in an uncomfortable moment with the ref.
I must insist that we all get focussed on being at our games with lots of time to spare. Travelling the QEW and 401 is a clear time risk well known to everyone and I am counting on each and everyone to take that into account. We must expect travel delays.
If you try to be on time you are statistically guaranteed to be late half of the time.










FITNESS AND THE FUTURE
During one clinic last year Head Coach Josef Komlodi stopped by and spent some quiet time talking with the players.
Many identified university scholarships as a future goal. Goals are important.

Coach Josef also discussed the most important requirement of a soccer player as fitness.
Below is a clip about university training that involves 3 practices per day - mostly directed at fitness.

Seminole Soccer Nears End Of Three-A-Days



Freshman beginning to make their impact felt in evening scrimmages.



                                                                        


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - At the end of Seminole football practice Thursday, the team gathered around head coach Bobby Bowden and emphatically celebrated the end of two-a-days. Saturday at 6:00 p.m. the FSU soccer team will wrap-up three-a-days but probably won't be celebrating considering the end of those grueling practices marks the beginning of two-a-days Monday.

"This has been an awakening for me," said freshman Erica Lewis. "It is the hardest thing I have ever gone through. You hear about how hard it is but you don't understand until you actually go through it. Until you get out of bed at 5:00 a.m. to do fitness on top of a full scrimmage and a training session you just don't know how tough it is."

Friday marked the third consecutive day of three-a-days, which unlike other years has included a full 11-on-11 scrimmage at the end of each session. Friday night saw some of the 2002 newcomers really begin to make their presence felt on the field. Californian Leah Gallegos teamed with Cindy Schofield on a beautiful goal and Lewis, a midfielder from Jacksonville, also tallied her first goal of the preseason. Teresa Rivera, the 2002 Gatorade Player of the Year for Florida, continued to show well in the center of the FSU defense also.

"After two or three days I believe we are starting to see who can potentially do what out of this freshman group and we are excited about all of them," said head coach Patrick Baker. "Some are a little further along than others and I think they will find their way into the starting lineup or off the bench very early on. We recruited these kids to make an immediate impact or provide us with quality depth and I think they will be able to do that.

"I think Teresa Rivera has been the most consistent of the freshmen at the highest level. Leah (Gallegos) has been very solid and Erica Lewis had a great individual day Friday. She had a wonderful training session in the 3-on-3 defending where she scored a goal. She also scored a terrific goal tonight. They were both well taken and they both came from outside the box. That was great to see. It was one of the reasons we recruited her."

Saturday marks the end of the vaunted three-a-days and the team will get a well-deserved break on Sunday.
The squad then returns to action Monday and will have just three days to prepare before departing for Athens, GA to face the Bulldogs Friday evening.

"We are going to take some time off Sunday and hopefully let the team sleep in and rejuvenate a little," said Baker. "Monday we will go hard but the morning sessions Tuesday and Wednesday won't be as difficult. We'll do shadow training and rhythm training which is lighter but still needs to be done. This is an experienced group and we will just try to bring the younger kids along."

The team picks up again at 7:00 a.m. Saturday morning as they continue to prepare for their preseason opener versus the University of Georgia August 23 in Athens. For more information on the 2002 Seminole soccer team, please visit the official athletics website for the Florida State University at www.seminoles.com.

The Eagles do not yet know what REAL fitness training is. The fitness demands will increase each year as their bodies develop.
During our winter training, players will be expected to run AND MAINTAIN a minimum 10 minutes in the Beep Test.
For some this means they will need to start working on this soon and figuring out where their REAL max threshold is.

As Coach Josef said....fitness wins games.

Overall our fitness is not bad, but it can improve a lot and we will be pushing that through the winter.

BOB T


REWARDING PLAYERS
A long time ago I overheard what I hoped was a joke.
It involved the expectation of money if a player scored a goal.
If anyone is actually offering rewards for scoring I ask that it stop. This practice encourages individual play and stops players from passing to the player who has the BEST opportunity.

Our players must be trained to understand that the "TEAM" scores. I do not care who puts the balls in the net as long as they go in. As the coach, I pay far more attention to who sets up the plays that lead to scoring opportunities, than the player who finishes it off.

BOB T


ALTERNATE FOOTWEAR
Please make sure that our players always have alternate footwear such as sandals to change in to after games and during clinic lunch breaks.
No bare feet anywhere!!!!

I would like to see our players change into clean,dry socks at the clinic lunch break at least.
Our feet are our tools and we must look after them.



BASIC POSITION RESPONSIBILITIES
THE KEEPER

Keeps the ball out of the net.
Organizes the backfield.
Sets the defensive wall.
Takes goal kicks and free kicks close to the net.
Oranizes the defense for corner kicks.
Pushes defensive line out.
Distributes the ball.
Is vocal and LOUD.


THE SWEEPER

Supports the defenders.
Is patient.
Sweeps the ball away from the centre of the field and begins the attack from the rear with good pass distribution.
Picks up a player when the ball enters the box.
Avoids screening the keeper.
Communicates actions to the defenders.

OUTSIDE DEFENDERS

Receive pass outs from the keeper and sweeper.
Support the midfielders and pull the play wide.
Win 1 v1's.
Look for open space to attack.


CENTRE DEFENDER

Defends the top of our box while clearing.
Provide support to outside sefenders then mids.

Win 1v1's and distribute play to the outside.


MIDFIELDERS

Control the middle of the field. This is where the game control is decided.
Must win all 1v1 situations. Must be on top of every ball in the air.
Distribute balls to the forwards with passes through spaces to the corners.
In the attacking third, hang in your "office" and wait for your opportunity to shoot on net. Always be ready to shoot.


FORWARDS

Support the midfielders.
Keep the defensive line split to create passing lanes.
Prevent the keeper from making easy pickups by cutting off her lane.
Make quality crosses from the corners.

Get the ball in the net one way or another or feed back to mids in their office.














THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GREAT TEAM CAPTAIN
In 2002, the team listed what they felt were the key qualities of a good team captain.

Responsible
A Leader
Knows the Rules
Good Communicator
Has a Positive Attitude
Great Team Spirit
A Hard Worker
Sets a Good Example
Is a Role Model
Never Quits - Always Provides 110%
Not Afraid to Try New Skills
Encourages Team Mates
Works with the Coach to Set Team Goals
Is Reliable
Is Respectful
Has Patience
Seeks Consensus
Is Focussed
Flexible in Her Opinions
Eager
Dedicated
Sense of Humour
Never Moans
Is early
Consistent in all of her actions.
Not necessarily the strongest player on the team.


If anyone feels that something is missing from this list, or has opinions on the process, please send your thoughts to the coach.





THE EFFECT OF MISSED PRACTICE TIME
There is a difference between wanting to win and wanting not to lose.

The first requires diligent application of skills developed in practice.

The latter involves showing up to play and hoping a miracle or a guiding hand reaches down from above to do it for you.

Our team has reached an age where you are expected to "think" out your game.

No longer do you have a coach who tells you when to go, where to stand, or where to take the ball in a game.
This is YOUR responsibility to see the field and support your teammates from the position you are playing.

We spend a great deal of effort in practice discussing and developing attitudes, personal skills, strategies and a game plan for the upcoming league game.

Therefore, effective immediately, players who do not show for practice will be deemed unprepared for full game play.

I understand fully that some have other activities winding up and I am prepared to exercise patience as those wind down and soccer becomes a consistent focus.
Regardless of the reason, if you miss practice you will be put on short duty in the next game.

We must go into our league games with a focussed group of players who understand the game plan, understand their weaknesses (and work hard at correcting them), and who have worked at the set plays, passing patterns, and defensive posturing.

Simple conditioning and basic fundamental weaknesses are very noticeable on those who miss practice.

If you are not there, you have missed your education critical for the next game and your duty will be short term relief only.

My rule that "everyone plays" still stands, but this is a two way street and we must do what is best for the team.

You must accept what is best for the team.




















USING YOUR WEB SITE EFFECTIVELY
From now on I will post the practice summaries directly on the web site "Practice Outline" page only.

Game summaries will be posted similarly in the "Post Game Stuff" page.

I have turned the website into a regular lookup reference for you rather than sending lots of direct emails.

I will continue to send some direct mail on topics that I feel are important to emphasize.

Please check your website daily. Players especially. You may miss opportunities.

This website is a fabulous resource and you are guaranteed to learn something you didn't know before. There are links to all kinds of soccer learning libraries.

Be sure to support the sponsors listed in our sponsors page. This is the list of sponsors who have contributed to this team over 5 years.

Hit on "Tips and Drills" in the Epointz box daily for points.

Invite your friends to the site by clicking on "Email a friend" in the Epointz box. More points.

I'd like to see us use our guestbook a bit more for internal encouragement. We have visitors from all over the world who encourage our play. It's time to encourage ourselves - parents and players.

Do not advertise any player absence, injury or other info that might publicize a team weakness. Do show your spirit and determination, and most of all your fun!

BOB T


HEALTH CARDS AT ALL SOCCER ACTIVITIES
Moms and Dads,

We must all remember to pack our players' health cards when we are at games. This is particularly important when we are out of town.

On occasion, players travel to and from games with others. Please make sure that your player's health card travels with the supervising adult.

As a safeguard measure please make a photocopy of your player's card when convenient and I will keep them with me at games.

Accidents and injury are certainly not in the game plan but the potential is there.

BOB T


MANAGING REFEREES
referee1.jpg
We all know how to manage referees right? NOT!!!!!!

As fans, we all expect the ref to be perfect, seemingly fair and listening to every word of help coming from the stands and the players' bench.

The realities of our soccer officials are:

We do not get the "cream" officials usually (only sometimes) at this age level. The better, more seasoned officials are used in the tougher, older games.
Good referees who can gain instant control, maintain a sense of humour, and their composure require years of experience.

We are all collectively helping to develop the game of soccer in Canada. This includes the development of referees (no ref - no game).
Referee development includes allowance for error (tolerance) and a thank you for their effort (yes they get paid, but it is not worth some of the conditions that some less tolerant fans provide). Referees want to have fun doing their job just like the players do. Good referees who do not have satisfaction in their role quit.

Having said that, just like doctors, plumbers, dentists (and coaches), there are good ones, better ones and just plain bad ones. Referees that is.

There are referees out their with waistlines that put mine to shame and make me wonder how they managed to pass the fitness test (and there is one).

There is a shortage of referees everywhere and that simple fact makes it difficult to want to discipline or even identify "bad" referees.

The Ontario Soccer Association, as well as our local Referee association is establishing a communication channel to formally complain about poor officiating.

Babble babble....

Referees do not change their decisions. Don't try and make them.

Referees have been known to create some "balance" in their calls when they know within themselves an error was made and they think the other team "deserves" it.

Referees allow minor fouls to proceed if the fouled team still has the ball.
This is called "the advantage rule".

A hand ball is a hand ball only when the referee says it is. Everyone tries to define it but that is a waste of time.

Referees that are constantly berated by coaches or parents will exercise their substantial power and eject the offending individual(s) from the field or default the game to the other team if you or I fail to comply.

As the coach of your player I am also blessed with responsibility for parental behaviour on the field. You get ejected - I get a hearing and a likely fine. Guess who will pay.

Referees who are constantly hassled, will likely start leaning the game, consciously or unconsciously, to the "other" team. Try and prove it......

I've been around enough to know that local referees "lean" to local teams.

There is one way, and one way only to beat a "bad" ref. That is to put more goals in than the other team.

Referees have omnipotent power on the field.

They determine, on a personal basis, what is "safe".

This applies to player equipment, field conditions, nets and field markings, how close you can stand to the field, to name a few.

One ref may allow player spectacles, another may not. One may expect a mouthguard over braces, another may not. One may allow a player to play in a cast or a joint brace, another may not. One may allow hair clips, another may not.

Yes this smacks of inconsistency and challenges the whole spirit of fairness.

As I tell the girls often, life is not always fair - get used to it.

As long as we are all prepared for strange rulings the emotions with stay in control and we will not embarrass each other.

Embarrass the ref? - watch out! The team loses out in a fruitless attempt to protect an ego.

You will find league game refs far less tolerant than tournament refs.



HOMEWORK FIRST !
Eagles,

Let there be no misunderstanding that schoolwork comes before soccer.

You are all anxious to play and that opportunity comes when you have your schoolwork responsibilities under control as well as any other responsibilities you have at home.

This means, that you will need to sacrifice some of your other distractions to balance your soccer, school and chores properly.

Rep soccer is very much like having another school subject.

When school work piles up or your studies suffer from lack of effort you are expected, of course,to focus on your work first and your play second. Manage your time carefully.

Make very sure that your team does not suffer (and it will) when you miss practice or games because you did not put the effort in.

Sometimes homework is very heavy and I understand that sometimes you will pass on your soccer to deal with priority one.



COACH BOB


SOCCER BOOTS AND EQUIPMENT FOR SPRING
boots.gif.gif
If you haven't been tuning up your outdoor boots - it is time to do so.

Be sure they fit well - not too small, not too big.
Do not buy bigger in anticipation of growth.
Poor fitting shoes will bring along blisters, pain and loss of play time while you heal. Your team suffers also without you.

Your feet are your "weapons" - your "tools", and you must all take very good care of your weapons and tools. This includes the other shoes you wear when you play or just walk around.
Intelligent soccer players do not run around in their bare feet, they wear sandals.

We will be going out on the grass very soon. New boots need some break in time before you start spending a lot of time in them.

If you need new boots do it now and break them in.

MetroSport, A.C. Soccer and Sportchek are good local sources.

Review your shin pads also. All players should have hard shell shin pads with ankle guards.
They last longer and smell sweeter if they get washed from time to time. Your team mates will be grateful.

A long sleeved WHITE turtleneck will be a welcome layer in the spring tournaments.
NO pinks, reds, yellows, etc. please.

Players wanting to wear SPANDEX shorts under their shorts should select WHITE only to match our shorts. This is a FIFA rule.

Some players also elect to wear field gloves in the cooler wet weather. Once again, black only if your wear gloves other than soccer specific that have special palms for throw ins.

Call if any questions please.


BOB T


UNIFORMS AND STUFF
I've been getting some questions about uniforms.

Each player will get a new uniform set consisting of a WHITE primary shirt and shorts, a green alternate shirt and shorts, two pairs of white socks and two pairs of green socks.

Track suits will continue with the same one from last year. I think everyone has upsized as needed and our new family members have theirs.

The equipment bag is also the same. I am assuming last year's is still fine except the one or two that needed to be replaced.

Please keep those sponsor funds coming. We still have much to do.


BOB T


VACATION PLANNING

We have to wait to about May 13 to get the added details of league game schedules, League Cup play and practice field availability. I will also be adding skills clinics throughout the summer.

I would like to emphasize that our team program is intense and demanding, but it is fair. I am counting on all of you to be fair to me and the team with your own planning.

I need to know NOW when you plan to be away or MIGHT be away. This will impact what the final roster will look like.

There are no "summer tryouts". I put all of our planning into the fall tryouts and have been working this team together over the winter. We expect to hit the fields soon as a largely ready built machine.

As in years past I will be extending practice invitations to other club players throughout the summer. This is our "farm" team.

I need your input NOW please. I will not take kindly to last minute, non-emergency decisions to walk away from the team when needed.

I am counting on almost full attendance by all so we can meet our goals.


BOB T


USE OF MISSISSAUGA FIELDS
As spring arrives we are all anxious to get out on the grass so we can play the "game" the way it was intended - outdoors and on grass.

This is a reminder to everyone that Mississauga Recreation and Parks traditionally keeps us off all park fields until about the first week of May. This gives our fields time to dry up and get new grass growth well under way before we start wearing it down.

I encourage everyone to get out on a patch of grass somewhere and start working the ball as soon as possible. There are lots of non-specific green areas around town. Our players should not be playing on soccer fields until they are released by permit.

I'll be looking for a safe patch of ground for us to start on very soon as a team. Each player should also have her own patch to work on in her own time.

I'll be running some "road soccer" games and training modules (including the beep test) at the King's Masting PS playground as soon as we have moderate temps and sufficient daylight. I'll also do some Sat/Sun stuff when it fits.

It is best that we do not wear any club identification until the permits are released for the fields. Do not wear team track suits or game/practice shirts. Neighbours will call and complain about the Club if they think you are damaging the turf where you are.
Parks and Rec Have posted a "Facility Watch" phone number this year to help keep our fields rested when they need to be.

Naturally we want to maintain the best respect for greenspace wherever it is so let's all be responsible players and not wear out any one spot or trespass when we are not allowed.

If you have any questions give me a call.


BOB T


TEAM FUNDING
I will be finalizing the team budget soon and determining how those funds will be acquired.
There is some activity underway to start some fundraising and I will need estimates of what that effort will bring.

I need to know soon where additional funds are coming from.

The math will be simple.

(Budget minus (funds received + promised + projected)) divided by # of players = per player assessment.


BOB T


THE BEEP TEST
The "Beep Test" has become a normal part of our winter and spring training and will be an occasional monitor during slow periods in our summer activity. Not only is the test a good indication of personal conditioning, it is also a quality means to an end.
The test also gives each player a target for improvement.
I don't expect big jumps in improvement, but I do expect to see slow, steady increases in the results from week to week.
Improvement will not come without some solid effort OUTSIDE of practice.

The test also puts a demand on correct nutrition. When you eat, what you eat and, very importantly, what water you drink will have a lot to do with your results. Just like any soccer game, the test demands that you plan your food and water intake carefully so you perform at your best ability.

You fussy eaters - it is time to eat right or suffer.

Many of our players have not been exposed to maximum effort demands like this test.
Many young athletes do not have a good personal understanding of their TRUE thresholds.

This test will push them closer to that understanding.

The players may see some fall back briefly. I will be enforcing the test rules to the letter and players who do not cross the line in time will be removed from the run after two warnings.

If anyone is anxious to work on this at home in a school yard and you have a portable boom box I can provide you with a CD or tape copy of your own.

BOB T


DEALING WITH INJURIES AND ILLNESS
DOC
Players,

This is a reminder that I expect to know about anything that might impact your play on any given day.

This includes illness, upset stomachs, headaches, sore joints, your puppy at home is sick and you are worried, your shoes don't fit, you have a hangnail, etc..

If you are not up to par going into a game I need to know. No exceptions.

Together we will decide HOW you will play and IF you will play. You and I have a responsibility not to aggravate injury and prolong your ability to perform over the long term.

If you are sick, naturally we expect you to rest and recover.

If you are not sure tell me anyway. If you can't tell me, tell Coach Isabelle.

BOB T


BOOK SUGGESTIONS FOR PARENTS
A couple of books have been recommended to me.

"Raising our Athletic Daughters" by Zimmerman and Reavill

"In These Girls Hope is a Muscle" by Madelaine Blais

Both available through Indigo-Chapters web site and perhaps the library.


BOB T


Monday, December 27
PLAYERS COACHES LOVE - RATE YOURSELF
Players Coaches Love

by Rick Crotts

The purpose of this article is to encourage you,as an athlete,to think of what you can do for your coach.

All coaches love certain kinds of players.

It does not matter whether you are a weight lifter, gymnast, or soccer player, all coaches love specific qualities in athletes.

Most players go the way of least resistance and take the easy road to working.

Coaching involves making sure the athlete does not think this way, most of the time unsuccessfully.

So the question is "what can I do for my coach to get more playing time or to be successful, etc.?"

First, you need to be self-motivated!

Give a total effort every time you compete.

Coaches look into what shows up in a player's heart as evidenced by the way she plays.

Secondly, be willing to give the kind of physical and mental effort necessary to win, in practice as well as games.
Make it personal excellence time.

Next, listen to the meaning of the message from your coach, not how it is said.
The next time your coach gets in your face and embarrasses you a little, stand back and listen to the message.

Don't make judgments or make it personal. If he doesn't care he wouldn't bother.

Furthermore, carefully pick your idols.

Professional athletes are performing or putting on a show and this changes their perspective.

Be aware of these actors and you decide what is right or wrong.

Next, think of what your coach wants or needs from you.

Your coach is looking for specific things.
It is not what he needs to do for you.

Stop laying your hand out for them to give you something.

My college coach said, "it is your job to figure out what I want you to do!"
He was a very honest man and put it bluntly.

Sometimes, as often-criticized teenagers, you can be selfish and say, "what are you going to do for me?"
Give me a new car? Buy me this or that? Let me play?

Be a coach's player and give instead of take and you will receive your just rewards.

Finally, know what your role is.
If you don't know, ASK!
Most of us like to be the scorer but coaches love great defenders, great playmakers, players who give of themselves and ask nothing in return.

There is always room in the line-up for these kinds of players.

You give and he has no choice but to play you because he loves you.

There are three things that your coach would love from you.

One, love the game. "The game" might be what is in season at the time. Convince your coach that this is the important time in your life.

Two, WORK HARD! Good things happen to people who work hard to make good things happen.
Vince Lombardi said "the harder we work, the harder it is to give up". You can always offer hard work.

Three, be loyal to your coach. Believe in your coach and he will believe in you.

Jerry Tarkanian said, "the only bad kid is one who won't be loyal to his teammates and coaches".

Respond positively to challenges from your coach and your opponent.

You will grow and develop, win or lose.

These challenges will linger in your memory long after the game is over.

When your coach gets in your face, he is looking for a positive response. Give them attention!

Great players don't have to be inspired by the coach to get "up" for a game; all you need to know is that any game is important, and how you should play it.

Let your coach sit back and enjoy the ride!


THE IMPORTANCE OF WATER
From time to time I notice that players show up to practice or games without a water bottle.
I also notice that some players elect not to take a drink when we have our designated water breaks in practice.

Water consumption during practices and games is not an option.

Dehydration is a health risk. The least impact is a tired performance on the soccer field or in the gym.

Players are encouraged to drink lots of fluids beginning 2 hours before activity and every 15 minutes during activity.

Pack lots of water. It is far better to dump a bit left over than to run out during your activity.

BOB T


TIMELINESS CREATES WINNERS
Few things irritate coaches more than players late for scheduled activities.
Probably the only other thing that could challenge my senses more is a deliberate lack of effort by players.

I don't want to sound like any kind of martyr, but I am usually at event locations well ahead of time. Part of my responsibility is to ensure a safe play area and often I spend 15-30 min getting that ready.
I do this so that I don't waste YOUR time.

I do know coaches who show up right on time and even late for their team activities. These are the ones who waste the first 20 minutes of a practice "getting ready". These are the teams where no one shows up on time because everyone knows nothing ever starts on time. The result is chaos, diminished fun, ineffective practice and no discipline on the team.

I have every intention of running a quality team. A huge part of that quality depends on the team being there when expected.

A simple statistical reality in life....

If you try to be on time every time - some times you will be early and some times you will be late.
The only way to beat this is to BE EARLY all the time and PLAN to be early. It is not a crime to be early.

IF YOU ARE EARLY - YOU CAN'T BE LATE

When our indoor games begin I will need everyone dressed and ready to play 30 minutes before the game start. This may mean being at the location 45 minutes beforehand to allow time to change.
We need everyone of those 30 minutes to prepare for game, get everyone focussed on their roles, adjust to the environment and warm-up.

I understand that sometimes uncontrollable circumstances will affect timeliness. I ask that everyone stay focussed on our schedules and do your very best to maintain our quality.


BOB T


DRESSING FOR WEATHER
Let's all make sure that we are carrying our play shoes to and from practice and games.
This keeps your indoor shoes in great shape, the surfaces we play on stay clean, and most importantly, there is no water on your shoes or the floor to injure anyone - especially you.

Let's all make sure that we dress properly as we arrive for practice go home after practice.
All players are to leave our game/practice activity with pants, a jacket and appropriate footwear. NO ONE goes outside without.
The coach will create some special torture for those who don't take heed.
Each player is expected to take responsibility for their health - it starts here.
   


TEAM PRIVACY
Parents and players,

The soccer community is a small one and many of us have close personal ties with players outside of Erin Mills.
This is just a reminder to everyone to keep our team business private within the team.

This is especially important when someone might inadvertently provide key information to our opponents. Subjects such as injuries, vacation or other absence, what skills we are training or other planned team activities are no one else's business but our own.

There are closed areas of the web site that are private to you only and should not be shared with any players outside of our team.

So when we chat with those outside of the team please be careful of what you discuss and of course keep your ears open for those who might be less careful and feed us useful information.

Thanks for your support in this important team effort.

BOB T


Wednesday, August 20
STRUGGLING IN 2003
(How we approached the end of the 2003 season)

As should be no surprise to anyone we are in a corrective mode to gain some
points in the SRSL standings.

We have to change our losing game.

Our Club Head Coach, Josef Komlodi, expressed his concern to me that we were
on the road to losing our Elite division status.

As he has offered to other teams in the Club, he asked me if we needed some
help to achieve our goals and maintain our status.

We have tried to bolster our roster with the addition of some strength from
outside by advertising a position. No one stepped up to the offer before the
July 31 transfer deadline.

We also welcomed the return of Coach Gus Proietti to the active staff to
promote a fresh approach to our game plan.

The entire team, with the exception of a few, joined the Club's summer ADP
program and many have been taking advantage of the opportunity to improve
their skills and learn new tactics from different personalities. It is clear
that this dedicated focus to personal growth has been a positive impact on
the team.

I turned most of the attitude management to the team itself, led by Captain
Denise. From this, players developed an understanding of the need for
dedication, attendance at practice sessions and a keen desire to win in our
competitions.

The focussed effort for full team participation has been hampered with
injury, illness, and absence for a variety of reasons.

The result has been a less cohesive group than desired and the stress of a
losing record.

We are in a very dangerous position of being relegated to Premier status in
the 2004 season if we do not change our losing game.

For the past two weeks I have taken up the Head Coach's offer for direct
intervention.

Josef has spent a considerable amount of his time dedicated to our team. He
has drawn that time away from his general ADP program responsibilities and
has provided a number of full team sessions (some poorly attended) to
correct our team shape and to understand our players' strengths and
weaknesses.

The immediate goal was to prepare ourselves for the August 12 Dixie game,
gain a win or tie and valuable points in our standings.

I agreed to let Josef coach the game and lend his vast experience to a
positive result. This required that he have FULL control of player
positions, team shape and player changes.

Unfortunately the momentum we had developed was lost to field closure.

In an effort to capture that momentum and the new "feel" that Josef has
given to the team we put together an exhibition game against the GU14. The
intent was to focus on team shape and pay less attention to scoring.

We managed this exercise with only 11 of 16 players available.

The game against Mississauga was considered a winnable game, so I carried on
with the game plan to have Josef coach the game.

The result was a positive 2-1 win (although hard fought) and we gained 3
very critical points to get us out of the division basement and begin
distancing ourselves from relegation risk.

We can all expect Josef to be behind the bench at this Saturday's Dixie
game.

Josef has again offered a full team practice this Thursday at Crawford Green
from 9:30 am to noon,

We have a number of very winnable games upcoming.

Kitchener, Waterloo, Saltfleet (2) and North Mississauga represent 15
potential points that will certainly give us an opportunity to hold our
Elite status.

We were blessed with Elite status at the start of the year. The team had
very specific goals that were discussed at length among players and parents.

It should be no surprise that changes in the way we play are underway to
achieve those goals.

The reality is, that some players and parents are going to feel some
discomfort with this adjustment.

My role with this team is to provide the leadership and make tough decisions
about our direction.

I have not abdicated my responsibilities; rather I have enhanced them with
resources available to me and to the team.

I expect every player and every parent to get refocussed on our goals and
have faith that I am doing the right thing.

If that is too difficult to accept, then I encourage your departure from the
ranks.

We have a lot of work ahead of us and the team will not be undermined with
negative attitudes.

We all have to share in what I truly expect to be a late charge success
story for our Eagles.

You have a choice of being a happy part of that success in whatever role you
play, or of stepping aside for the overall welfare of the team - my prime
responsibility.



COACH BOB


THE 2001 SEASON HAS ENDED
September 24, 2001

To OUR 1990 EAGLES FAMILY:


Our 2001 playing season has come to a close.

We have our “Olympics”, the “Parents vs Players” game, and our closing party on Sunday, September 30.
I look forward to seeing everyone there ready for some fun.

Statistically, our team did not deliver the numbers needed to finish high in our league standings. How the South Region will place teams next year is unknown at this time. We will see.

A review of our league games is a nightmare of “what could have been”.
I can think of no less than 6 games that should have been ours – but they weren’t. Six games are 18 points that went to the top of the league.

Our tournament play was commendable. The team delivered a trophy at the Cambridge Tournament – not particularly tough opponents, but a win by any definition.

In Brantford, the gang stepped up to take on U12 opponents and surprised themselves and everyone else with their excellent performance.

In North Mississauga, we set aside Kitchener and Burlington (both ahead of us in the league) to reach the finals and we lost another close game for the championship.

In Oakville we played tough competition and held our own in more close games.

The Eagle Cup gave us our first game against the Mississauga Falcons, and their giants. The size and BIG feet intimidated our gang. We will get another crack at them soon enough and we’ll be ready.
We held our own with the Demons as we always have and tied up the final game.




These results, good and bad, were delivered by all of us as a team. There is no one person on the team who is personally responsible for our results. We did it together.

Every game contains a moment we wish we had back when a mistake was made, a tackle missed, a shot missed, a shot not taken, a player match overlooked, or a bad pass made.

Some games were missing all or part of players due to vacation, illness or injury.


If only, if only, if only,…….


The core of this team is sound and most importantly - happy. Time after time I stood back at practices and at games watching the mood of our players. This is one happy bunch of athletes.
Of course we don’t like losing - who does? But we all know very well that we seldom ever got “hammered” by anyone. They all know that they are a respectable team that is well respected in the league.

The league numbers say we let in almost 2x the goals over last year. The big difference is the physical development of some huge kicks around the league that can consistently launch the ball from a long way out. Last year that was a rare occurrence. Everyone was small of stature.

The numbers also say we delivered 1/3 fewer scored goals.
When I can’t sleep I count the key scoring chances we didn’t deliver on …….so many – 2000 approx at last count.

With a couple of exceptions, our ball control, space management and kicking skills are way behind those of the other teams we play. This is the team’s limiting factor.

We will improve.

But somehow we manage to compete with these other teams. I am convinced it is the very spirit of this team that makes the difference for the results we saw.

I did some quick math to add up the amount of practice the players were offered this season.
Starting last November when we began our indoor training we have logged over 120 hours of scheduled practices and clinics. This doesn’t include the private sessions with me, practice that players did on their own, with other players, or with professional soccer camps. Add also the time we put in watching professional games and our sister and brother teams in the Club.

Some players maximized the practice offered. Some did less. Some earned respect from their teammates for their practice focus. Others did not.

Developed skills were evident on the field. Some in a big way. Some in smaller bites.

As the “Coach” I am personally satisfied that I did my best and did what was expected of me in terms of player development.

I did not deliver all of the expectations we set out at the start of the year and for that I have little to brag about. Horse races are often won and lost by “a nose”. Our season was like that.

I had fun though.

In retrospect some things could have been different but the reality exists. I must live with my decisions.

I am often criticized for my “patience” with developing players.

I don’t expect to change.

As long as I see improvement and the desire to learn I will stand by this team and the individuals within it.

When this group of Eagles no longer wants to learn, put in the work to learn, and suffer the pain that comes with the training to learn I will know it is time to step away.

The number of players on the team that are focussed on skill development is high – much higher than last year.
Next year that committed percentage will be higher again because there will be no alternative. It will be fun though.










SOME SPECIAL THANKS

To our sponsors who provided the funding this year for track suits, shirts, equipment, parties after skills clinics, facilities rentals, clinic professionals, tournament entries and much more.

To my coaching assistants, Dan, Steve and Heidi. Each took their Levels 1 and 2 Training as part of their own skill development. We couldn’t have delivered the training program offered without their time and ideas.

To Isabelle Chircop, Shabina Rahman, and Liz Dayot who have offered so much time at practices as “practice moms”, ball chasers, equipment packers and draggers.
Thanks to everyone who would have if they could have. I understand.

To EVERYONE who kept pouring coffee down me at games and practices.


To Sarah Macdonald, Erin’s Mom, for the quiet arrival of the half time fruit at every game.


Very special thanks to Pam and Randy Leavitt who were pressed into duty last year as Team Manager. They were blessed with the challenge of the team’s paperwork, liaison with challenging personalities in our soccer world, managing the team’s money, and much more.
All of this help let me spend more time focussed on the team and my own skill set that has to grow as well.
Pam and Randy will be handing over their responsibilities to others at the end of this season for a well-deserved break.

Thanks also to the Leavitt’s and the Ellis’ for use of their swimming pools after our clinics.



SOME FAREWELLS

We say farewell and good luck to Brittany and Jessica who are leaving the team to play with different teams. We will no doubt meet them in future competition. They both made a strong contribution to the Eagles.


We also say farewell to Jackie who has elected to take some time away from soccer next year. We wish her well and hope she returns to the game in the future.
We also bid adieu to Coach Heidi who is pressured with new responsibilities at work.


Thank you to everyone who offered ideas and suggestions through out the year. I truly need your input. I don’t have all of the answers and sometimes I can’t see the forest because the trees are in the way.

Thank you for the trust you have given me with your daughter. I hope to meet these young ladies years from now when they are all grown up and try and imagine what part I had in creating their “person”.


A special thank you to Laura, my daughter. She has what I have always called the toughest job on the team – the coach’s kid.
The pressures on her are significant.

Thanks also to my wife Jane for the relentless soccer theme in the household.

Thanks also to Lyndsay and Jennifer Tremblay, our U15 examples for their many hours of help in our practices.


Now….on to next year. Let’s cross that dotted line.




COACH BOB


INDOOR 2003 COMES TO AN END
Subject: THE INDOOR SEASON IS OVER - A NEW BEGINNING UNFOLDS

We started playing competitive indoor soccer as a team two years ago. The plan was to provide some winter off-season training for those who wanted it.

As we can all see, soccer has become a year round opportunity.

The OISL gave us a bad experience with Soccer City as our home field, they stuffed us into a year older division and then gave us a scattered schedule.

It wasn't a lot of fun, although we did have 15 games of some kind or other.

Determined not to repeat the OISL venture we moved to the Hangar and the North York Hearts League this year. We had been told of wider competition, a playoff scheme and a more consistent playing schedule. The bonus was a single location.

I had heard tales that the competition wasn't strong enough in the NYHL. Some teams didn't enter this league for that reason. We know better.

When the season began I had no clue how play-offs worked or the League Cup process. We were told this would all be advised along the way.

Every coach hopes to have his team peak at just the right time so that the right amount of energy and right balance of emotions is delivered when it is needed the most.

We burned a huge load of fuel in the League Cup semi-final when we took down Vaughan. This where we peaked.

We burned even more in our final against Oshawa.

We gave Markham a good game in the playoff semi-final although not our best game. We were on the down slope.

Neither team was prepared to give their opponent any space in this game. Scoring opportunities were scarce although the Eagles missed many more opportunities than Markham was allowed.

The league setup had us playing in two rounds of playoffs tangled up together.

I worked hard myself to try and remember who we were playing and for what.

So keeping things in focus, how did our winter training do?

We won a March Break tournament and we won runner-up status in the NYHL League Cup.

We made it clear that Erin Mills is a contender. We have respect in the leagues as a quality team that plays within the rules with good sportsmanship.

We took on some of the best soccer teams in the province. We won some and we lost some.

We learned that this is a physical game and we must raise our personal skills to play with that tougher game.

We learned that we have to manage our emotions and not let them interfere with the job the team has to do.

Welcome to the REAL game. We now get to deliver all of the winter skills we developed out on the green grass.


BOB T



Saturday, February 8
TEAM UPDATE FEB 2003

In my role as Rep Director I have "earned" spots on a variety of committees and I often go to sleep at night seeing nothing but soccer balls and wake up in the morning watching the same soccer balls....

I remind myself often that, although I feel non-stop busy with soccer, not all of my attention is directed to our team. I am heavily dependent on our assistant coaches and Frank Panzetta, our Manager to keep me on my toes.

Please be sure to bring any questions or concerns to my attention as they arise. Everyone is entitled to feel comfortable on our team. I am convinced that our harmony within the team is the secret of our success.

You have no idea what nightmares exist on some teams among parents.
(I have the responsibility of refereeing all of these "issues" among our 36 Rep teams and I am always referring to the Girls 1990 model that works)

I thank everyone for making our environment fun, but challenging. We all have to work at it, expect the occasional discomfort and deal with it quickly. 99% of the time, discomfort comes from misunderstandings.



I am trying to break the habit we have of stopping every advancing ball in it's tracks. We want the ball slipped through on the ground, by a flick header, or with a simple first time pass to an attacking player going by.

We ran the Beep Test to see how our conditioning is improving (or not). I see general improvement across the board with a couple of exceptions.
Our conditioning will become an even more important part of our arsenal as we enter our Elite competition arena.
Everyone must be committed to this with extra conditioning one way or another for at least 20 minutes 3 x weekly.
If you don't, it will show and your team will suffer while you sit on the bench unable to keep up.

TEAM PARTY = SHARI'S BIRTHDAY BASH

Many thanks to the Leavitt's who took this birthday opportunity to have the players and parents get together for an evening of fun and frolic.
The Moms put on a spectacular Karioke presentation that, frankly, shamed the father's show.
Mom's we want more Can- Can, especially during games.

All were in attendance except Erin and Krista.

OUR GAME TODAY

Not much of a contest again the Ajax Mystiques, although they did manage to shut us down with a lot of our own help in the second half. I don't think I have ever seen us miss so many clean shots in one game.
Games we can control (like this one) let us work on our combination passing which showed moments of brilliance today.
I would like to see us stay a little more "in focus" when we have a lead. If there is one key skill we must practice and DELIVER on it is SCORING. This will impact our summer performance considerably.

We still hesitate looking for the back door shooter who has more space and a better perspective of the target.

We still "Stoppa da ball" too much.

Our first touch ball control still needs work. This is something everyone can do at home in small spaces.

A win is a win, but remember East York is on our tail with 1 or 2 games in hand.
We cannot relax for a moment to secure second place and a play-off spot.


SOUTH REGION SOCCER LEAGUE 2003

God works in mysterious ways.

We were rewarded yesterday with our coveted Elite Division status for the 2003 season.

I did not appeal our "Premier" situation that was initially delivered back in December. This came "free".

The League, it seems, elected to push the Elite Division from the 7 team roster of last year to 10 this year. Erin Mills was fortunate to have the numbers as next in line. A misfortune for Saltfleet who finished one measly point behind us.
Niagara Falls was pushed down after they collapsed last summer.

I honestly think we earned our opportunity to play at the Elite level. Two sad results against Waterloo stopped the automatic decision.

Having thought about this unexpected turn of events for a while now, I have concluded one simple reality.

The only real difference between Elite and Premier is "attitude".

I had, like most of us, resigned myself to a "Premier" attitude. It seemed OK with relatively easy competition, but a second-rate state of mind that also seemed OK because there was no option.

When I saw the new placement on Friday I was surprisingly unemotional. Here was our "dream", our "goal" of 2002 actually realized, albeit on the second ballot.
I had already set my frame of mind, my "attitude" into Premier world.

This is slowly setting in as I realize that everything has changed - but at the same time nothing has changed - it just FEELS like everything has changed. Hence why I call this an "attitude" thing.

We will be working hard over the next two months to develop the mental preparation needed to face the true competitive challenges that await.

The 2003 season will decide the top three in the Elite Division who will advance to the OYSL (Ontario Youth Soccer League). This is the cream of the cream league and probably the best in the country.

A lofty goal, but a goal all the same.

Erin Mills has 5 teams playing at this level in 2003.
BU14, BU15, GU16, GU19, BU19

REGIONAL TEAM SCOUTING

Last weekend the regional coach, Mr. Dave Donaldson, made himself visible at the Hangar.

He had told me on Jan 12 that we would be poking around and I had made that known to the girls.

He chose the game I had to miss for a wedding of course to come forward. I have no idea if he had others looking for him prior to then.

We must all congratulate Denise and Cayla for their achieved invitation to the preliminary tryouts on Feb 23.
I'm sure that several of us are disappointed who were overlooked at this time.
Although I am not privy to the details, I am sure there are more tryouts forthcoming. I have no idea who will be invited. I do know that the originally planned "open" tryouts will not happen.

I am not particularly happy about the process that the Region (coach) selected to scout their players from our team.

I would have preferred he discuss his choices with me first, to protect the sensitivities of our players.

What's done is done, however.

I remind everyone that you will always have an opportunity to be looked at again at the provincial level year after year if your coach feels your skill improvement warrants consideration, and you want to face the challenge.

Continued passion for the game will be your best assurance of opportunity.

This is also another good reason to be in the Elite crowd. You are much more likely to get noticed.

Speed and conditioning is the #1 skill.
First touch ball control is next.


TEAM CAPTAIN

After two years of wavering on the decision I announced today the appointment of Denise as the team's full-time Captain.
I felt it was time that our team took the first step towards peer management.

Over the past two summers our players spent a considerable amount of time discussing and developing the model and qualities of a good team captain.

All of our players satisfy a large number of these qualities, some have many of them. Several were considered for the job.

Denise was chosen by me as the player that satisfied all of the qualities that our players expect of their Captain.

As I mentioned today at the Hangar, Denise will need to count on everyone's support as she develops into this important role.

We will continue to rotate the assistant captain role on a game by game basis.
Perhaps, next year I will appoint a formal assistant captain.



There will be another parents meeting in the next two weeks or so where we will present the 2003 planned schedule and budget for discussion.


As always, call if any questions.



BOB T


2002 OLYMPICS
We have run the Olympics for three years now. The event delivers some competitive fun among the players and ends in the traditional Parents/Players game.

We only ran 9 of the 10 events so we could stay within our time window, leaving off the Target Headers competition.

The results are tabulated in two Excel spreadsheets that I distributed yesterday. If anyone has difficulty viewing the spreadsheets let me know and I will print up a hard copy for you.
These files are also available in the Handouts page of the web site.

These "Olympics" were designed to measure improvement in basic, but key skill areas from season to season and within the season.
The events are designed to stress focus and concentration of effort, reward personal practice and illustrate areas of improvement.

Several players kept themselves out of the running with poor performances in key areas.

Players are encouraged to wake up and get working on these weak skill areas, especially conditioning, speed and ball control.

Congrats to Laura, Chloe and Sarah who produced a balanced effort in all events to secure first, second and third places overall respectively.

The parents were once again humbled 2-0 by the players in "The Game". It was reported that the parents were weak in the goalkeeping area.

OLYMPICS NEXT YEAR?

Is this an event we want to continue next year?
If we do it will get moved up to mid-Sept. We ran too late this year although we got some great weather.
Are there any suggestions how to improve the event, add or change activities?

BOB T

Handout: SOCCER OLYMPICS 2002 INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE