ERIN MILLS EAGLES GIRLS U16: Practice Outlines

A brief summary of what we covered in our team meeting on Sunday afternoon.

In small groups the team created presentations on "Leadership" and how each individual can contribute their personal leadership to the team success.

The team crossed shark infested waters using limited rafts (you had to be there).

In groups again, the team spent two minutes asking each other about things they didn't know already and shared the new revelations around the room.

In groups, each player had an opportunity to listen quietly while their team mates poured praise on them for two minutes.

We discussed the personal impact of positive talk vs negative stuff.

Everyone got to ask the coach some questions they wanted to know about their coach.

We touched briefly on the difference between being an "Intimidating" team vs a team that does the job with "Skill and Class".

Everyone agreed that we will succeed with our Class and our Skill.

In closing, everyone had a chance to provide some input into the 2006 uniform, tracksuit and bag styles, fabrics and colours.

We are blessed with a real "team" that understands how to look after each other, inspire and push.

The time spent on Sunday was to help everyone understand the hard work that is required to keep our team relationships, and those in their daily lives, under control.

Off the field discussions like this will continue as part of our overall program in personal development.

Have fun.

Inclement weather drove us indoors on Nov 2 from 1-4 pm.

Typically we do not CANCEL scheduled practice time. If there are factors that interfere with our planned activity I will just change what we are doing.
I can create productive time together in a number of ways.

As our players "age" they also earn more input into their program planning. We use opportunities like Saturday to do some off-field planning and blackboard training for skill development.

We first discussed some social activity ideas that might work throughout the season:












The following was worked up in small groups and presented by each group:

We spent quite a bit of time discussing what each meant.



This page was left behind but the big one that I recall was..


We will cover this more in depth on our next session.


We spent the last few minutes after our pizza reviewing some basic indoor tactics on the board.


Another beautiful day.....thirteen players were on hand.

We opened up with some field basketball warmup to emphasize support positioning.

Four stations followed with small space dribbling, chipping, heading and volley kicks.

A brief World Cup practice game followed.

The team reviewed their season goals and discussed the necessary characteristics of champion teams.

We went to three new stations including high ball toss 1 v 1, slalom dribble and shoot, and the 15 cone speed dribble.

The World Cup game followed. Beckham Beauties won 3-2 with the winning goal coming with 30 seconds to go.

Following lunch we worked on speed dribbling and shooting on the fly.

We then proceeded with 1 time shooting of a ball served from the front. We followed with balls served from the side.

The team did the "Trust Walk" in pairs with one partner blindfolded. A walk through the forest emphasized the importance of communication, listening and heeding and of course trust that your team mate wasn't going to walk you off a cliff.

The "Team Transport" exercise followed. The team was provided with 3 lily pads (towels) and a challenge to cross a shark infested pool without anyone falling in.
A fun team exercise for all.

The "Tire Song" was.................ok

The day ended at 4:30 after a final 20 minute game and with everyone tired from a long and productive day.

I redid the web site scrolling pictures. Some did not turn out so we will be doing those remaining over again next Saturday morning at our "voluntary" practice.
Track suit jackets required.


Saturday provided great weather for our first full day skills clinic.
(Next one is the upcoming Saturday)

We had 14 players for the morning and 13 for the afternoon.

We opened up with a series of simple footskill dribble warmups and stretch.

Several stations rotated including our obstacle course, slalom dribble, 3 v 3 game, target chip shots, keep ups and headers.

We spent some time discussing the Dixe game, what was missing and what must not repeat.

Treats filled the afternoon with Tim Bits, popsicles, Vachon cakes.

The afternoon session focussed on corner kick plays and throw in plays.

The World Cup was played as 4 x 10 minute periods.
The Cookie Monsters defeated the Beckham Beauties by a score of 8-3. The beauties suffered considerably due to absent team members. The Beckham gang did an excellent job of modifying their game strategy to deal with the imbalance.

In all future games offside will NOT be allowed.

Many thanks to the Kuzemkos who offered their pool for a cool down after the long hot day.

A few clinic pictures are posted in the web site album.


This week was focussed on ball control - the area we need the most improvement.

We ran 6 relay races running the ball around 3 hula hoops with the outside of the foot ending with a shot on net.

We spent time in small groups with and without pressure making small passes and bursting to space when we receive the ball before passing off.

We ran some 1 v 1 scenarios encouraging forwards to get creative on the ball and developing defender patience.

We encouraged an end to polite play on the field. We have to step up the pressure against ourselves.

We ran some 5 v 4 drills encouraging forwards to use space lane for passing and for defenders to close down the ball.

All players are encouraged to work on their personal ball control at home for just 15 minutes a day.

Every time we touch the ball we get just a little bit better.


We opened with the Beep Test and a continuing realization that our conditioning has some way to go.
Players were reminded that high energy levels are required by 6:30 pm which is about the same time as many of our league games this year. We also will get a dose of 8:30 pm starts.
Players were again encouraged to step up their personal programs at home. Fitness and ball control will buy time on the field.
We spent some time on first touch ball control, followed by 1 v 1 defending/attacking.
Defenders must stay focussed on shutting down space and avoid diving in for the ball.
Forwards and mids need to work hard on getting past defenders with 1 v 1 practice at home.
A brief 3 v 3 scrimmage ended the evening along with 2 cool down Germans.
1.5 hours does not provide a lot of time so we must use our time wisely.


Saturday, April 19
We picked a glorious day for our debut on the real grass. Nine players were able to muster the time for this voluntary holiday weekend practice.

Practices will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30- 8pm (I'll be on the field at 6 pm). for the next two weeks.

We will also practice next Saturday from 9-12 and a scrimmage on Sunday from 2-4 pm after kickboxing.
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 reminded us that the ball does not run as true on the grass as on the gym floor or indoor carpet.

We opened with the Beep Test on the grass. The results were poor and clearly indicate that we will be doing lots of distance and sprint running in our drill practice.

The Beep Test will start every practice for the foreseeable future. The target is 10.

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 10 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.

Practice continues....

We set up our small obstacle course with hurdles, side to side stepping, high step hoops, receive a ball, fast dribble through a course and shoot.

There was a distinct lack of intensity which I will attribute to the excitement of the first time out.
We talked briefly about the team's self-established goals to land in the top 3 of the league this year. The team has to WANT to do the work and with FULL EFFORT.

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.

We did some 1st touch shooting on the net, both targeting the net and shooting over the net. Lots of practice needed here. We spent most of the morning practicing how to miss (but it was the first day out).

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 doing their shot then not paying attention to what is going on.

We played some 4 v 1 keep away in small areas. Again the intensity to perform was lacking.

We played a 3 v 8 drill at the centre circle challenging the 3 to dribble a ball out of the circle.

We did some at the net headers as well as left/right volley kicks at the net.

We played a 3 v 3 scrimmage with the 3rd team supporting the team with the ball from the outside.

Other reminders...


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.


Friday, March 28
I am maintaining an attendance record beginning Nov 1.02, the start of Phase 1 of our 2003 season. The players know that they have to sign in to be recorded as present.
Based on the sheets on hand (24 sessions) and the signatures provided, the following shows the training hours completed from Nov 1, 2002 to Mar 28.
There is no "reward or punishment" for this attendance. This is just a set of statistics.
Some players have other committments on our practice and team sessions. Some pick up extra soccer work on their own.
I will add in any time that any player completes in a formal soccer clinic or camp. They will need to add in the time when they sign in at regular practice. This time will show in brackets below after the regular practice time.
The second bracket is the average of the player's last 2 Beep Test runs. Team average is 8.80 (rising). Expectation per player is 10.0 minimum by March 31 and improvement week to week.

Total hours offered -36

Player No............Hrs Completed

01.........................27.5 (45)(6.56)
10.........................34 (12)(9.56)
23.........................31 (24)(8.07)
55.........................11.5 (20)(10.09)
99.........................30 (12) (7.56)
11.........................31.5 (22)(8.03)
12.........................20.5 (11) (8.04)
16.........................23.5 (12) (9.07)
8..........................21.5 (8)(10.03)
6..........................17 (12) (8.04)
66.........................12.5 (16.5) (9.09)
7..........................29 (22)(8.53)
9..........................31.5 (38)(10.04)
13.........................24.5 (10) (8.60)
14.........................36 (42)(8.06)
44.........................34.5 (40)(11.09)

A full house tonight.

We opened with 5 minutes of personal dribbling with speed breaks and challenge from the coaches.
Players are encouraged to use the outdoor opportunities coming soon to work hard on their ersonal ball control with speed and challenge.

We broke into two groups and continued with sequential passing and encouraging speed into the support position to receive the ball.
Vocal and silent passing options.

We continued with high ball management. Players were started in pairs and challenged to fight for the header.

We continued with our 3 line fast breakout strategy to encourage runners to fill space opportunities, receive the ball and move upfiled quickly.

Scrimmage followed with a focus on team possession and cycling the ball around the back to the opposite side of the field.
We still need to mentally adjust with this philosophy. The Eagles need more patience and confidence on the ball. It will come.

A good night overall.

Friday, March 28
We opened with 10 players warming up with our usual dribbling challenge for 5 minutes.
Followed by 5 minutes of headers and chests in groups of three. Special focus on headers changing direction.
We changed to our 3 line passing/breakout drill with another noticeable, but small improvement. Timing and one touch passing skills continue to challenge.
Briefly, by request, we spent some time doing 1 v 1 high ball headers.
We moved on to a give and go drill through 4 parent cones. Through time our "cones" got active feet to force better passing.
One touch passing and movement to receive still needs work.

We finished with 3 v 3 scrimmage with a focus on give and go plays to score a point.

Lots of time on the ball tonight for everyone.

We are closer than ever to the grass.......


15 players packed the gym for an evening of soccer.

We opened with a 15 minute dribble on the ball with a variety of commands issued, stop, turn, knee down,etc. Players were encouraged to challenge other players in their dribble and make a move to avoid.
Some players continue to dribble with their head "in the grass" and are unable to see what is coming.

We spent some time wotking in 1 v 1 format with players challenged to keep the ball for 15 seconds. This needs lots of work. Only a few players achieved the goal.

We worked on fast break passing from 3 lines. This needs LOTS of work to get this into practical use in game play.

We scrimmaged with an expectation of fastbreak attempts. There were none.

We are determined to deliver some burst speed action into our game. We have spent too long training to go slow.

The "March Projects" will be delayed a bit pending receipt of study materials. The topic is Sports Nutrition for those who want to get a head start.

Eleven players were on board last night.

We opened with the Beep Test, recording significant improvement across the board.
Interestingly, the team kept pace and stayed together (as a team) for most of the event.
Although we still have some way to go, I saw clear evidence that this team has Elite qualities and desires.

The Beep target for all players is "10" by the end of March. Everyone is closer now that never. Hard work at home will develop the results we all are looking for.
Most are only 1-2 minutes away.
No work - no improvement.

Our second activity was a 3 team event training players how to break away from a shadow to support the ball, receive it and return it.

We continued with our high ball management with first touch shooting, then working on heading down to the goal line.

Scrimmage was with 4 teams in 3 v 3 format with fast changes to maintain intensity. We had a pass back focus using the keeper when needed.
I was totally impressed how quickly some players caught on to the pass back strategy to create cycling from one side of the field to another.
I saw patience, control and an understanding that possession is more important than driving ahead blindly.

The Eagles are definitely maturing their skills quickly.


14 players participated in this session.

Each player provided their top 3 characteristics/skills that they consider need special attention right away.
The coaches added their comments and each player will be provided with a personal development plan.

When all players are doing skill training on their own we can honestly say we have the right "attitude" to reach the goals that everyone "thinks" they want.

Coaches cannot create "the attitude" or the "will to win". Each player has to want it bad enough to discipline themselves.

The team broke into groups to discuss and present the characteristics they would expect to find in a 1st Div team, a Premier Div team, an Elite Div team and finally an OYSL team.

We all agreed that personal and team skills are important to play at the highest levels. We also discussed the reality that the biggest difference between the lowest and highest divisions is our "state of mind". We have to think like Elite players.

The group presented a rather disorganized version of their Sunday kick-boxing activity. I can only hope that the organized activity is more demanding than what we saw......
This is the kind of personal discipline that needs to be controlled.

We discussed our 2003 goals briefly. The girls are determined to aim for the top three Elite teams. That would buy them a spot in the OYSL in 2004. They also tried to convince their coach that they are ready to do what has to be done. (I need some more convincing).

Head Coach Josef has suggested we have a three stage set of goals.

Minimum Expectation - hold Elite Division Status

Reasonable Expectation - top 5 of the Division

Exceeeding Expectations - top 3 and OYSL

We touched on social activities they wanted this year. Not a lot of imagination came forth so we will wait for some brilliance to come forward before we lock the schedule.


12 players opened with a sequential passing warm-up both vocal and silent.
Followed by forward/backward separator races.

Moved into a passing/shooting drill to force players to open up when receiving the ball for a following pass. Short passing and ball control is a continuing area for imrpovement. Shot accuracy close to the net also needs improvement.

Since we had a bye in league play this week we ran a 45 minute 3 v 3 scrimmage with fast changes (Slower the play - the faster the change -to encourage continuous effort. Four touches scored a point as well as conventional goals.


Friday, January 24
10 players presented themselves for training.

We opened with a 12 minute run as a regular alternative to our Beep Test followed by stretch.

The team was gently reminded again that measured fitness performance will have a lot to do with time earned on the field this summer.

Forwards and mids worked on 3 v 0 passing plays for pass back shooting. Defenders worked on closing down the middle near our net.
We ran our 1 v 1 race for the ball working on a fight for the ball.
Our closing half hour was 3 v 3 continuous scrimmage requiring 4 passes before a scoring opportunity could be made.

Our practice last night had an Italian theme -

"No stoppa da ball".

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 a general decline 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.

We did a variety of first touch "No Stoppa da Ball" exercises where our first touch skills lacking were shining prominently.

Our scrimmage was controlled with having to dribble out of one's own end.

Struggling with unwell soldiers, we spent the evening with a continuous controlled scrimmage with a focus on working the ball deep and passing back to set up a scoring opportunity.
This is an essential routine to work in behind defensive walls in the indoor game.

We continued with our base line testing for the team. The Illinois Agility Run, push-ups and the ten metre dash filled out the first half of the practice period.
The second half was dedicated to 5 v 5 scrimmage with a focus on shot set up and aggressive attack on the ball.

We spent our first 45 minutes working through some of the baseline testing for the Standard Performance Tests established by the Club Head Coach.
Vertical jump, T-Drill, 5 metre dash, sit-ups and 10 metre dribble, and throw-ins were recorded.
The balance of our practice was a controlled scrimmage with an emphasis on ball possession and aggressive attack on the ball.

This evening we hosted the boys 13 All-Star team for a friendly 4 v 4 game.
Once again our girls let the boys set the pace of play and spent the evening chasing the ball, failing to control and continuing in their starring role as the most polite team in Ontario.
We will continue to face challenging teams like this until we get the message that effort is required to compete at the Rep level.
I want all players spending the last chances for grass play (before winter) working on their 1 v 1 skills including shielding, moving the ball to space, and turning with the ball on attack. Pick a partner that is clearly bigger, tougher and a real challenge.
Get physical.

We opened our 2003 season tonight snugly back in our Thomas Street gym.
Ten players opened up with sequential passing for warm-up, a good drill for essential first touch and support of the ball. Our players need lots of work on this to reach the next level.
The Beep Test followed with results ranging from 6.5 to 11.0. The target for the spring is minimum 11.0 and preferably 10.0 by the end of December.
This is one of several mandatory performance tests that all Erin Mills players will be measured at during the year. The team will be expected to be recording consistent improvement at the Rep level.

Some have some work to do to improve their base aerobic fitness level.

We spent our last hour in scrimmage mode getting ready for our Nov 2 debut at the Hangar.


Tuesday, August 20
I have maintained an attendance record since Oct 13 when preparation for this season began. The players know that they have to sign in to be recorded as present.
Based on the sheets on hand (82 sessions) and the signatures provided, the following shows the training hours completed from Oct 13, 2001 to Sept 17, 2002.
There is no "reward or punishment" for this attendance. This is just a set of statistics.
Some players have other committments on our practice and team sessions. Some pick up extra soccer work on their own.

Total hours offered -183.5

Player No............Hrs Completed


Twelve players turned out for our last team practice of the season.
We opened with a running drill through 10 flags, receiving a pass from the side (varied with high bounces), dribbling to the 6 yard line and finishing with a shot.

The balance of the night was focussed on scrimmage play with emphasis on personal possession control.

By 7:45 pm we were having difficulty seeing the ball.

We are as ready as we can be for the Eagle Cup.

The girls were invited a second time to play a fun game with the Boys U11B team and we were able to field a squad on this occasion.
Both teams enjoyed a spirited game although the girls dominated most of the play.
This was a useful exercise for both teams to work on field play practice.
Everyone had fun.

We opened our practice with a 3 player short pass warmup requiring players to pass the ball in the air. We need to improve our first touch control especially with difficult passes.

We worked on our crossover corner passing drill but with defensive pressure. How things change with pressure!

We scrimmaged with a 4 pass rule then with a requirement for the ball carrier to beat one player before passing to a team mate.
We are trying to force 1 v 1 confrontations and develop success, especially with those who tend to shy away from them and just kick the ball away. Confidence will only come with forced practice.

We closed with some penalty kick practice. Missed shots were rewarded with a 1/2 lap run.
We want everyone getting expert in one place of the net so they can confidently deliver when called upon in a shoot out.
Some still need lots of focussed practice on their own time to master this simple task.

Players were reminded to catch up on their email and respond to the questions asked.

We will have one more practice at Erindale next week. That will be our last practice at the university.

King's Masting thereafter.

16 players were on board tonight in our preparation to deal with Dixie for the last time this season.
We had a late start tonight so we began with a simple lap of the field and stretch.
Tonight we wanted to focus on our technique crossing the ball from the corner of the field.
We began by dribbling horizontally along the ten yard line in front of the goal and launching a 90 degree shot into the centre of the net. We worked this from both sides with both feet, paying close attention to the last touch and the body turn to get the angle.
Following this close order drill we moved out to the 40 yard line and brought the ball down the sideline for a full field cross from the sideline corner. Players alternated sides and feet.
We saw some decided improvement from some players.
The last half hour was dedicated to scrimmage. For 15 minutes no talking was allowed and the player with the ball had to beat one player before passing or shooting.
We are forcing players to see the field and assume some confident responsibility for possession of the ball.
I would still like to see players take more control of the space available to them and dribble the ball away from trouble.
No one was behind us tonight so we stayed at it for an extra ten minutes.

Our athletes are physically ready for this game. They must all bring their mental game to Dixie tomorrow.

Nothing to lose, everything to gain.

Leave nothing on the field.

The practice began with the team in threes working short passing and support drills for their warm-up.
This was followed with a brief review of the Dixie game where we learned that we had been intimidated again by the Saints aggressive play and language. We reviewed the missed coverage and timid action in our defensive end during the second half.
When the team started suggesting they had "quit" on the game after the first goal coach reminded them that he would quit the next time the team "quit" on a game.
We discussed the need to start turning up their aggressive play or continue to suffer at the hands of the stronger teams.
This is the reality of competitive soccer.
In the Dixie game we had at least one player who had been knocked down hard but continued to play ineffectively, hurt and crying. As much as we stress "suck it up" we do expect players to go down if they cannot deliver so a replacement player can be brought in.
We discussed the continued problem of unmarked players in the mid and backfield as well as noticing how the field changes when opposing players change positions.
We spent the second third of our practice in our 18 yard box. Defenders were responsible for clearing crossed balls aggressively, while the forwards and mids put pressure on to aggressively score.
We began to see some noticeable improvement on both sides.
The final third was an open scrimmage using the same teams on a full width 40 yard field.

In closing we discussed the imbalance of playing time that some suffered in the Dixie game. We made an effort to put our best game forward that day working around injuries gained during the game.

The players were assured that we will return to a normal rotation for our last 12-14 games together this summer season.

We also advised that we will be doing some position shifting over the next few games.
At our clinic last week we discussed the importance of "versatility" in our skills and that includes comfort in a wide variety of positions on the field. Players can make themselves much more attractive in their soccer careers if they understand and can play in a broad variety of positions on the field.

14 players worked the field from 9am to 3:30.
We focussed on our remaining goal of the League Cup and reviewed who was in the way of that goal. Dixie is the team to beat this Sunday. The other obstacle is our own confidence and a belief that the job can be done.
We worked on simple ball control in our warm up with dribbling drills.
The obstacle course was set up and run.

We have a surprise guest with Head Coach Josef Komlodi stopping by to talk to the players. He spent some time helping the girls understand that the Dixie team is ready to be defeated and that the Eagles have the skills to get the job done.
Everyone agreed that we were going into this game with all guns blazing.
Coach Josef will hope to watch some of our game on Sunday.
We spent some time discussing versatility on the field. Players understand now their increased value to the team - any team, when they have the skills and confidence to play more than one position on the field.
Players discussed what skills they wanted to improve and each agreed to start a personal program to improve one or two specific skills they identified.
We worked on our basic shooting mechanics. We also worked on 1 v 1 shielding with players expected to shield a ball for 15 seconds in a 10 x 10 box.
Players ran the 15 cone line under the clock. 25 seconds has the lead.
We also ran short passing around a 10 x 10 box with a player in chase.
Some players were challenged to a juggling distance contest. Several players achieved a distance of about 25 feet.
We ended the day with a half field scrimmage.

The team shuttled to Kirsten's pool where mom and dad hosted the team for a pizza dinner and refreshments.

Thanks very much to the Labaj family for a fitting end to a day of hard work on the field.

Coach Steve swam for all of the coaches.

French cricket in the morning.....


Today we only put in a half day on the field to conserve for our League Cup game this Sunday.
We opened with footwork warm-ups followed by pass receiving and a dash to space.
French cricket was in demand so we played while the slalom course was timed by each.
Others worked on their dribble distance challenge.
We discussed position and player responsibilities then ran a 10 v 4 low intensity drill to work the ball up from the sweeper.
Lunch followed, then a trip to the movies for the afternoon where we saw Blue Crush, a girls surfing movie with lots of spectacular wave photography.
Interesting that several Dixie players unwittingly sat in the row in front of us.

The theme of our weekend was "GET DIXIE".

Thanks to Sharon P. for organizing our movie tickets and also to Isabella C and Julie C for shuttle assistance.


Seven players worked primarily in scrimmage play focussing on possession play and first touch control.
In the heat we took time out to work the cones and more first touch control with 3 v 1 passing.


We opened up with sequential passing and a stretch warmup.
Followed with a straight on passing drill that needs to be reorganized.
Suicides (5 shuttles) followed - forward and backward.
Defenders broke away to discuss defensive strategy with Coach Gus. Forwards and mids worked on sprinting dribbles through a maze of players for a shot on net.

We ran the circle ball game with the number of balls reducing each time. Losers got 5 pushups and the finale was for a full field lap.

We ended with a 3 team scrimmage in the 18 yard box. Two teams inside the box, one outside the box. Teams could only score if the ball was launched from outside the box. The outer team worked for whatever team passed them the ball.

The practice ended too soon at 7:30pm.

A series of stretching exercises was handed out to all players.

These need to be read, reviewed and "practiced" carefully and often.

Happy birthday to Amanda today who also provided popsicles for the team. Thanks Amanda.


Ten players took in our post-Ottawa practice at Erindale.
We opened up with our sequential passing warmup on a larger field, both verbal and non-verbal.
A scrimmage followed with the centre third of the field restricted for dribbling only. The ball was not allowed to be passed through or within the middle, only passed into or dribbled through.
This drill forced 1 v 1 strategies, dribbling skills and encouraged back passes that were allowed.
We ended with a pressure shooting drill. A ball was passed to a player who was required to turn with the ball without stopping it and rush the net for a shot. The passing player chased the receiver right away who also had to weave through a maze of players before completing her shot.
We may hold a voluntary scrimmage on Sunday afternoon at King's Masting. TBA.

The morning was dry and comfortable for field play.

We opened with short sequence passing to emphasize support positions, pass patience and foot skills.
We played an elimination game in the centre circle. Fewer balls than players were placed in the middle and the team raced on signal to retrieve a ball. The player who came up empty earned 5 pushups. As time passed fewer and fewer balls were available.
A good drill to develop aggressive action.

In our stations we worked more on 1 v 1 defensive breakdown strategy, 15 cone dribble, 6 ball rapid fire landing on our kicking foot, stepover moves and short headers.

We had a brief scrimmage involving a "moving net"

The clinic was suspended at 11:40 am due to thunder. The team were high and dry before the rain hit. The coaches were not so lucky.

The team began an early lunch and watched a movie.

With the rain continuing we had some team discussions about various topics.

First we discussed the importance of "Protecting our Team". Everyone agreed that no one would try to hurt someone's feelings, but all agreed it could happen by accident if we don't pay attention.
We all re-emphasized that we will look out for each other and make sure that everyone is happy and involved.
Players and parents are also reminded to bring any concerns to the coach right away.
Players are also reminded of their own responsibilities to work on their own team relationships. Don't expect a free ride.

We spent some time reviewing "Confidence" and what robs and what improves confidence.
We all agreed that confidence is in our own head and that we have the power to control it.
Everyone agreed they hated being told they had a good game when they didn't.
Confidence is high when something goes great on the field. We can improve confidence with skill improvement.
Everyone makes mistakes - even the best players in the world.
Know that you are a good soccer player, be confident, know that some days may be challenging, and strive to continuously improve.

The sun came back out at 2:30 and some players went back on to the field for some ball work.
At 3pm we loaded up the cars and headed off to Denise's pool for a couple of hours of swimming and snacks.
Many thanks to Chris for her hospitality.

We had a beautiful sunny day for this clinic. A stiff breeze through the afternoon kept down the heat.
We opened with a short ball passing warmup and stretch.
Short ball passing and ball control continued with our passing drill and cross-over a cone.
Our stations included 6 ball rapid fire with emphasis on landing on our kicking foot and speed, 1 v 1 with defensive breakdown emphasis, stepover move practice, and 15 cone timed dribble.
We used the circle for a keeper/passing exercise. Cayla was required to protect 3 small nets within the circle.
We played a 4 v 4 scrimmage. Teams could only score by passing through two gates in the field. Provided emphasis on support positioning and overall movement needed to give that support.

We worked on ways to NOT stop the ball on the striker line. We worked on a simple through the legs option complete with a turn and shot on net.
In 10 X 10 boxes 5 players per box worked on ball movement around the box trying to see how long they can keep the pass routine going without missing.
We ran a dribble and shooting drill on small nets with the losers enjoying 2 Germans.

In pairs, players shot the ball to each other to improve first touch skills and keep the ball close. The drill also improved their targeting ability.

We closed our on field activity with a half field scrimmage.

The afternoon ended at the Kuzemko's pool where we further enjoyed Kuzemko hospitality with a BBQ.

This practice was declared voluntary after Monday night's win to allow some break opportunity in a very long week upcoming.
Five players came out for some light skills work.
We worked on our short passing/support drills with the group of five moving around the field and passing/supporting in their established order.
A shooting drill followed involving first touch passing, pass back and shot readiness.
We then set up a maze including the hula hoops. Players did one touch passing again then outside of the foot dribbling around the hoops then dribbled through a maze for a shot on the other side. This drill was stepped up with a chaser behind the player to add pressure and concentration.
We closed with a small scrimmage on one goal looking for the elusive support and one touch pass back for the sure shot.

Tonight was our first practice in the "new" season that we declared at our Sunday meeting in Sudbury.
We opened with a significant dose of 5 yard sprints, forward and backward to start rebuilding our conditioning and to add some concentration demand on the foot skills exercises to follow.
A simple drill involving 2 players with one ball. The ball is received and crossed over to the opposite side with one foot then passed back with the other. We started at a 5 yard distance, then increased to ten and then fifteen. The success of this drill requires lots of concentration. Expect to do lots and lots of this so do it on your own to make it easier at practice.

We then worked on backward movement. Over and over again we ran across the field with no pressure to get our backward running 1 v 1 stance and balance correct.
This was stepped up with a player attacking.
We will do more of this with increased pressure.

We closed with a scrimmage on one goal with one team able to "cheat" by pushing and pulling. This is good conditioning to deal with those teams who play dirty. We must learn to play through this stuff and let the ref deal with it.

Those girls who missed practice tonight have banked extra sprints to make up for lost conditioning opportunities.

Team pictures were handed out tonight.


14 players enjoyed a pleasant evening for soccer.
We began with a passing, support drill whereby the ball was passed in numbered sequence from player to player. This drill works on ball touch, body positioning and support positioning.
After 10 minutes of this plus stretches we worked on one touch shots on net from the 18 yard box. Misses were rewarded with short laps.
We took our routine penalty shots. Misses were again "rewarded".
The group was divided into 3 teams who played in a 30 x 40 field with two nets.
The team in possession was able to score on either net while the other two defended.
We focussed on support and quick attack to the net.
The team ended the evening with a discussion about tomorrow's game.

Thursday was a warm day but we accomplished plenty. In our stations we worked on volley kicking, one touch/kicking control with both a high bouncing ball as well as a ground ball. We also worked on touching the ball to space on receipt.
We worked on 1 v 1 defensive and offensive skills.
We ran the Olympics 15 cone speed dribble trials as well as the speed slalom dribble across half of the field.
We also timed the half field sprint.

We played with the concentration balls and made some excellent improvement under the clock. The clock always seems to attract focus in activity.
We scrimmaged and played a bit of volleyball for distraction.
We ran a passing/shooting drill in the centre circle where one defender guarded a triangle of goals while all others passed the ball around the circle.

We spent some time in discussion reviewing coach Josef's recent note about what makes up "Winning Teams". We seem to have many of the ingredients.
We also discussed at length our last game in Georgetown where we only played effectively in the last ten minutes. Players discussed how they will bring that same intensity right to the opening kick off.

Friday was a cooler morning, although it did warm up a lot by mid-day.
We opened up our day at the club house where the Eagles gave the new indoor playing field a trial run with an hour's scrimmage.
All were pleased with the new facility.

We moved onto the field at 10 am and continued with our outdoor work.
Once again 1 v 1 was a focus as well as target shooting and changing the kicking style to have the shooter land on her kicking foot.
Some shuttle run warmup drills were introduced by Lyndsay including 1 touch, 1-2's, chipping, 2 touch passing (long and short).
We ran 3 v 3 scrimmages focussing on moving into space to create pass opportunities.
Also learning to receive or deceive.

We closed the day with defenders working on first, second and third defender coverage while under attack from 3-6 forwards.
Forwards were encouraged to discuss some creative playmaking to beat the defenders.
They were also challenged to switch the field with three quick passes and to avoid square passing.

We played a bit of "heads and hands".

The Eagles ended their day at the swimming pool of Daniella C's grandmother. A refreshing and fitting end to two days of hard work.

9.8's for all.

A special thank you for the pool access.

Thanks to Isabella C. who provided two long days of practice mom coverage.
Thanks also to our teen players, Jennifer and Lyndsay for their help over the two days.

Congrats to those players who worked very hard to improve their skills.

I called this practice to provide some additional practice and review before our upcoming re-run on Monday. Unfortunately many who needed the time were away or otherwise busy.

The perils of last minute scheduling on a long weekend.

Six players spent 3 hours working on dribbling and passing skills, shooting at targets, dribbling the "Olympic" cones, receiving passes, pushing to space and shooting, also high and waist high ball traps and shooting.
We ran 1v1 spin/hop races before calling it a day.

Thanks to Denise's mom for providing popsicles for all at the end of the practice.

13 players worked in the heat. We played a brief game of ball shielding and ball stealing. 9 players with a ball and 4 players without. Players were challenged to steal and keep a ball when the time ran out.
We were looking to see who was consistently left without a ball.
We ran a controlled scrimmage on a 40 yard long field looking for give and go plays.
Intensity in practice continues to be a challenge.
We rested with some penalty shot practice. Half laps were awarded to those who missed (to encourage focus).
We finished with another brief scrimmage.

Popsicles for all courtesy of Shari.

We dedicated the entire practice to attacking crossed balls in the penalty area.
After an hour or so the Eagles started catching on and began to charge the ball and use the back door midfield option.

Our first practice on the Erindale Argo field came with lots of heat and wind.
We had a fairly relaxed session because of the heat.
We worked on our "6's" which are a set of simple drills that two can do together when there is nothing else to do.
PLayers looking to warmup before games are expected to do their 6's without prompting.
We worked on our corner passing and crosses as well as corner kick positioning.
We didn't get started until 6:15 because of late arrivals and tiny bladders. We were done in no time.
We spent some time dicussing tomorrow's game strategy against Waterloo. Everyone says they are ready to "make a difference" in the game with intelligent soccer and by using the skills they all have.

In future we may stay for an extra half hour if the circumstances suit and no one is following behind us.

Seventeen players joined in for a beautiful day of fun, learning and team building.
The full day format allows us to cover a lot of material in a relaxed atmosphere.

The outline of what we actually did is attached in an Excel spreadsheet for those interested.

The girls' Germans "debt" was reduced significantly and the coach cleared the rest after a day of focussed hard work in their efforts.
At one point in the day I gave them the choice of dribbling skills practice or Germans - they took the Germans! I'm still analyzing that....

We spent some time discussing the characteristics of a good team captain.

We also reviewed individual field position responsibilities.

The ideas put forward by all are posted in the Parents/Players page of the site.

At the end of our long day we retired to the Leavitt pool for an evening of swimming, Pam and Randy's gourmet barbecue and birthday cake for all.

Many thanks to the Leavitt family for their hospitality.

We all slept well Saturday night.

The threat of thunderstorms and rain an hour before practice defaulted our meeting to coach's house.

The weather changed so we spent some time working in scrimmage format at Kings Masting Park, long grass and all.

The team meeting continued at the new team office where we discussed last week's game and tomorrow's strategy.

After Wednesday's dismal game this practice was added to focus on some personal 1 v 1 skills, shooting and passing mechanics, ball possession and visual communication before passing.

Eight players were on hand.

Four players were called up at the last minute to the U13 team on Saturday to participate in their Newmarket tournament.
They logged a 4-0 win, a 1-1 tie, and a tough 1-0 loss in a game they controlled mostly. Leanne, Niki, Mallory and laura made solid contributions for their sister team.
Unfortunatley they need the tie in the third game to advance to the Sunday final.

At practice:

In a 30 x 15 box 2 players played keepaway while a third timed how long the ball could be possessed.
In a similar box two players ran a dribble/pass game. One player ran the length and passed the ball through a small gate to the other player who dribbled back and passed to her partner through a gate at the other end. A third player timed how many "goals" were scored in 3 minutes.
Players who were not in position to either pass or receive properly cost time and goals.

We scrimmaged 4 v 4 in a 40 x 40 field with one goal only. Focus was on support positions and holding the ball until visual communication was made for a safe pass.
No one was allowed to make a blind, hurried pass.

Another station worked on kicking/shooting mechanics. Players must stay "in" their shot or pass until it is finished.

The most important part of this practice was our discussion time where we reviewed the St. Catharines game and in particular our attitude.
We also discussed personal skill development. Each player identified one skill they felt they needed to improve the most. We discussed with each player how they were going to practice that one skill, where it would happen, when and with whom. We all agreed that skill development will not happen if we only work at team practice.
Personal time, even if ony 15-30 minutes a day is essential. Yes, it will be boring and repetitive but we all know it has benefit.
Moms and Dads can't make you want to practice. It has to be the player's idea.


Our first practice on a "real" field and a full net.
We scooped the wrong field in a bit of confusion. We'll be on the lower "south field next week.
We opened with a dribbling warmup where players were expected to run head on to another player and make a turn at the last minute.
We spent some time actively reviewing how we expect to build our offence from the backfield using midfield support of the ball.
We also reviewed attacking positions to keep the team out of the opposition net. We want our attack running onto the ball.
We worked on penalty kicks. Misses got to jog the field.
We then worked on shots from the top of the box with balls fed from the side of the net.
Slowly, the kicking control is improving.

Time ran out for scrimmage but we wanted this as a light practice due to game day tomorrow.

Players were reminded about sleep, eat and water before game time.

Players also promised to be running at home every other day (except game day). 5K if possible. Conditioning is an essential ingredient for personal success on the field.


Twelve players took up a light practice on the fringes of Kings Masting Park. The house league opened up here tonight with U8 girls.

We worked on our short passing and ball control drills for most of the evening.

We also reviewed the importance of our league games and need for a good sleep, sensible eating, lots of water, equipment checks and early arrival.

A number of handouts were issued including Ottawa rooming confirmations.

Next Tuesday begins our Erindale College slot from 6pm - 7:30 pm.


Nine players enjoyed a beautiful morning for soccer.

Three hours allows us to approach our practice in a more relaxed fashion. We can set up and run a much wider variety of drills and games.

After our warm-up and stretch players broke into 3 groups.

We ran the mirror drill to improve short distance ball control, feinting and speed change.

We ran an obstacle course through our rope ladder, over hurdles, around hula hoops and finishing with a shot on net.

In pairs, players dribbled to one end of small field, passed through a small gate to another player who dribbled to the other end and passed through a second small gate.

Players were challenged to complete as many passes as possible in two minutes.

Players must be ready to receive a ball at the gate and the passer must hold until the player is ready to receive. Good ball control and fast movement in open ground is rewarded.

We spend some time doing chest traps and volleys.

We played a full field scrimmage with 5 yard wide side lanes. The ball was only allowed to advance up the outside lanes. Any ball movement from the middle could only be received in the outer lanes.
We will continue this focus to encourage all ball movement to work outside, away from the crowds, as soon as possible.


Six players took the challenge today for extra time.

We began with our dribble warm-up and stretch.

We put Cayla to work right away at the centre circle. She had 3 small goals to defend from all players who were passing and shooting from outside of the circle.

Using the circle again all players dribbled a ball. They also had to try and kick out someone else's ball while still controlling their own. Last player standing with her ball won.

We did a bit more work on the mirror exercise.

We repeated the dribble, small gate pass drill from yesterday.

A simple ball control drill in pairs. One player stands with legs apart. The other player passes the ball back and forth between her partner's legs. How many can you "score" in 30 seconds.
Players should be able to do 30 in 30 seconds. (I've seen 9 year olds do it.)

We ran the high step ladder followed by a shot on net from a crossed ball, both sides.

We closed with a 2 v 2 game played against one goal. Teams played for 5 minutes or until one team won. Teams were changed each 5 min.
Good drill for everyone. Cayla had to treat everyone as the shooter. Field players had to create and use more space to play in. Lots of shots and rebounds.

Everyone got Smarties for their efforts.


Just an observation, our late arrivals are increasing......

Our Erindale practices will begin at 6pm.........

This will likely be our last mid-week practice on the Kings Masting field. Next week the house league moves in.

We are in limbo until our Erindale College field is released in two weeks.
I am counting on Tuesday for that practice - but we will see.

I would like the team to get together for a light practice and tactical discussion next Tuesday the 21st. We will do this at King's Masting using the surrounding grass area, or at my house if rainy weather.

Next Wednesday begins our league play and we must all be absolutely focussed to win these games decisively (big scores!). Other than Ontario Cup, our league games are what the season is all about.

Yes, we'll have fun at practice, clinics and tournaments, but the league play is how we are measured as a team. Everyone needs to bring their "A" game and help each other rise to the occasion.

I handed out a package of information tonight including the league game and cup schedule, field maps, team roster, your team photo order form (bring this filled out to the May 31 photo shoot), and a couple of interesting reading items.

We warmed up with outside foot dribbling and a stretch, followed by 4 Germans.
In small groups we continued with 1 v 1 tactics and shooting with both feet.

The scrimmage restricted forward play to outside lanes to encourage sideline ball movement. Moderate success.

Voluntary personal skills clinics this weekend 9 am-12 noon King's Masting field both Saturday and Sunday.


Tournament absentees as far as I know:

Peterborough - Mallory Saturday, Corrin ?

Sudbury - all attending

Ottawa - Rachel

Correct me if I am wrong and also Nancy Avila who is holding hotel rooms for you at these tournaments. If you have not confirmed your attendance and credit card number to Nancy your rooms will vanish.


Twelve players endured cool, windy conditions tonight. And cool it was !!!!

We opened with a dribbling warm-up and stretch, followed by 4 small field Germans.
Those who were out yesterday were fortunate to benefit from the added aerobic training.
Let's all remember that this represents a run of only about 3-4 minutes. I'd like to see us capable of 15 minute runs SOOON.

We had two players who placed high in regional cross country competition (details to follow). You can be sure that their soccer training has helped.

All players are encouraged to do some personal running daily.
Set a goal and make it happen.

Through our 3 player stations, we focussed on 1 v 1 ball control and shielding, short and long passing, volley shooting with both feet and penalty shots.

We ended with an open half field scrimmage.

We ended 10 minutes early. Besides the cold, there was as hockey game to watch.


6 players put the time in at our optional practice. Great weather.

Warmups and stretch followed by 4 Germans.
Players are encouraged to run every day.

We spent some time discussing the past weekend and related issues.

In pairs, players worked on 1 v 1 ball control and volley shooting.

Penalty shot practice and a brief small field scrimmage.


Practice tonight ended early enough for all of us to catch the best part of the BIG Leafs win tonight. GO LEAFS GO !!

Although no one signed in, I think I saw eight players came out for a dry but cool evening.

We ran a continuous 3 v 3 game while each player spent time with Coach Bob reviewing their weekend field position, expected responsibilities and some personal strategies in their role.

A few moments were spent trapping high balls. We closed with some penalty shot practice that will be part of every future practice. We will add some pressure to the shooting in the future (laps for missed shots). I need to know who has learned to shoot accurately under pressure for when the time comes.

Hopefully uniforms will be ready tomorrow.


Eleven were on board tonight for a cool, but dry evening of soccer.

We ran a constant 3 v 3 game with some slow motion walking mode to encourage thinking first.
A third group worked on lots and lots of shooting again, left and right foot. We also worked on chipping the ball over a net to a target on the other side.

We ended with an open scrimmage for all.

The girls are encouraged to do more and more shooting practice on their own time, especially with the "other" foot.
Everyone agreed they are not practicing this enough (if at all). We get better every time we touch the ball.

Lot's of kicks makes for a better controlled kick, improved skill, and more enjoyment of the game.

Mom/Dad take them out to a field and hold your arms up for a target. it's a good shot if you can catch it. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS have a target.

Practices next week will be focussed on field position, advancing the ball, set plays and defensive cover. Personal skills will shift to personal time and voluntary practices when they are on.

I am in a Horst Wein Coaches Clinic all weekend so I am not available for practice this weekend unfortunately.

See you all on Friday night.

If you haven't confirmed your attendance and menu selection to Nancy Avila DO IT NOW!!!!!! Arrangements need to be confirmed with the restaurant and you control whether you are involved in those plans.


Six players enjoyed the "extra" practice tonight.

We warmed up with dribbling through a maze of flags.

Lots and lots of shooting. Right and left feet straight onto the net.

Lots of chipping the ball over the Flexnet into a field goal. (or shall we say most of us "worked" at it.)

Lots of shooting crossed balls from both sides.

The final half hour was a 3 v 3 where possession was the rule. How many passes can one team string out without interception? No goals to shoot at, just keep the ball in your team's possession. Players learn to make runs to provide a target for the ball carrier.

A closing German - only one to cool down.


Thirteen players attended our second "off-field" session. Nicole and Erin could only stay will us until 1pm. We worked from 10 am to 3 pm.
I would have felt a lot better if it had rained or at least clouded over for the day.

We began by watching Direct Kicks taped from that morning.

We then paired up with someone we didn't know well and interviewed each other. Each took turns presenting a brief biography of their subject.

A concentration game called Mia, Mia followed. We can expect to see more of this game when killing time at tournaments.

In small groups, players discussed and presented their thoughts about POSITIVE THINKING AND POSITIVE TALK.

In small groups again we presented 8 ways to use our 8 practice cones at home.

We played our concentration game with the small balls. Small spaces make it difficult for us to concentrate. Everyone is always anxious to keep trying again though.

We reviewed our team goals and the focus on league games.
The year's schedule was reviewed briefly.

We lunched on pizza.

In our groups again players presented a list of non-soccer activities they would like to do as a team together. Hard work should always be rewarded with some fun.

We reviewed PERSONAL goals in our small groups and discussed how we would MEASURE improvement in our personal goals. Measurement gives us the satisfaction of beating an old record.

We took a brief walk down to Twin Rinks to have a look at the field and get outside for a bit. We took some pics. See the website.

The day ended with some brief facility tours for interested parents.

I was impressed with the attention and patience given by the girls. Five hours is a long time, especially on a sunny day. Everyone agreed it was time well spent.
More details about the player presentations done will follow.

We didn't cover all of the topics planned. We will save those not done for practice rain outs at Coach's house.

I would like our next team building session to be something more social. I'll publish the team "wish list". They'll need a parent group to make it happen.

I'd like to use the Friday dinner gathering as an opportunity to have a brief parents meeting. In particular I'd like to discuss some options for the Ontario Cup first round travel. Please bring along any hanging questions.


Last night's practice was one of those "giddy" nights where everyone was having difficulty concentrating. Perhaps if was the release from the confines of the gym and that wonderful smell of new grass.

We opened up with some short passing warm-ups followed by 3 Germans (plus 3 more for some who haven't done their March project YET!).
We went back to the short pass drill then drifted into a 4 v 4 continuous scrimmage.
Two more Germans were run when focus continued to be a challenge.
The scrimmage was run for a while as a "silent" game. No one is allowed to say a thing or make a sound during play. It solved the concentration problem.

We closed with some 1 v 1 dribble, deke and shoot exercises with the defenders focussing on their no mercy ball control. We are determined this year to have a consistent defensive line that is feared and respected.
I am going to begin recording who wins and loses 1 v 1 opportunities so you all can see where your strengths are in this critical skill.

There will be defender only practices coming up soon.

I waited as long as I could tonight to decide where to play. At 5:20 pm, as I was heading to Tomken they pulled off the storm watch.

The fields at Tomken were "swamps" and did not offer a good option to play outside there.

We resigned ourselves to the gym oven and had a relatively low key practice.

We opened up in our threes with short passing warm-ups, volleys and chest traps.

Bench ball followed. No one seems to mind running in this competitive drill.

A dribbling 1 v 1 drill through defended zones was next. Three teams attacked a zone
defended by two defenders. Attackers who got through the first zone met additional defenders in the next zone and had a chance to shoot on net if they got past.
This drill created some decision making (who to cover and what space to challenge)

We set up our three teams again at one end of the gym and had one player from each team dribble at speed to the undefended opposite end for a shot on net.
This was a particularly good drill for Cayla in the net who had to make some choices and decisions with three balls coming at her in close succession.

The evening ended with a three team scrimmage with ball control focus as usual.
Even more players are starting to shine through with their own moves and skills.

I would still like to see a bit more care when we shoot on net. All to often I am still seeing a lazy kick at the net without any thought into a "spot" target or aligning the body so that the shot is actually at the target. We still take far too long to realize that the goal on this game is to SCORE !!! The shot is not finished until the ball is in the back of the net.

This practice ends our winter season in the Tomken gym.

Just to be different I will hold practice next Tuesday at King's Masting (weather pending) from 6:30-8:00 pm. This will allow some of the players who are Wednesday locked to get out and touch the ball.

Friday's practice will be at Homelands, probably inside, although come prepared for outside just in case the forecast does a last minute change.

Saturday's team session is still on. Location will be advised on Friday.

I am not able to finalize our spring and summer practice schedule until May 10 when I will have the South Region league schedule in hand. I will also need to know what the club will make available for us at Erindale College. This is our "prime" practice field once a week. Other activity will be at other locations such as King's Masting.


Wet weather and soggy ground drove us back inside tonight.

Fourteen players brought lots of energy to practice.

We opened with our usual 3 players short-pass warm-up followed by the Beep Test.
Five players beat their best record and several more came close to their previous best.

We recovered from the run by showing off our "moves". We made a circle and a player with a ball dribbled to centre, made a "move" and passed the ball off to another who repeated the exercise. Great to see some real results from some who are obviously putting in the time to improve. You moves will only improve with lots of practice.

We ran our 3 v 1 creative plays. Players are encouraged to think out space creation plays against one defender. We still have a lot of difficulty staying away from square passing and "horizontal soccer". Time...........and practice.
Defenders are doing a quality job of seeing the passing lanes to block while covering more than one player.

Bench ball followed. Always a popular requested game with lots of speed running and short pass game skills in use.

Scrimmage followed with the usual no-pass restriction in one's own zone. This scrimmage showed a big improvement in ball control, possession and aggressive play. Cayla showed some exceptional stuff tonight between the pipes.

This group of girls is one happy bunch. This was a tough, hard working practice as usual. Unlike some other teams I have been involved with, there is no whining, griping or cheating on the drills among these girls. Everyone wants to be here and everyone knows that hard work brings success.

This is a coach's dream. Keep it up!!


Well this marked our first official practice together on the grass.

13 players enjoyed some great weather for a solid workout. The team went home refreshingly tired.

We opened with some 3 player team warm-ups dribbling and passing in a confined space.

Two small field "Germans" followed. Those who still owe me their March projects got to do two more.

We broke into 4 teams. Two teams played in the perpetual 3 v 3 game.
One team did shuttle runs and dribbling cones.
One team did hurdle hops with ball volleys and a final shot on net. Missed shots drew five push ups.
The groups rotated every ten minutes from station to station.

We then had our team 1 v 1 challenge races that called for running, spinning, hopping and a race for a ball finished with a shot. We are doing a much better job at fighting for the ball.

The practice finished with a 6 v 6 continuous scrimmage and a cool down.

If the forecast repeats what we got tonight we will do the same next week rather than go to our final night in the Tomken gym.
I will decide next Tuesday.


What a treat - 15 players out tonight. I actually had to rethink my practice outline to accommodate the numbers.

We began with our 3 player short passing warm-up. This is still taking 10 minutes to get to a focussed, working level. We need to concentrate from the beginning and stop wasting these touch opportunities.

The Beep Test followed. Five players beat their best time.

We spent some time talking about anticipating play and shutting down passing lanes rather than players. We talked about running into space to create a passing lane for a partner who has the ball. We discussed the perils of "square" set up with the attacking team as well as the defensive team.

We ran some 3 v 1 creative plays again. Players in their groups were challenged to take the ball down the gym against one defender and score within 5 touches.
Slowly....slowly....slowly we are seeing some glimmers of creative freedom.
Ball control continues to limit progress.

When shooting on net we must all remember to FINISH the job. All too often our foot quits just before the shot is taken. Concentrate on your shot until the ball is in the back of the net.

We ran a bit late so I offered scrimmage or bench ball. Although mixed votes, scrimmage won. We ran 3 teams 5 aside.
We maintained the possession rule and dribbling the ball through our own end.
Some are developing quickly with the concept, others need to force the effort even though it feels uncomfortable. The key to all of this is taking the ball to a safe zone to create the time to think what to do.

Once we are outside, I will be establishing 2 permanent scrimmage teams that will compete against each other throughout the summer for a prize. Maybe the loser buys pizza for the other or something like that.

No outdoor practice this weekend. Too much going on still. If you get the chance, get out on your own - even for 15-30 minutes and feel the grass.


Eight were on board tonight plus two from the junior farm team.

We continued with our short passing, foot skill warm-up in pairs. We are improving very slowly but everyone has a long way to go to reach a comfortable level with the ball. We still let the ball control us far too much rather than the other way around.

Do not wait for practice sessions to work on personal skills issues. This is YOUR responsibility.

Your coach can only show you HOW to practice. YOU must put the time in.

Find a practice partner from the team, your family, your neighbourhood or even just a wall and start putting the time in.


The Beep Test followed. Three beat their best and one tied. Is this the only running going on?


We set up a dribbling/shooting route where a player received a ball and dribbled forward at game speed. The player had to work around a passive defender and shoot.
We need to break our habit of trying to carry a ball THROUGH an opponent where we usually lose the ball.
This drill success will improve considerably when our personal ball mastery improves. We will continue to have difficulty with advanced drills if we can't control the ball on our feet.


From our square we dribbled to centre, turned with the outside of the foot and returned to the corner. Lots of repetition with speed.
I will be grateful when I see ball control, turns and shielding in our scrimmages using this drill.


We ran a long, 40 minute 3 team scrimmage continuing with our possession rule and emphasizing use of space. Although some improvement, we still need more concentration on the requirements of the practice. Too many give up too easily - I'm watching.

Overall, the practice was good. The physical effort was there tonight.


A reminder that we will NOT be at Tomken next Wednesday. We will be elsewhere, and perhaps outside if the weather permits. I will confirm early in the week.


We are practicing at Homelands this Friday as usual.


We will have a voluntary practice (for those available) outside at King's Masting PS (across the street from my house) on Sunday from 10 am -12 noon, weather pending. (Cleats mandatory)


We will have a player team building session on Sunday April 14 from 1pm - 5 pm. Location TBA.
A parents meeting will be held during this session (away from the team) for about an hour.
An agenda will follow.


We had ten players plus our junior achievers out tonight.

We began with a series of short passing drills varying skills from first touch, across the body, multi-tap before pass and finally passing to changing distance between players.
Players were required to be dancing on their toes at all times to improve readiness.
Fifteen minutes of this served as our warm-up.

The Beep test followed. The results were unacceptable with no player beating a previous score.
It is clear that players are coming to practice unprepared emotionally and physically. Performance at practice, just like games, requires good planning with sleep, the proper foods (at the right time) and especially lots of water all day beforehand.

An appropriate quotation from a well known professional football coach....

I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want her to quit in practice and not in a game.

Paul "Bear" Bryant

When we don't perform as individuals we hurt the team as a whole. Each is personally responsible for making sure that you are game ready ALL THE TIME whether a game or practice.
If we practice lazy we will play lazy - and no one will agree that this is the result we want.

I expect every player to be the leading example of effort and concentration. Sometimes it will be harder than other times.

And no, I don't buy the full moon excuse (although there is an uncanny relationship).

As long as we all stay focussed on maximum effort, the results will come. The fun we all have will blossom with the satisfaction of these good results and the chance to improve even more.

We had a 5 minute "personal time" period. I have reduced this from 10 minutes and I may eliminate it all together if our players do not make quality use of the time. It was meant to give players time (as requested) to work on one particular skill in the gym environment.
Many are using it as a gab fest.

We did some long pass receive, dribble, 1-2 and shoot exercises. We were all reminded that pass quality is essential for success.

We practiced dribbling from the corner of a 10 metre box to the centre and turning away using the outside of a foot to turn the ball.
It is essential to break away with the turn, the same way we would in a challenge position in a game.

Our last 25 minutes was dedicated to a 3 team scrimmage with the continuing no-pass rule in one's own end. This simple rule is forcing players to shield, create space and keep personal possession of the ball. We are seeing some dramatic improvement in these skills. Keep up the good work.

Our next formal practice will be one week from today.

The "indoor 11" - come ready and "prepared" for Saturday's game.


This was a challenging night for Coach Bob who came to practice without much of a voice. The whistle helped and the team was reasonably attentive to save his voice.

Eleven team players, plus a guest player, Amanda Carney, challenged practice tonight.

We began with our usual 3 player short passing drill. I am still not satisfied that our players understand focus in their practice. We MUST develop a habit of practicing as hard as we play or we will surely teach ourselves how to play sloppy, slow and sleepy.

The Beep Test followed and 5 players exceeded their previous best. Some of the girls are beginning to realize they can push themselves toward a goal with some concentration and pure guts.

We ran some lazy 3 v 1 drills trying to create some creative space making from our forwards.
Far too many are still stuck in "square" runs and don't seem to "get" the whole concept of playing soccer without the ball. It will come, but it involves making movements that we are all unfamiliar with.
Defenders need to make sure they do not back into the keeper's face when dealing with a 3 v 1 (or any) situation.

We scrimmaged in 3 v 3 format with 3 teams. Almost 15 minutes passed before the gang caught onto the prime directive of this game - SCORING.
We continued with our possession development by insisting that players must dribble the ball out of their own zone before they can pass.
Slowly but surely we are improving.
I actually saw a couple of step over moves from some other players for a change. A very important leap ahead for those players.

Tomorrow's OISL game will be personnel challenged again. Laura has playoff hockey commitments. Cayla has a wounded digit and will play outfield. Shari will step in between the pipes for the game. Mallory has been blessed with Chicken Pox and is sidelined for the week.

We shall overcome.

See everyone tomorrow or at next Wednesday's practice at Tomken.


8 players were at practice.

We spent a bit of time talking about the game last weekend and the reality of the great effort they made against a very tough team.

We talked about Corrin's good fortune in landing a very competitive spot in a Joseph production that will tie her up until early July.
Corrin is still very anxious to contribute to the team and we will be looking forward to Corrin joining us at team functions when possible in her very hectic schedule ahead.

We will be adding one more defender to the team when a suitable candidate has been selected. You can expect to see some new faces around at practice while we look at new prospects. Feel free to invite any interested quality players to our practices. Just let me know who to expect ahead of time.

We did our usual 3 player short pass warm-up with moves.

The Beep Test followed.
4 players beat their best personal record. All players must get focussed on gradual improvement. Players who continue to waiver in their results need to reconsider their personal commitment for self-improvement. This is an essential team requirement and an important measure for future consideration.
A reminder that improvement will not come easily unless you are putting in some running at home.

We spent some time doing some simple ball control maneuvers. Catching a ball softly with your foot and lowering to the floor, then catching softly with the thigh then onto the foot.

We spent some time in pairs doing headers and chest traps. We started 6 feet apart and progressed farther and farther apart.

There was a 10 minute "personal time" period.

We did a shooting exercise that started with a chest trap of a high tossed ball.

We need to continue with these gentle "contact" drills so we can alleviate the ball fear that many still have. Too much ducking going on in games.

We closed with a controlled scrimmage. Players were not allowed to pass the ball in their own end. They had to maintain possession across centre to make a play.

Extra copies of the March Project were handed out - One week left......

A word search puzzle was also distributed.


Friday, March 8
We had 10 out tonight, with three off in a hockey tournament.

We began with our groups of three working short accurate passes. The "accurate" part is coming along slowly. It will come a lot faster if the gang finds a wall to kick against for a little every day.

We spent some time discussing looking after each other and talking to team mates with total respect. We must watch our moods when we might say something in the heat of the moment. We must be quick to apologize and quick to remind our teammates that total respect is the only way.

THE BEEP TEST followed.
Some comments how we don't like the Beep Test. Some training of elite athletics requires "pushing" one's self to the limit. The Beep Test helps you do that with targets to beat.

The Test also forces the player to pay attention to sleep, diet and water consumption in preparation of a top performance. The Test is a good simulation of the demands on your body during a game.
If you fail to achieve your goals perhaps you need to prepare and plan your energy levels better.

Each player's goal is to improve one part of a level each time we run and understand what has to be done to prepare to do it.   

You should expect to feel "wasted" after the run. I am impressed overall how well we quickly recover.

We spent some time running 3 v 1 creative drills. We are still trying to force imaginative and creative play. We want to get away from rigid field position rules and let players do their job in their own effective way.
We started to see some soccer played WITHOUT the ball today, drawing defenders away from the ball. This is a big step.

The prime directive of finishing with scoring is often forgotten still.

We scrimmaged for the last half hour. We didn't allow passes from the players' own end. The player with the ball was required to dribble and shield the ball past centre before passing to a teammate.
We still love to try and push the ball through brick walls rather than find and go to open space.

Practice activity is still not moving into scrimmage on the whole. If we won't take the chance in scrimmage we will never move it out to our competitive games.

Take a chance girls!! A few are making the effort and they will definitely develop much faster from the confidence earned.
Take a chance!! It's OK to make a mistake.


We had 8 brave souls out tonight. There has been a rash of flu race through the team in the past few days. last I heard Laura, Shari, Dani C, Dani P, Sarah, Denise, Chloe, Leanne, Rachel and Coach Steve have all spent some personal time recovering.

Let's all get straightened out by the weekend!!

We did simple short passing warm-ups in threes followed by figure eight dribble/pass.

The Beep test followed.

Players spent some personal time working on specific drill practice of their own.

We ran a shooting drill and let some of our keeper prospects show their stuff.

We played bench ball with a no pass zone in effect.

We scrimmaged with the same no pass - must dribble in own end rule.

A note about keeper tryouts - players looking for this spot should be doing a little homework on the subject. Look in the web site "LInks" for places where you can find out all about goalkeeping.
Basics like how to stand, where to stand, going down to cover the ground, and so on, are basic concepts that should be understood if you are serious about this.

Friday, March 1
Eleven players were on hand tonight.

We opened with a brief warm up followed by our second run at the beep test.
Chloe was the last player standing tonight.

We welcomed Club Head Coach Joseph Komlodi to our practice. Coach Joseph is a salaried staff member of the club with a primary goal to guide our coaches (and players indirectly) along a common path of excellence.

Coach Joseph spent a bit of time watching your basic ball skills.

He then led you through controlled scrimmage with specific tasks. Two touch before passing and then dribbling into your opponents half before passing or shooting. He also emphasized taking the ball AWAY from pressure to give you time to decide what to do.

We will increase the amount of time in controlled scrimmage to 45 minutes each practice with certain expectations established during the scrimmage.

Coach Joseph was impressed with your overall skill level and he looks forward to future opportunities to work with us and help the team achieve their goals.


Warm-up involved short passing in pairs, but holding and controlling the ball for 2 seconds before returning the pass.

We ran "The Beep Test" for the first time with the 11 players on hand. Denise and Leanne managed to hang on until the first stage of Level 9. The first ones dropped out at Level 6.
Keep in mind that this is not a pass/fail test. It is here to provide you with a benchmark to beat next time by improving your aerobic capacity with running practice in between.

We will keep records of your performance each week.

I handed out a copy of the test documentation to take home.

We will run the test each practice as part of our conditioning training.

Fifteen minutes were dedicated to 'personal" time where players worked on a particular skill. Some seek and use coaches to help, others work on their own.

We ran the bench ball game.

We did our two players passing drill with one player moving backwards and doing different foot movements on the ball.

Closed with a 4 v 4 scrimmage. Hoping to see more possession control, moves, running plays.
Bringing practice into our games is essential.

Thanks to Gus Proietti who provided new waterbottles for everyone last week.


11 players were on hand.

Warm-up in threes with short passing, always watching the ball, modified to have the ball pass through one players legs, and modified again to include a stepover move before the pass.

Bench ball game for 10 minutes.


We sat down and had a 20 minutes discussion about a variety of topics.

Taking practice into scrimmage and games. We must start to bring our practice drills into our regular play. We will waste all of our practice effort if we don't make this leap of faith. Only 2 or 3 girls are actually out there taking the chance. All agreed to concentrate on this effort.

We reviewed our team preference to bring the ball out of our own end up the side. Although we always agree that's the way we do it, we seldom discipline ourselves to actually make it happen, taking the easy but less effective way up the middle.
We also spent some time walking through player positioning and run timing to keep defenders off guard.

We reviewed the need for a back-up goalie who will train with Cayla as well as train with the team. All those from the team who want to, will attend a tryout somewhere in early March. If our internal choices are not available or suitable I will recruit outside of the team.

We discussed our ball control/possession skills and emphasized that time on the ball is the only way to improve. Find a wall or another player who will send the ball back to you.
Every time you touch the ball you get a little bit better.

This Saturday's scrimmage was cancelled due to player unavailability. We will have an exhibition game the following Saturday at Gonzaga from 6:30-8pm. Please be at the gym by 6 pm.

We discussed and demonstrated passing to space. We often pass the ball to a player who has a defender standing on her shoes. We must use passing lanes for the receiver to run in to. Receivers must use signals to indicate to the passer where she is going.

Our warm-up routines before games need to intensify. We must look and act like we are ready for "battle" and send a message to the other team that we are "dangerous" before the ball is kicked. The team will practice their 6's so on the stage they can look pumped and scary.

We talked about "no more tears". We have had tears flowing lately because players get upset from missed shots, tackles and other assignments. Let's all save the tears for when they are needed. Crying robs your focus, your energy and send a sign of weakness to the other team.
When we make a mistake, and we all will, many times, we have an immediate job to clean up the mess. There can be no time to feel sorry for ourselves.

Our last game showed how half a game can pass before we get the confidence to stand up and control the ball with our bodies. Our pregame warm-ups must include body blocks in our 6's to try and be ready at the first kick off and not the half time kick off.

We talked about "first to the ball" and stepping up in the play. We all know how to do it, we often wait half a game to get there when we do.

We talked about the importance of playing soccer without the ball rather than standing waiting for the ball.

We spent some time shooting crossed balls from both sides using the appropriate foot to shoot. Players were reminded not to practice 'missing" and to stay focussed on their shot until it is in the net.
Ball work and shooting with the "other foot" must continue on their own.

We spent some time reviewing the 6's and the variety of touches possible.

We scrimmaged for 15 minutes with each team assigned a play they had to pull off in the scrimmage (using practice in our games). This needs work.
I saw another player tonight take the risk and do a stepover in scrimmage. It wasn't pretty but the effort was huge and the next time will be easier.

The girls were issued water bottles provided from Gus Proietti and copies of the latest "Futbol" magazine that features a spread on the Erin Mills GU14 National Champions.

We had a productive practice.

A reminder, I need passport size photos for those advised in my earlier mail. Make it easy on me please and save me having to chase you.

Beep Test rehearsal next Wed.


Wednesday, February 20
Nine players were on hand tonight.
We began with the usual 10 minute ball dance aerobics.

Followed by short passing up and down the gym in pairs. (This still needs lots of work - lets all find a wall to play against)

We played our bench ball game. (aerobics and short finish play).

We played 1v1 30 second keepaway. One player had to shield the ball around the gym for 30 seconds, the other had to get the ball. The "defeated" one enjoyed 5 pushups. Partners were changed. (Trying to encourage better shielding and possession control)

Everyone had a 12 minute "personal development" period. Some did keepups and some did shooting.

Another short passing play followed with one player running backwards and receiving a pass from an oncoming player. Some variations with the touch. This encourages better ball control when moving and off balance. (Lot of work needed here also)

Scrimmage followed. Each team was required to execute a secret planned play at some point during the scrimmage. All scrimmages will include this twist from now on so we can get the gang to bring practice into their games.

We were entertained with a speech by Cayla about fire and firefighters. Cayla will provide a transcript for posting on our website page. Niki said she would also and hopefully Shari will send hers along also.


Friday, February 15
We had nine players out tonight - eventually. Late arrival is creeping in again. A reminder, I am at the gym by 6pm latest for those who want some extra time.

I would appreciate being made aware of planned practice absence. I build practice programs and drills around an expected number and I worry when players are not there when they are expected.

We began with our 3 player short passing warm-up drill. Short pass quality continues to be the limiting factor in all of our drills. 5 minutes with players always watching the ball and moving to space after passing. 5 minutes same drill with a step over move before passing.

We played benchball (with a twist). Players raced around the goals to a centre placed ball and scrimmaged until one team scored. Hard work but everyone wanted to continue.

We returned to our sideline passing drill working a ball out from our own end and adding a dummy fake to the routine.

The third man running drill followed.

Scrimmage for the final 25 minutes with several reminders to incorporate practice drills into game play. The team building session raised a request for more scrimmage time. This will be provided when I see attempts at new skills and plays under pressure.

I still need to see more shielding of the ball and more space creation so players have more time to decide what to do.

I encourage all players to find a small space at home or in a school yard where you can kick a ball against a wall and work on those small foot skills.

These ball mastery skills will not magically happen. They require lots and lots of repetition. Try putting on some dance music like we do on Wednesdays and do your footskills with the music.

All you need is 15 minutes a day.


Wednesday, February 13
We opened with our usual 10 min of dance aerobics,

Followed with 10 minutes of continuous short passing ...

Friday, February 8
We opened with short passing drills in threes. Players were required to keep their eye on the all at all times and to sprint to space after their pass. After 5 minutes the drill was stepped up to include a step over feint before each pass.

We continued with our 1v1 with a defender at our back, using a feint to turn on the defender. Defenders offered full pressure.

Next our running pattern, passing drill with 3 players - "third man running" as Fausto calls it.

Next a drill to push the ball up the line from our own end drawing players to one side of the field, opening up space for the defensive side to create an attack .

Scrimmage for 25 minutes.

We welcomed Coach Fausto, the club Dir Player Development, and his daughter Daniella from the U11 squad to our practice.

Our drills continue to suffer from poor concentration skills. Many passes and shots are missed or poorly executed from mental errors. We will improve with practice.

Wednesday, February 6
Feb 6 Personal Skills Practice
We began with our usual "kill the coach" aerobics.

Tonight we called "Left Foot Night" which really should be called "The Other Foot Night".

Passing, dribbling and shooting drills were done mostly on the left foot.

Some players are better than others. Everyone is better than they were before.

Playing with the "other foot" can only improve by doing.

We showed some small ball mastery drills that can be done at home in very small spaces.

Until you do it without thinking you will need to force yourself to work from the "other side".

In pairs we continued with our short passing drills up and down the gym (left foot).

We ran our relay races around cones with and without the ball. (Left foot with the ball).

We worked on our "Moves" to deceive and turn effectively on a defender.

We did 1 v 1 drills with defenders meeting forwards being defensively patient, but effective.

We did some ball toss sit-ups in pairs. Players are encouraged to do some sit-up routines during the week. Kick strength comes from the midsection and some of our players have little strength in the abs.

We scrimmaged for 20 minutes. We still need to remember to "show" for the ball and not hide behind defenders expecting the ball.

We had fun.

Niki closed the night with her speech about "The Perils of Being the Youngest In the Family".

Friday, February 1
We had an exhibition game against the GU11 at Homelands.

Wednesday, January 30
1) Move side to side with ball, no defender.

2) move side to side with ball, with defender

3) Move side to side with a ball doing step over moves, no defender

4) Move side to side with a ball doing step over moves, with defender

5) 1 v. 1: player passes the ball. Player recieves the ball, shields from
defender, does step move, turns and shoots.

6) Same as 5, but this time is a give and go.

7) relay races

8) Scrimmage

Friday, January 25
Nine players were present.

We began with a warm-up drill throwing the ball around in groups of three, moving into and creating space. Then short foot passing the ball through the legs of one player and finally making a move before each pass in out groups.

Receive turn and shoot - routine contact drill keeping the ball close and using the defender to control the ball.
Added concept of a shoulder move before turning.

2 player passing/running drill. "A" passes to "B", "A" runs around "B" who holds the ball up and passes with correct weight in front of player "A" who shoots first time. Player "B" follows for rebound.

3 player passing running drill - see diagram.


Wednesday, January 23
The player is the boss - not the ball
We began our night with 20 min of aerobics led by the "Hamster Dance" and some "Coyote Ugly". (There were deserved requests for better tunes. We will continue to use music at this practice to lighten up the atmosphere.

We ran a short passing drill in pairs facing each other and moving down the length of the gym. Our short passing control is slowly improving but still has a long way to go.

Sprint races followed. 3 cones were placed on the route. Players ran without the ball first doing a backward run around each cone up and back. Twice.
The race was continued using a ball. Twice. Players were required to turn the ball around the cones using the outside of their foot.

A simple exercise where players received the ball face on, turned without stopping the ball and shot on net.No defender. Focus on accuracy over power.

A defending drill. Defenders passed a ball to a striker at halfway then rushed at the striker to shut down the play without over committing.

A 25 minute scrimmage followed. Players were required to make a "move" before making a pass. Players needed to get the ball into space where a "move" was possible.
We continue to encourage ball possession and ball mastery.

Sunday, February 10
Click on the title for the full story.....

February 10, 2002


Just an observation, our late arrivals are increasing......

Our Erindale practices will begin at 6pm.........

This will likely be our last mid-week practice on the Kings Masting field. Next week the house league moves in.

We are in limbo until our Erindale College field is released in two weeks.
I am counting on Tuesday for that practice - but we will see.

I would like the team to get together for a light practice and tactical discussion next Tuesday the 21st. We will do this at King's Masting using the surrounding grass area, or at my house if rainy weather.

Next Wednesday begins our league play and we must all be absolutely focussed to win these games decisively (big scores!). Other than Ontario Cup, our league games are what the season is all about.

Yes, we'll have fun at practice, clinics and tournaments, but the league play is how we are measured as a team. Everyone needs to bring their "A" game and help each other rise to the occasion.

I handed out a package of information tonight including the league game and cup schedule, field maps, team roster, your team photo order form (bring this filled out to the May 31 photo shoot), and a couple of interesting reading items.

We warmed up with outside foot dribbling and a stretch, followed by 4 Germans.
In small groups we continued with 1 v 1 tactics and shooting with both feet.

The scrimmage restricted forward play to outside lanes to encourage sideline ball movement. Moderate success.

Voluntary personal skills clinics this weekend 9 am-12 noon King's Masting field both Saturday and Sunday.


Tournament absentees as far as I know:

Peterborough - Mallory Saturday, Corrin ?

Sudbury - all attending

Ottawa - Rachel

Correct me if I am wrong and also Nancy Avila who is holding hotel rooms for you at these tournaments. If you have not confirmed your attendance and credit card number to Nancy your rooms will vanish.