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Dan Mahlbacher
Fayetteville, Georgia

Lightning98-99: Player Development

Let Them Dribble

Academy Parents, Here is a very good article that reflects a bit of what our philosophy is for Academy Player Development at AFC Lightning. It is a long term approach whereby our players will ultimately develop a superior ability on the ball as they get to the u13 and u14 age groups. As players progress with these skills over the course of the Academy program they will in turn gain the confidence and the ability to begin to develop their decision-making abilities down the road. Far too long have players come through the system that have the ability to make good decisions but simply do not possess the technical ability to execute them. Further more, the idea of not allowing children to create and develop a variety of ways to manipulate the ball has produced bland players with an inability to bring players down. So first things first- 1). Develop the Comfort Level on the ball through coordinated movements all the while defining muscle memory. 2). Develop and Encourage the player's creative spirit on the ball by introducing ideas with the ball. 3). Develop fun-filled energetic soccer-like games whereby the players can use and develop these skills at speed. 4). Then when the time is right and the pieces start to fall into place- develop their tactical ability (decision-making). Please be sure to read this article. there is also a link near the end of the article regarding the USSF's player Development Model. It is very good reading and hopefully will give a bit of insight into what we are doing with our training regimen and our approach to game day.

Best Regards,
Robin Dixon
AFC Lightning
Boys Director


Ice or Heat?

Advice for whether to apply ice or heat to an injury, as well as how to care for blisters, from the National Center for Sports Safety.

For more info, go to:


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NASA Icebreaker Tournament Feb 14 09


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