Timberwolves Soccer Club Boys U13: Paper Towel Award

Friday, June 30
What is the Paper Towel Award?
The Paper Towel Award is given out to four players who had an exceptional game. The award is given to the players at practice following the game. The four players are chosen from four different aspects of the game, defense (fullbacks and keeper, although we play total football so our keepers and fullbacks participate in the attack as well!), the midfield (outside, center, and stoppers), the offense (strikers, remember we play total football the strikers also defend!), and an overall player who flat out dominated the game. The award is not just given out it is earned, if a player receives one then they know its value, they worked hard for it. However, not receiving the award does not mean you are a bad player or didn't have a good game, it just means that the player that did earn the award played better. Any player can earn the award, remember, the award is given out to challenge each of the players to raise their game and their work ethics (practicing outside of the team). A true champion is one that will seek to understand their weaknesses, work hard on improving what they can control, because it is through this hard work that they will improve and by improving oneself you will improve the rest of team, which in turn makes you better. Its not the end goal to earn the award its all in the journey in getting there and beyond. The players who earn the award are judged on the following criteria: 1. The player had an exceptional match in the area of the game they received the award for. 2. The player demonstrated technical skills (foot skills, trapping, passing, shooting, sheilding, and heading) during the game, at speed of play, meaning under pressure. 3. The player demonstrated the techniques, new ideas (tactics), and skills being taught at practice and during the game. 4. The player was aggressive, willing to win 50/50 balls, not holding back, staying active during the game, not ball watching. 5. The player gave 100% during the game, never gave up, kept going to the end regardless of wining or losing. 6. The player demonstrated sportsman like behavior, team spirit, heart, and determination throughout the game. As you can see not everything is a measurement of technical skills on the list, yes the players are being looked at for their team spirit, sportsmanship, heart, and determination. However, demonstrating skills and performance are easier to measure, they both are important to earning the award. Some of the important things are to see that the player's skills (ball skills (dribbling, moves), trapping, heading, passing, receiving, heading, sheilding, and shooting) are constantly improving, which will show that the player is working at it outside of practice, and that the player brings the instructions the coaches give in practice and during the game to the field. The player may not always be successful in executing the coaches instructions but the player that demonstrates that they are trying and know when to try it are the ones that are improving. These two are the most important things to the coaches. All of the players on the team have accomplished, or can, one or more of these criteria during the game. The players that earn the award will have accomplished more from this list then the other players, which in the coaches view show those players that stand out beyond the rest of the other players, raising their play in doing so. Can any player earn the award, yes, definitely, each player has it in them, so don't become discouraged if it doesn't happen. The coaches know every player wants to earn one, but in the end focus more on what you can control, which is bettering yourself and not worrying about this, it will happen. With that said it is good to ask how you, as a player, can improve, but don't worry about it from the point of earning the award but from the point of improving yourself. As I said before, it doesn't mean that the player that earned the award is better then you they just performed better in many areas I am looking at during that game. Thus a champion does not give up, a champion yearns to improve regardless of everything around them!