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Welcome to the Players/Parents Page


The Players/Parents section of the Force web site includes information and articles that may be of interest to the team's players and/or parents, including sportsmanship suggestions, soccer history, inspirational statements, and suggestions for making the soccer experience as enjoyable as possible.


Cool Soccer History & Time Statistics


History of the game

The Name Of The Game Soccer started in England as a rough game played on foot with a ball, and it was called football. In this early version of the game, players could run while holding the ball in their hands. In 1863, an organization called the Football Association came up with rules that players couldn't use their hands. The game was referred to as Association Football. It was then shortened to "assoc" then "soc," and later "cer" was added. "Soccer" is the nickname that stuck, and Americans adopted it. In England, it's still called "football."


Score:

The term "score" comes from an early soccer tradition of "scoring" or cutting a mark on the goal post to record a goal.


Time Management

This is how an average professional footballer uses up his game time:

  • 2% of the match is taken up by sprinting.
  • 3% is high intensity running.
  • 7% is spent running backwards.
  • 17% is spent standing still
  • 29% is moderate intensity running.
  • 42% of the total game time is spent walking.

Time well spent

A Premier player will cover about 10km during a single game.

The average length of continuous action ( between stoppages caused by free-kicks, throw-ins, goal kicks etc ) is just SEVEN SECONDS.

A Premier player will have possession of the ball for just under 2 minutes in an average game.




Practice

"The will to win is not worth a nickel unless you have the will to practice."
       -Unknown

"The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."
       -Joe Paterno

"Practice like you play."


How Many Games is Enough?

The following article appears in the May 2001 issue of the Millard Star Soccer Association newsletter. It is reprinted from World Class Coaching with permission from Mike Saif, Editor.


The NSCCA Convention never ceases to amaze me. It is the "must-attend" soccer event of the year. The quality and quantity of the lectures and coaching sessions that are available is found nowhere else in the world. This year I was able to attend a lecture by Roger Lemerre, French National Team Coach as well as practical sessions from April Heinrichs, U.S. Women's National Team Coach, Bob Gansler, Kansas City Wizards and Alberta Perriera, coach of the 1994 World Cup Champions. Not a bad day's work.

I was interested to hear remarks by April Heinrichs made at the start of her session related to the development of our youth players and the problems with the current system in the U.S. Heinrichs commented on the current thinking at U.S. Soccer relating to the ratio of games and how it is out of whack for our young players. This is something I mentioned in this editorial column just over a year ago and as a coach of youth teams myself, it is close to my heart. It's not unusual for many of our competitive youth teams to play 60-80 games a year and practice only 50-60 times a year. Heinrichs commented that this kind of ration is leading to a situation where our young players don't understand the importance of good practice and developing and improving their technique and skill level. This also leads to a situation where winning games becomes the number one priority with development taking a back seat. She mentioned stories of youth coaches being fired because their team didn't win the league or lost in the State Cup Final, etc.

I have visited a number of academies in England. There, the number of games young players can play in a year is regulated to around 24-36 depending on the age group. These same players would practice 2-3 times as much as they play. Similar regulations are also in place in many other European countries.

These regulations were only instituted in England within the last few years. The English FA. saw there was a problem with youth development, researched the situation and then installed new regulations designed to improve facilities and coaching and therefore the development of their youth players.

It is quite obvious our system in the U.S. needs to be changed. The question is, who will get it done, when, where and how?




Luck

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more of it I have."
       - Thomas Jefferson

"Luck is a matter of preperation meeting opportunity."
       - Oprah Winfrey

"People always call it luck when you act more sensibly than they have."
       - Anne Tyler


Sportsmanship

At the core of sportsmanship is respect…for oneself and for all other participants, including players, coaches, officials, parents, and administrators. Respect and sportsmanship mean treating all of these participants with integrity and fairness and honesty.

It also means having respect for the game or sport itself. Sports are defined by rules and procedures we have to follow. In order for competition in sports to mean anything, we also have to respect and follow the rules. Think about it…if we win or advance in sports, but haven't followed the rules, all we have really done is cheat. There is no honor in cheating.

Playing and competing with honor should be an important goal for all of us involved in sports. If we can't play and compete with honor and respect, we shouldn't play at all.

How can all of us help make sportsmanship an important theme of our daily sports life? Here are a few simple suggestions:
  1. Show by your actions and words, everyday, that you really care about sportsmanship. As my Mom always reminds me, set a good example, and remember that actions speak louder than words.
  2. Expect and demand that everyone involved follow all the rules, including fans, and parents.If they don't, they should not be welcome to continue participating…period. Have a policy that everyone agrees to before the season begins to eliminate any participants that do not follow the rules surrounding good sportsmanship. Designate someone to be responsible to enforce the policies, and be sure everyone supports them when they do!
  3. Leagues and teams should communicate the importance of sportsmanship to all participants on a regular basis, not just at the beginning of the season. Use your eteamz web site to promote examples of good sportsmanship and to tell stories of respect and honesty that occur on your team.
  4. Establish a sportsmanship award for your team that is just as important as any other award or recognition.
  5. Have team discussions about sportsmanship throughout the season. If someone sees something at another game or on TV that bothers them, or is a good example of sportsmanship, talk about it. Help all involved get to the point where thinking about and practicing sportsmanship becomes a habit.
  6. Never tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior whether in practice or a competition…never.
  7. There should be clear and immediate penalties for unsportmanlike actions no matter what the surrounding circumstances are or how important a game is to a season. Remember, only the pursuit of victory with honor is really victory.

Some specific things that should not be tolerated:
  • Taunting and trash talking: How is this respectful?
  • Disrespectful, "in your face", celebrations.
  • Fighting or violence of any kind.
  • Use of profanity or other disrespectful language.
  • Questioning or disagreeing with officials

Some specific things that should be encouraged:
  • Congratulating teammates and opponents for effort and excellent performances.
  • Shaking hands wherever it fits into a sports culture.
  • Helping up a teammate and opposing players who have fallen or been hurt.
  • Thanking officials for their effort and work.
  • Thanking coaches for their time and help.
  • Keeping facilities clean, both home and away.

None of this is new or very hard to follow. It's really what we want all aspects of our lives to be about. Let's make sure that in our sports lives, from today on, we never forget the important place sportsmanship should hold in all aspects of our participation.

------ Dr. Tom Crawford

Dr. Tom Crawford is the former Director of Coaching from the United States Olympic Committee.




Coaching and Parents

Parents, please do not coach from the sidelines during games. This only confuses the players since they are trying to learn to to think for themselves on the field. A good soccer player makes their own decisions on the field. The only way for the coaches to teach the players which decision to make is to let them try and then correct them when the wrong decision is made. This might even cost goals in some cases, but the focus should be on learning how to make good decisions under pressure during the game, not chasing trophies. A team will become stronger and quicker if its players have this ability.




Attitude

"Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do."
       -John Wooden

"Dream to touch the stars
Live to touch your dreams
The sky's the limit
Attitude is everything."



Glossary of Soccer Terms

  • Attacker - the player who has the ball and is trying to score a goal.
  • Back Header - glancing or flicking the ball behind you with your head.
  • Back Heel - a type of kick used to move the ball backwards by striking it with your heel.
  • Backswing - the distance you bring your kicking foot back behind you before you kick the ball.
  • Banana Kick - a kick that makes the ball bend or swerve in the air instead of going straight.
  • Block Tackle - a way of tackling your opponent head-on and gaining possession of the ball while still on your feet.
  • Caution - a warning from the referee given to a player for arguing or persistently breaking the rules.
  • Center - to pass the ball from a wide position on the field into the penalty area.
  • Charging - pushing the opponent off-balance legally by shoulder-to-shoulder contact.
  • Chip Pass - a pass used to kick the ball over a defender by kicking it into the air at a sharp angle using a stabbing action.
  • Clear - a throw or kick by the goalkeeper or a kick by a defender to get the ball away from the goal.
  • Closing Down - a defensive move used to deny an attacker the space to maneuver; moving closer to the opponent who has the ball.
  • Corner Arc - the quarter-circle arc located in each of the 4 corners of the field, from which corner kicks are taken.
  • Corner Kick - a free kick made from the corner arc area of the field, after the ball goes over the end line but not into the goal.
  • Cross - to pass the ball laterally across the field.
  • Cushioning - a method of taking the pace out of the ball and making it easier to control by stopping it against part of your body before you kick it.
  • Dangerous Play - a play that is too rough and might harm another player.
  • Defender - the player whose main job is to protect the goal, prevent opponents' shots, and get the ball back for his/her team.
  • Direct Free Kick - a kick that can score a direct goal, awarded after the other team commits a foul.
  • Dribble - a way of advancing the ball on the ground by moving and controlling it with a series of short taps using one or both feet, while running.
  • Drop Ball - a ball the referee drops between two players, one from each team, to restart play.
  • End Line - the goal line.
  • Fake - a move made by a player to fool or confuse the opponent (usually while dribbling or shooting), also called a feint.
  • Far Post - the goalpost farthest from the ball.
  • FIFA - The Federation Internationale de Football Association, which rules over soccer all over the world.
  • Filling In - temporarily covering a teammate's position.
  • Flank - the sides or wing areas of the field.
  • Follow-Through - the distance your foot travels in the direction of the ball after you have actually kicked it.
  • Formation - the arrangement of a team's players on the field by positions. Note: formations are usually described by numbers which are sequenced starting from the positions nearest a team's goal. Examples:
    • 4-3-3 - most common formation with goalkeeper and four defenders (sweeper plus 3 fullbacks), three halfbacks and three forwards.
    • 4-4-2 - common alternative, goalkeeper, four defenders, four halfbacks and two forwards.
  • Forward - an offensive player whose main job is to score goals.
  • Foul - a play that breaks a rule of soccer, which the referee calls and results in a free kick for the other team.
  • Free Kick - a kick awarded to the other team after a foul has been committed.
  • Front Runner - an attacking player who often waits upfield and acts as a target player.
  • Fullback - another name for a defender.
  • Goalkeeper - the player who protects the goal area and tries to stop the oppenents from scoring goals, the only player allowed to use his/her hands (but only while in the goal area), also known as the goalie or keeper.
  • Goal Kick - a free kick for the defending team that restarts play after the ball has crossed the goal line, last touched by the attacking team.
  • Goal Line - the line that stretched across the end of each field and marks the goal.
  • Goalmouth - the area right in front of the goal.
  • Goal side - the position a defender takes up when marking an attacker, that is, between the attacker and the defender's own goal.
  • Halfback - the player who is between the forwards and defenders, also known as a midfielder or simply a mid.
  • Half-Volley - kicking the ball just as it rebounds off the ground.
  • Handball - illegally touching the ball with the hands or arms.
  • Heading - a method of scoring, passing or controlling the ball by hitting it with the forehead.
  • Indirect Free Kick - a kick from which the kicker cannot score directly, the ball must touch a second player on the field (either team) before entering the goal.
  • Instep - the top part of the foot where the shoelaces are, used often for shooting and passing.
  • Instep Pass - a pass made by striking the ball with the instep.
  • In Space - in an area of the field not occupied by other players.
  • Jockeying - retreating with an attacker to buy time for the rest of the defense to catch up.
  • Juggling - keepin the ball off the ground with use of the feet, thighs and head.
  • Kick-Off - the kick made from the center of the field that is used to start the game, the second half of a game, and after each goal.
  • Laying Off the Ball - passing the ball to a teammate, usually a soft one-touch pass.
  • Linesperson - usually two for each game, they carry flags up and down a touchline for each half of the field and help the referee with calls.
  • Lob (or Chip) - a high, soft kick to lift it over another player's heads.
  • Lofted Pass - a pass used to kick the ball through the air over long distances.
  • Marking - guarding a selected opponent by staying close to him/her when they are in or near scoring position.
  • Man On - the call a player makes to a teammate who is closely marked by an opposing player but may not be aware of it.
  • Man-to-Man Marking - a method of defense in which each defender is assigned one particular opponent to mark.
  • Midfielder (or Mid) - the player that controls the middle part of the field and helps as both an attacker and defender, also known as a halfback.
  • Narrowing the Angle - a goalkeeping technique used to reduce the area of the goal that an attacker could shoot at.
  • Near Post - the goalpost nearest from the ball.
  • Obstruction - preventing an opponent from getting past a player by standing in or blocking their path.
  • Offside - a foul on a player who is in an offside position and interferes with play when the ball is touched by a teammate.
  • Off the Ball - being positioned away from the ball.
  • One-Touch Pass - a first-time pass using only one touch on the ball.
  • Overhitting - kicking the ball too far, so that a team-mate is unable to reach it.
  • Overlap - the attacking play of a defender going down the touchline past a halfback or winger on the same team.
  • Passing - sending the ball from one player to another by kicking or heading it.
  • Penalty Arc - the semi-circle arc at the top of the penalty box.
  • Penalty Box - the area in front of the goal (18x44 yards).
  • Penalty Kick - a direct free kick taken from the penalty spot, awarded for a foul committed inside the penalty box.
  • Penalty Spot - the spot 12 yards in front of the goal from where penalty kicks are taken.
  • Pitch - another name for the field of play.
  • Push Up - to move up the field toward the opponent's end of the field.
  • Red Card - the card the referee uses to eject a player from the game for committing a major foul.
  • Referee - the person who calls the fouls in a soccer game and keeps the official time.
  • Save - the goalkeeper stopping an attempted shot on goal by catching or deflecting the ball away from the goal.
  • Scissors Kick - a kick that requires the player to jump up, twist and put one leg above the head to strike the ball, causing the player to land on the ground.
  • Screening - retaining possession and protecting the ball by keeping the body between the ball and opponent.
  • Sending Off - a player can be sent off the field by the referee for serious offenses such as violent conduct or using bad language.
  • Set Pieces - formations and tactics used during restarts; throw-ins, corner kicks, goal kicks, free kicks, and penalty kicks.
  • Shielding - guarding the ball from opponents with your body.
  • Shooting - kicking the ball directly at the goal to score.
  • Shootout - the tie-breaking procedure used when teams have tied after playing overtime periods. Teams must use players who were on the field at the end of the last overtime period to take five alternating shots at the opposing goal and goalie. The team ahead at the end of five shots by both teams is the winner. If the score is still tied, the shootout may go to sudden death where the first team to gain a one goal advantage after two players have shot on goal wins. In this case, each team must use players other than the first five and who were also on the field. during the last overtime period.
  • Shoulder Tackle - a tackle used to get the ball away from an opponent by making shoulder-to-shoulder contact with him/her.
  • Sidelining the Attacker - when a defender forces the attacker to dribble to the side of the field, nearer the sideline.
  • Sliding Tackle - attempting to take the ball away from an opponent by sliding at it on the ground.
  • Stopper - a player who plays across and in-front of the main line of defenders; his/her job is to stop balls from getting near the goal.
  • Striker - a forward the shoots and scores often.
  • Sweeper - a player who plays across and behind the main line of defenders in case any balls get through; his/her job is to "sweep" balls away from the goal.
  • Swerving Pass - a pass with a lot of spin to make the ball curve around an opponent.
  • Tackling - using the feet to take the ball away from an opponent who is playing the ball with his/her feet.
  • Take On - to beat a defender with a dribble.
  • Target Man - an attacking player who acts as a target for forward passes from teammates.
  • Throw-In - a two-handed, over-the-head throw used to put the ball back into play after it has gone over the touchline, last touched by the opposing team.
  • Touchline - also known as the sideline, it marks the boundaries up and down the field.
  • Trapping - stopping and controlling the ball with the feet, thighs, head or chest.
  • Underhitting - Kicking the ball too softly, so that it does not reach an opponent.
  • USSF - the United States Soccer Federation which oversees all soccer in America.
  • USYSA - the United States Youth Soccer Association which oversees all youth soccer in America.
  • Volley - kicking the ball while it is in the air.
  • Wall - a group of players that stand together to try and block a free kick.
  • Wall Pass - a pass by a player to a teammate who passes it right back to the player as he/she runs by (a give-and-go).
  • Wing - an area of the field near the touchline.
  • Winger - a player who plays outside of the field, near the touchline.
  • World Cup - the prize given to the best national soccer team in the world every four years.
  • Yellow Card - the card the referee gives to a player as a warning for committing a foul.
  • Zone Marking - a method of defense in which defenders guard an area of the field (and opponents in that area) rather than marking a particular player.



Team

[written By Mia Hamm just after winning the World Cup]

A letter to my team:
Remember the night before the final World Cup game, when we all got together and wrote down what we felt about each other and then taped the notes to the person's back? Then we ran back to our rooms and read them. Mine said, "Kick me." The note under it said, "Kick me harder." Just kidding, but really, some of your phrases were unbelievable. Things like, "I love how hard you play," "I love how you play for this team," "You play with passion." I feel the same way about every one of you guys. In sports, we go through some absolutely wonderful times and some absolutely fearful times - like when you've got that really easy sitter and you miss it, and everyone in the stands is looking at you saying, "Hey, come on! I could have finished that one!" And your teammates look at you and they don't judge you. In the tough times and the great times, they treat you just the same. That's what sports is all about. Sports isn't about awards or world championships, though those are great. It's about the relationships we have with one another. So that night, before the final game, reading all those quotes, I'd already won. I won because I'm part of a great team. We're players who believe in each other and work extremely hard for one another. From the bottom of my heart, you guys, we did it together. I love you.
       -Mia Hamm

"The disease of me can lead to the defeat of us."
       - Pat Riley

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships."
       - Michael Jordan

"There's no I in TEAM."

"The more honor and respect among the players, the greater the team."
       - Unknown

"The country is full of good coaches. What it takes to win is a bunch of interested players."
       -Don Coryell



Observations on Elite Soccer Players

The following excerpts were taken from an article written by Anne Beaton, a B-licensed ODP coach from Minnesota. These are some observations on elite soccer players she made while observing play at the USYSA Thanksgiving Interregional Event in Florida in 2001.

I was immediately struck by the tactical sense of these 14-year-olds. Unlike many players at the club level, these girls moved well off the ball creating space and opportunity for their teammates. The speed of play was faster - due primarily to a limited number of touches. Players knew to play the ball quickly or risk losing possession.

Club and even state players at this age get caught standing in space - waiting for the ball to come to them. It's hard for players at this age to stay connected with the play when the ball isn't nearby.

Often times club and even state team players pick and choose when to work hard, whereas most of these players worked at a high rate in all aspects of the game - whether recovering on defense or sprinting five meters to beat a defender. As a result the game pace increased upping the level of play.

Another aspect I noticed was mentality. Over and over girls would get knocked down or miss a shot wide or even kick the ball directly out of bounds. I rarely saw a head hang in frustration. Intead, players would pop right up off the ground and get back in the game. The players seem very experienced for their young age.

Many club and state team players at this age get frustrated easily - some take those frustrations out on teammates and coaches, while others internalize their emotions pulling them out of the game, mentally.

I also watched two games at the 15 year age group. In addition to traits already mentioned, these girls added strength and communication to their play. The speed of play was crisp - each player's first touch was critical - a bad touch equaled a loss of possession. Players rarely created their own opportunities, but relied instead on teamwork - crosses that needed finishing and balls into forward's feet that needed support. These older girls also add more of a physical element to their game.

At a recent ODP tryout I was struck how few girls were willing to "touch" each other while playing. Some players played flawlessly when alone in space, but couldn't maintain possession of the ball if challenged by an opponent. The Region Team players invited contact with their opponents - often times using the pressure to dictate a change in direction.

Strength was an important factor when trying to keep possession of the ball. Girls frequently had to play while opponents tugged on their jerseys and shorts. The better players were able to hold off the pressure while patiently and accurately playing the ball.

16 & 17 year olds: At this level, it takes more than a great first touch or incredible speed to stand out. Players need an understanding of the game. And, beyond that, a player needs a strong competitive mind.

State team players with great technical ability and athletic gifts stand out amongst their teammates, but at the elite level a player also needs mental toughness. A player needs to be able to take direction from coaches and teammates and act on it as direction, not criticism - not always thinking of themselves, but the team.

The game was much more than trying to score more goals than the other team - players wanted to win every possession, save every ball from leaving the field, and make the most of every opportunity. At the elite level a player needs to be fit and able to play a full game(s) because one subbed, they cannot reenter the game. No one asked to come off the field. No one gave a lesser effort because of fatigue. That's tough.

Players at the state level work hard during the game, but elite players work hard all the time: training sessions, retrieving the ball out of bounds, fitness, and training on their own. I listened to a region coach explain the training program one player put herself through. It was intense, but the most impressive part was that she did most of the training on her own. She's the only player from her state on the U19 Women's National Team and can't only rely on her club team's training sessions and game to prepare her for international competition.

To make it at this elite level, a player needs to train not only at practice, but on their own. In addition to soccer technique, training may include strength, conditioning and nutrition. The successful player at this level will have a high work rate and be strong mentally. Learn to invite direction from coaches and teammates. And, learn to give direction too. Players may be physically gifted, but still need to work to maximize their potential by training on their own to improve their first touch and technical ability. Watching games can improve a player's tactical understanding and learning to move off the ball. Playing at higher levels can improve quickness and patience with the ball.


Will

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself."
       -Henry Ward Beecher

"The will to prepare, the guts to risk, and the desire to be the best - these are the trademarks of a champion."
       -Unknown

"People do not lack strength; they lack will."
       -Victor Hugo

"There is no such thing as a great talent without a great willpower."
       -Unknown


Too Many Tournaments?

Read a quality article about the traumas of too many tournaments.

Is it time to change our North American culture and focus on skill development?


Pressure

"Don't be afraid of pressure. Remember that pressure is what turns a lump of coal into a diamond."


20 Things Soccer Players Should Know


  1. A complete soccer player must have technical skills, tactical knowledge, be fit, psychologically strong, self-disciplined/motivated, and a person who is positive for team chemistry.

  2. Pressure is the key to success. The first ten minutes of each half will set the tone for the game. What message do you want to send the opponent in those key times?

  3. After a goal, always thank your teammate for the assist. Quite often that player has made the tougher play.

  4. Always train on the edge of your skill level. If you always train in your comfort zone, you will never get better.

  5. Beat your opponent to the ball. It is more difficult for your opponent to score a goal if she doesn't have the ball.

  6. Do not just kick the ball unless it is in a dangerous position in front of our goal. Instead, take a "picture" of the situation before you get the ball. In this way you can perceive the situation, determine the best solution, and act accordingly when the ball arrives.

  7. Do not say anything to a referee! They are not dishonest, but sometimes they will make mistakes, just as we do. If all of our players made as few mistakes as referees in a game, the team would be undefeated every season.

  8. Don't run forward when your team has the ball, unless you run back when the other team has the ball.

  9. The only excuse to pass the ball in the attacking third with one player to beat is if your pass results in a first-time shot on goal from a better angle. Don't be afraid to take a player on! Be our “personality” player!

  10. I don’t care that you make a mistake; I only care about what you do immediately after your mistake. Don't pout just win the ball back!

  11. If you can't pass and receive a soccer ball, you can't play soccer. Practice passing to a player or to space with proper pace and receiving ground and air balls.
  12. If you lose the ball, you should be the first person on defense. Giving immediate chase is the first rule of defense. Transition defines a team.

  13. In a soccer game, only one team plays soccer. The other team chases. What would you like to do? Maintain possession of the ball!

  14. It is acceptable to take chances in the attacking third of the field, and unacceptable in the defensive third. Assess risk versus gain!

  15. Never argue or talk back to the coaches, they want to help you to become a better player. Listen and learn from them. If you disagree with something, find an appropriate time to discuss it with them.

  16. Never criticize a teammate: If they make a mistake help them learn by showing them how to do the required skill. Be a positive force on the team. Team chemistry is crucial for success!

  17. Never criticize the goalie after a goal: Before the ball got by her, ten players also let the ball get by them.

  18. When changing from offense to defense, sprint to get between your man and the goal you are defending. Delay the attack until you get numbers behind the ball.

  19. When your team has the ball, everyone is on offense; when your opponents have the ball, everyone is on defense. We must pressure the ball with our front-runners.
    Win, lose, or tie, if you have given 100 percent when you walk off the field, you have nothing to be ashamed of and should not have any regrets. Take pride in Arsenal Soccer!





Hard Work

The harder you work the harder it is too surrender a loss."

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more of it I have."
      - Thomas Jefferson

"When you play, play hard. When you work, don't play at all."
      - Theodore Roosevelt



Friendship and Teamwork

Friendships grow as teammates learn to depend on each other and when they achieve success. Development of proper work habits and perseverance builds mutual respect. Recognizing that teammates can be consistently counted on to give their best effort leads to trust. Loyalty is the result of going through tough times and passing the test together. Pride is the last step in forming friendship. In a few unique situations, a limited number of teams attain this special sense of pride, when their players combine the qualities of sincere enthusiasm, determination, intensity and conditioning and make a personal choice to place the needs of the team ahead of themselves. Such qualities are the foundations of true friendships. Through the leadership shown by their coaches, athletes learn to identify and exhibit those qualities both on and off the field. As a result, they will be helped in all future relationships.


“The smallest good deed is better than the best intention.”
by Anonymous


“A real friend is one who helps us to think our best thoughts, do our noblest deeds, and be our finest selves”
by Unknown


Regardless of your age, the experience of being on a great team is priceless. It is something that will influence who you are for the remainder of your life. Few experiences can be as helpful in the growth of young athletes, as being part of a selfless group working toward a common goal.


Great teams are made up of athletes who have given up their quest for individual glory, who have willingly and wholeheartedly accepted the character traits of a team player and who have fully committed themselves to the group effort. This is a coach’s greatest legacy.


“What I spent, I had; What I kept, I lost; What I gave, I have”
by Henry Ward Bucher


   
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