Daughter is in high school soccer...

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Homercidal

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Any advice for helping her progress and get better? She's taken dance for years, but very new to sports. Anyone got any good advice for best drills, and practice methods, outside of the official practices anyway. We live like 2 blocks form the practice field, so we can go there and kick at the target wall or do drills or whatever.

They lost their first two game by a total score of 7-0, but she still comes home on cloud nine and loves to play.
 

jmulligan

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I played soccer in high school. Our team was absolute crap, but we still had a really good time. :)

My biggest suggestions would be to help your daughter not be scared of body contact. She has to WANT the ball and can't priss about. That was honestly how I got control of the ball 70% of the time when someone else had it - they'd either get scared when I charged them, or, if it were an air ball coming into play, they'd be too prissy to stop it with their body to knock it down to the ground and control it.

So -

I would throw a lot of air balls and have her practice catching them with whatever is available - chest (teach her to lean back and make a flat surface, or it just rebounds off and someone else will get it!), thighs, calves, whatever. Headers too, make sure she's not afraid to jump in the air for a well-placed header. Practice straight on, and more importantly, getting her to aim them to the side.

My only other suggestion is having her try to take the ball from you. Teach her to watch your hips and to try to take the ball before you can evade her to one side. And vice-versa, have her practice faking to one side and then dodging off to the other with the ball.

And hurray for a dance-to-soccer convert!! (That's what I was too.) :mug:
 

farmbrewernw

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+1 on contact when I played soccer I found that about 3/4 of the time if I charged a player they wimped out and I got the ball with no contact at all.
 

kaiser423

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Congrats! It's a great sport that you can play life long.

If you have an indoor soccer league, joining up with that can be very helpful. It's much faster, with a lot more emphasis on a proper first touch, and finding space, etc.

One of the most crucial skills that a really good player has is "checking to", can't really practice that one on one, but if she's in the middle of the field, she should be running towards the person with the ball to give them an easy pass and get everything moving around. It's something that I've struggled teaching both women and men, but is crucial.

I would say, that if you're just kicking it around. Focus on a good, driving shot, and ball handling. Gather up a bunch of soccer balls, and toss them to her. One touch to control, and the second to shoot. Off the thigh, chest, shin, everything. she just needs to get a feel for what the ball will do when coming at her on different angles, speeds, etc. Rocket some passes at her, make it unpredictable.

One thing that you can do simply is to face each other two or three yards apart, and define what you want to work on. Pass, trap then pass, knee then volley, volley, header, chest then volley. You take the ball and toss it at the body part, she does it kicking it back to you. Try that a bit, and then move on to walking and jogging. In the end, she should be able to be jogging backwards (and forwards) at a good clip and take a ball to a randomly thrown area, control it and send it back to your hands in two touches.

With this drill, the ball will fly way beyond you and out of control. Lots. Even high school seniors will typically send quite a few balls flying 50 yards past their intended targets. But the key here is for her to do it with force and authority. If she thighs traps, and gives you a little pop up dink volley back to you, that's not of much use. When would she use that dink in a game? She should give you a drive with a decent amount of speed on it.

Best of luck, there's tons of drills out there that are very useful. Even just dribbling to a cone, practicing a move and dribbling to the next helps a lot. The biggest thing is that she get touches on the ball often!
 

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Along with what was mentioned above

Individual skills:

Strive to become equal with both feet.

When practicing kicking and shooting drills, always kick a ball that's already in motion. In games, players almost never kick a ball that is still. The same goes for receiving the ball; always receive the ball when in motion. Have her learn to take a ball in stride.

Learn two touch (control, pass or shoot) before one touch.

Learn to use chest, thigh, and head to control the ball.

Team skills:

Learn spacing.

Learn to run without the ball to create space for herself and her teammates.

Learn proper pacing for her runs and for her passes.

Above all, HAVE FUN.:mug:
 

SkewedBrewing

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+1 to all of the above.

Also, my coach always had us doing these drills that had nothing to do with the ball, they taught us stability, agility, etc. They're similar to these:
Soccer Agility Drills - Improve Your Speed & Co-Ordination

Also, if there are any reputable (sports) colleges in your area (or even your state) I highly recommend, IMO, sending her to one this, or maybe next, summer. Usually the smaller schools offer them. Not only will she learn a lot from kids playing in college currently, she'll get to stay over night, meet other players from all over and learn things the other girls on her team won't know (the knowledge of this will instantly boost anyone's confidence on and off the field).

Also, and this may sound cynical, but a lot of schools sports programs (especially soccer) are extremely political. That got me down a lot when I was in high school so its always to watch out for crap like mean parents, suck ups, etc.

My .02...
 
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Ok, there are some great suggestions here, but many of them assume I can do this stuff already! LOL! I think I can control the ball much better than her, but only because I have nearly 40 years of kicking stuff experience.

Well, the coach suggested just keeping the ball nearby and practice dribbling and ball handling. Just having it always available for practice at a moments notice and just using the feet to try and control it.

The coach is not concerned with winning/losing. She is teaching the game rules and basics. Most of the team has never played the game before. Once they get to Varsity, then winning is everything.

it's so hard when her schedule is so busy. Last night she got home from practice and spent the rest of the evening doing homework because tonight is her first away game and wanted to make sure she got it done ahead of time because doing homework on a soccer bus sounds impossible.

I think I'll plan on taking her up to the practice field and kicking the ball to her and have her stop and control it. We only have one ball ATM so the wall will be nice to stop it for us. Then she can learn to kick more accurately.
 

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look into clinics

[ame=http://www.google.com/search?q=us+soccer+player+clinics+michigan&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial&client=firefox-a]us soccer player clinics michigan - Google Search[/ame]
 
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They played their third game on Tuesday after school away. I got there a few minutes late due to bad driving instructions and when I showed up, they were up 2-0!

They ended up wining 5-1. I think that will give her some confidence.
 
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Congrats on your daughter being part of a great game. i played all through school and when I was a real young guy. Soccer is a lot more physical than people expect and needs to be played as such within the rules. What position does she play or desire to play?
+50 to Soccer camps, They are very good learning tools giving you drills to take home that you can always benefit from. Juggling is a fun way to gain ball control. Not juggling with your hands but ...do a search. it's fun. You can never be in good enough shape for soccer. Endurance Endurance Endurance. Basic ball control is key.

Another HUGE thing they should be concentrating on at least by highschool is opening the field and communicating. Keep spread wide and you cannot yell enough or loud enough. Watch a MLS match, then a junior/highschool match. Notice the clumps of people in school matches versus the expansion in MLS/college/ good highschool teams.



OFF TOP SORTA, This is not soccer season at all........? It's a highschool league? or an off season league? Soccer is played year round, but Official season is same as football.
 
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It was raining a bit so I got wet, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Her coach has her playing wing. I'm not up on all of the positions, but I believe that is a midfielder position along sideline.

Her coach is not focusing on strategy as pertains to winning so much as teaching basics of the game and making sure the girls know the rules and get practice dribbling, kicking etc.

I know she has them spread out, but it's hard during a game to not want to be where the action is. They may improve when they get better at passing. I did notice that they were yelling MUCH more this time than I had noticed before.

I'm still lousy for the rules. I am reading soccer for dummies, but the rules are not spelled out very well in there. I got more from the first website I searched for.

There are a lot of sports going on all the time it seems. I think this is normal for a High School team to play in the spring. It's different than the normal leagues.
 

kaiser423

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It was raining a bit so I got wet, but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Her coach has her playing wing. I'm not up on all of the positions, but I believe that is a midfielder position along sideline.
She's playing wing? About the best thing that you can do there is get her some endurance.

They run the most out of any player on the field, and a lot of that running is going to be at a good pace; half to three quarters speed. Good endurance at medium to high speeds will serve her very well.

She'll start a lot of runs and strikes on offense, and spread the field out. But then she has to be able to get back and hang out with the defenders. Then once her team gets the ball back, she has to run back up the sidelines opening up the field for the transition to offense, and she makes the runs on offense too.

A good wing is usually very field-aware, and knows what types of runs to make at different times, etc. It's a good position. She won't need crazy ball control skills like a good center midfield has, but she'll really need to know how to run onto balls, control balls out of the air, trap well, one or two touch flicks, etc. Then she'll need strong defending skills also.

This is probably a little advanced; something to work towards: A lot of times on offense, she'll end up in a corner. She needs to be good at crossing the ball; ie she should be able to, from the sideline near the corner flag be able to kick a ball and have it sail to about the penalty kick spot at chest to head level. It's a pretty big kick to make for someone just starting, but it's a core skill for wings. Like I said, something to work towards!

That's a fun position that gives you good exposure on both sides of the ball, with lots of diversity. You just have to pay for it with the running :D

A camp would be very good for her. But watching soccer, and seeing how the wings provide help to the defenders by helping mark players, and by checking to them and giving them and options for passing when they recover the ball, as well as making the runs for the midfielders and forwards to play off of will give her a good idea for what she should be doing.
 

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Congrats on your daughter being part of a great game. i played all through school and when I was a real young guy. Soccer is a lot more physical than people expect and needs to be played as such within the rules. What position does she play or desire to play?
+50 to Soccer camps, They are very good learning tools giving you drills to take home that you can always benefit from. Juggling is a fun way to gain ball control. Not juggling with your hands but ...do a search. it's fun. You can never be in good enough shape for soccer. Endurance Endurance Endurance. Basic ball control is key.

Another HUGE thing they should be concentrating on at least by highschool is opening the field and communicating. Keep spread wide and you cannot yell enough or loud enough. Watch a MLS match, then a junior/highschool match. Notice the clumps of people in school matches versus the expansion in MLS/college/ good highschool teams.



OFF TOP SORTA, This is not soccer season at all........? It's a highschool league? or an off season league? Soccer is played year round, but Official season is same as football.
i always thought soccor was a spring sport for high school. least i always thought that in cali but i was never a fan. football wrestling and baseball or track was my sports.



congrats on the win BTW
 
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There are a lot of sports going on all the time it seems. I think this is normal for a High School team to play in the spring. It's different than the normal leagues.
hmm Maybe it's an ohio thing, but our soccer season for school was always fall. Now we had spring and summer leagues for the city and travel teams and then Indoor during the winter (if she like soccer have her try this in the winter! It's soccer on crack and is a blast. More fun for spectators too).
 

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hmm Maybe it's an ohio thing, but our soccer season for school was always fall. Now we had spring and summer leagues for the city and travel teams and then Indoor during the winter (if she like soccer have her try this in the winter! It's soccer on crack and is a blast. More fun for spectators too).
+1 to both

Our high school soccer was always in the fall too.

Definitely get her into a winter indoor soccer league, if you have one. If you think playing soccer outdoors is tiring, indoor soccer is exactly what IP said, soccer on crack. Constant changes in direction, rebounding off every surface, different ball (like a giant tennis ball), and a lot more experience in controlling a bouncing ball with your body.
 

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I have nothing to add - expect to offer my usual advice and that's 'play rugby'.

That is all. :mug:
 

flyangler18

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... is there more beer in rugby than football (meaning soccer).?
Oh my, yes.

But since we're speaking about HS soccer, that's irrelevent. :)

Homer, I say this seriously: if she builds her endurance and speed, she'll make a heck of a back in rugby, especially a winger or fullback. I know there's quite a few club teams in Michigan.
 
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She's playing wing? About the best thing that you can do there is get her some endurance.

They run the most out of any player on the field, and a lot of that running is going to be at a good pace; half to three quarters speed. Good endurance at medium to high speeds will serve her very well.

She'll start a lot of runs and strikes on offense, and spread the field out. But then she has to be able to get back and hang out with the defenders. Then once her team gets the ball back, she has to run back up the sidelines opening up the field for the transition to offense, and she makes the runs on offense too.

A good wing is usually very field-aware, and knows what types of runs to make at different times, etc. It's a good position. She won't need crazy ball control skills like a good center midfield has, but she'll really need to know how to run onto balls, control balls out of the air, trap well, one or two touch flicks, etc. Then she'll need strong defending skills also.

This is probably a little advanced; something to work towards: A lot of times on offense, she'll end up in a corner. She needs to be good at crossing the ball; ie she should be able to, from the sideline near the corner flag be able to kick a ball and have it sail to about the penalty kick spot at chest to head level. It's a pretty big kick to make for someone just starting, but it's a core skill for wings. Like I said, something to work towards!

That's a fun position that gives you good exposure on both sides of the ball, with lots of diversity. You just have to pay for it with the running :D

A camp would be very good for her. But watching soccer, and seeing how the wings provide help to the defenders by helping mark players, and by checking to them and giving them and options for passing when they recover the ball, as well as making the runs for the midfielders and forwards to play off of will give her a good idea for what she should be doing.
That is exactly what she said the coach said of the wingers. Lots of running, up and back. She is entirely new to sports, and it shows, but she is getting better all the time, like the rest of the girls.

I would like her to focus more on knowing where to be in any given circumstance, and where to send the ball, but at this stage in her career, she still can't kick accurately. They have spring break next week (starts today) and if the weather clears, I will want to get on the field with her and go over some ball skills and kicking.

I'd like to watch a soccer game or two on TV to show her how the wingers are playing and getting back on D and getting to the ball, etc. but our time so far has been filled up.

I was afraid that the girls would be too wimpy to play real soccer, but each game they get more aggressive and confident and I think they will be tough once they figure out some positioning and get some better ball skills. Last practice they scrimmaged against the Varsity, and even though they got scored on a few times, they were encouraged to fight for the ball and not let them run all over them. It got pretty physical for a non-contact sport! :rockin:
 

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That's great that she and the other players are gaining confidence! That is half the battle!

My team used to run in cycles - 3 times a week, we'd do sprints (20, 40, 60, 80, 100 meters), and the other 2 days, we'd jog at a constant pace for about 20 minutes or so. That will definitely help her increase her running speeds and endurance.

It got pretty physical for a non-contact sport! :rockin:
I have never thought of soccer as a non-contact sport. Between leaning into someone's shoulder, jumping in front of them to snag an airball, and sly-tackling (which may not be legal in her league), there's plenty of contact (intentional or, in my case, extreme clutziness). :drunk: :)
 

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That's great that she and the other players are gaining confidence! That is half the battle!

My team used to run in cycles - 3 times a week, we'd do sprints (20, 40, 60, 80, 100 meters), and the other 2 days, we'd jog at a constant pace for about 20 minutes or so. That will definitely help her increase her running speeds and endurance.
Running sprints and suicides definitely help increase speed and endurance, as is changing speeds over the course of the field. A stiff job the first 10m, then kick it up to 3/4 for 30m, drop back to a jog - all the while trying to run a flat line with everyone else.
 
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That's great that she and the other players are gaining confidence! That is half the battle!

My team used to run in cycles - 3 times a week, we'd do sprints (20, 40, 60, 80, 100 meters), and the other 2 days, we'd jog at a constant pace for about 20 minutes or so. That will definitely help her increase her running speeds and endurance.



I have never thought of soccer as a non-contact sport. Between leaning into someone's shoulder, jumping in front of them to snag an airball, and sly-tackling (which may not be legal in her league), there's plenty of contact (intentional or, in my case, extreme clutziness). :drunk: :)
I don't think it's legal on her league. I was going to mention slide-tackles as long as you get the ball first it's ok, but when I saw it happen in the last game the girl got a foul for it. I think they mostly frown on anything that is physically risky. Accidents can happen often enough as it is.

I was also going to see if she'll run sprints and maybe do some simple foot strengthening exercises in her spare time. Something that will give her an advantage over weak starts and maybe help prevent ankles sprains. They do a bunch of stretching already before games and practice (and after).
 

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We had a run that we had to do at least twice weekly. We typically did it nearly every practice because it doesn't take that long. It was called a "San Diego". There was some obscene reference to why it was named that, but I forgot.

Essentially you get a stop watch, you hit go and she starts jogging. You blow a whistle, and she sprints until you blow it again. When she's stopped sprinting, she goes back into a jog. Every minute you increase the amount of sprint time.

These schedule goes like this:

run 58 seconds, sprint 2
run 56 seconds, sprint 4
run 54 seconds, sprint 6
....
run 30 seconds, sprint 30.

If she can make it to 30-30 while doing a slow, but decent jog and putting in good sprints, then she's in good shape. It only takes 15 minutes also, but it will wear you out, and it will get you used to endurance, and jogging after sprints. Sometimes we'd take it further than 30-30, but even in the best of shape you start dying off pretty fast, because 30 seconds is a very long time to sprint (~200 yards for a pretty fast athlete).


But at this point, it should mostly be about ball control. It will take quite a while before she really becomes aware of the field around her while she's playing. It's a skill that you just kind of feel after a period of time, and that you don't really get until you're comfortable with dealing with the ball. You can't look around the field as the ball is flying towards you if all of your concentration is used on preparing to receive it, which is what it will take until it becomes second nature for her to receive the ball.

This is fun :rockin: I'm excited for your daughter!
 
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Me too. I think it's easy for me to see the positioning because I'm watching the whole field, and am used to watching hockey and see how the players try to get into position for passes, cover passes etc. I think that seeing a game on TV and pointing out the way players move should help, but you are right. She just needs time with a ball. It's hard when she has homework, dance, soccer, etc. to find time just to practice dribbling. But she is doing very well academically and participating in sports and music, so she is already farther ahead than I was at that age. I had bad experience in sports and never wanted to play team sports after that until I was an adult and learned better.
 
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Sounds like she's having fun and you're getting into it to. Just a piece of advice from an outsider who saw it happen way too much, Where it is very good to get excited and support and push for your kid to strive, do not be the overbearing coach parent. Not saying you are by any means, but while you have her out on weekends running and doing drills, remember, She just start playing in high school, she's most likely not going to college for soccer, let her have fun these next years playing in high school.
 
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Sounds like she's having fun and you're getting into it to. Just a piece of advice from an outsider who saw it happen way too much, Where it is very good to get excited and support and push for your kid to strive, do not be the overbearing coach parent. Not saying you are by any means, but while you have her out on weekends running and doing drills, remember, She just start playing in high school, she's most likely not going to college for soccer, let her have fun these next years playing in high school.
I'm with you on all counts. I just want her to have a good time and I think she will enjoy it more if she can get a little more physical and feel like she can compete.

We went out on Friday afternoon to practice, and the cold wind gave me an earache quickly. We had a good time, but it didn't last long.

I'm not even the cheering type. When my wife goes, she can't keep her mouth shut. I'm discussing strategy, and she is yelling at the girls!

The only thing that ticks me off is that I don't know when the practices are. They don't decide until like 1:30 that day if they are at 3:00, or 5:00. Depends on the weather. Hopefully it will start to be warm and dry now and they will be able to stick with one time.
 
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We got low 30s today and flurries all day. Although none of it seems to have stuck. Wife called and said it was like winter again. Well, she's a wimp, but I know I did not go out for lunch today. And I forgot the plans for my next crusher, so I just ate in and surfed.

Then my daughter called and said she is still sick today so she is not going to optional practice (spring break). We all just got over our sicknesses!
 
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