March 11, 2007

Kicking Chicks draw their first game and keep a clean sheet: For all our SpoFi coaches, managers, trainers, referees...let's hear what's happening in your neck of the world.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY to navel gazing at 03:53 PM - 17 comments

Hi Tex I trust you enjoyed the first outing. Down here, football is a winter sport, and our season is just about to start, too. I'm going around in the Over 35s, and my daughter is in the Under 16s, and also refereeing. I'll keep you informed.

posted by owlhouse at 07:17 PM on March 11

I'll throw in the player aspect I suppose. Swimming is officially over with state finals being yesterday. I won't lie when I say I'm not sorry to see it go.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 08:08 PM on March 11

owlhouse, I was a nervous wreck, more so than I was before the first practice. We had a total of 3 training sessions, 1 team talk and 1 friendly against a team from a division lower who didn't really test us. I wasn't sure how prepared we were since I had never seen a local girls game at this age. The team we drew with Wednesday were much bigger than our girls but we had the better chances by far. I don't think they had a shot in the first half and our high pressure, attack minded game really had them on their heels. In the second half, we tired and for about 10 minutes we took several goal kicks that traveled maybe 20 yards and were coming right back down our throats. The girls held firm and the other team really only got off two or three weak shots during that passage of play. With about two minutes remaining we had a girl breakaway for what looked like a real chance, but she was caught from behind and toe-rolled it to the 'keeper. In training Friday, I showed her to slow down and take the foul...no diving, of course...just letting the opposition run into her and leave it to the referee to decide. The effort from these girls was tremendous. One father sent me an email saying his daughter had bruises from head to toe and once she got in their car to leave, she broke down crying from the pain. You can imagine how I felt. The dad wasn't complaining or criticising the rough play. I think he just wanted to let me know I can depend on his daughter to help the team. He won't have to mention it again. I had the chance this weekend to scout a couple of teams and I feel much better about our chances this season. We'll see how it all plays out. Our next game is March 18 against a side that won their first game 5-0.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 09:18 PM on March 11

Congrats to you and your team, Texan! Just out of curiosity, how did the girl on your team get bruises from head to toe? I've never played competitive soccer outside of PE class, and I had no idea it was that physical.

posted by dusted at 01:21 AM on March 12

Well done Tex! A clean sheet is a great start and nice coaching too on the "earned foul" front. I won't mention anyone from Man United, , but the advice reminds me of Steve Largeant, who used to be great at picking up pass interference calls using the same method. Keep us up to date!

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:45 AM on March 12

One father sent me an email saying his daughter had bruises from head to toe ... Sounds like a rough league, Texan. Glad all went well for you. Your being a nervous wreck speaks well for your level of caring about your team. If you have no butterflies, you really don't care. Keep up the good work.

posted by Howard_T at 11:44 AM on March 12

dusted, I haven't seen her since the game and her dad may be exaggerating a bit. Playing against competition as big as this opposing team can leave a player pretty bruised and battered, particularly if the player gets stuck in properly and isn't afraid of contact. Our girl wasn't backing away from anything and anytime the opposition came down her side of the field, she won every ball, even though they were running her over and leaving her on the ground. If the player hits the ground often enough and catches a few shoulders, elbows and knees here and there....yeah....that'll leave some marks. Thanks for the positive comments, guys. I sure appreciate it and I'll be sure the girls hear about them too.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:48 AM on March 12

Sounds like you are doing a great job. Despite very little interest in girls' youth soccer on the whole, I am eager to hear how your season progresses. Good luck!

posted by Venicemenace at 12:08 PM on March 12

Awesome! Tell the Kicking Chicks they've got a fan club!

posted by lil_brown_bat at 03:17 PM on March 12

:-)

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 04:09 PM on March 12

Congrats on the good result. Good luck with the rest of the season. Over here in Belgium, we're a couple weeks away from starting our baseball season. I took part in my first practice on Sunday, and I have to admit that at 33, it's pretty hard to knock the rust off after a 5 month off season. Normally, I get sore the day after the first practice. But yesterday, I was sore during practice. Good thing my son is too young to remember his old man moaning and groaning after one 2 hour session.

posted by cabuki at 04:28 PM on March 12

Awesome! Tell the Kicking Chicks they've got a fan club! Texan, when are you going to get the merchandise ready? T-shirts, ball caps, miniature soccer balls, all with the Kicking Chicks logo. You do have a logo, right? You mean you didn't think of this? OK, we need one SpoFi artist to come up with the logo, then Texan is in business. OK, OK, I'm only half kidding, but surely someone out there can come up with something good in a logo design.

posted by Howard_T at 04:30 PM on March 12

Good work, Tex. Those goal kicks caused my team all sorts of problems in the Under 10s-12s as well. You've probably thought of these already, but I worked on a couple of things at training: 1. Have about 2-3 players designated for goal kick duty (hopefully the longest kickers). Rotate them by half games. Just in case one of them is off the field or away one week! 2. Leave the goalkeeper in position between the sticks. Nothing worse than an immediate rebound into the goal area. You could also put one of your central defenders on the 18 yard line as extra insurance. 3. Get the full backs to drop to the side, even as far back as the 18 yard line, and try and create gaps up the middle. Get the kicker to aim for the gaps, and angle the kicks toward the sideline. Better an opposition throw in than the ball at their feet in front of goal. 4. Quick switching from one side to the other. The rules say a goal kick can be taken from anywhere inside the 6 yard box, and it doesn't matter which side the ball went out. Find the side that suits your team best. 5. Educate the central defenders that when the goal kick is taken, the ball is only in play after it leaves the penalty area. If there is a mis-kick, a good tactic might be to touch the ball before it leaves the area, thus getting a second chance kick. Probably better than the alternative of letting it dribble out and putting your team under pressure. 6. Don't let the kicker put the ball exactly on the line. Usually in our leagues there is a depression or a scuff mark where the line is, and it's sometimes better to tee the ball up on the grass a little way back from the line marking.

posted by owlhouse at 05:51 PM on March 12

Great stuff, owlhouse. My challenge since the game last week is getting the kids to practice. They're on spring break this week and apparently most have left town. I'll see what kind of turnout we have Friday and hopefully we can work on some things. I have considered the quick switching for goal kicks. Are you talking about actually having 2 or 3 players in the goal box? I was thinking we could have one player appearing set to take the kick, walking up to the ball and tossing it to a teammate on the other side of the box. She puts the ball down and there's a player behind her to take the kick. I'm not even sure if that's within the Laws but I don't know why it wouldn't be. At the other end, I think we should have a 3-player loose wall to block the other teams goal kicks and create a chance.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 11:37 AM on March 13

man, i'm glad i played in the days when a pass back to the goalie could be picked up. we used to have someone stand outside of the 18 on the side so they could just tap it back to me since my punts went farther than their goal kicks. hell, sometimes i used to stand out there and bring it inside the 18 myself.

posted by goddam at 12:31 PM on March 13

man, i'm glad i played in the days when a pass back to the goalie could be picked up. I wish that law was still in effect for kids. I'm realizing the handling of dead ball situations and defense are going to be keys, at the this age in particular.

posted by Texan_lost_in_NY at 02:06 PM on March 13

The play you suggest is perfectly legal, Tex. I wasn't suggesting 2-3 players in the 6 yard box, just have a group of designated kickers. Although positioning at least 2 defenders on the edge of the penalty area will give you cover, and also help with the 'touch it before it goes out of the box' tactic. Good one, goddam! When I was sweeper, we even used that back pass tactic in the adult leagues, for the same reason. For my daughter's team, in the Under 10s and 11s, we were allowed to take the goal kicks further out, from a point level with the penalty spot. This was a good rule.

posted by owlhouse at 03:09 PM on March 13

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